Dear Leaders of Social Impact Organizations – The news of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing on the evening of Friday, September 18 spread throughout the world. Justice Ginsburg, the second woman appointed to the prestigious bench, was a change-maker and force for social good. Her tireless efforts leading up to and throughout her 27-year service in the highest court of the land created an unparalleled legacy.
Justice Ginsburg architected a new possibility and reality for gender equality and the rights of workers, and I am personally grateful to have lived during her lifetime. I am equally honored to have watched her uphold justice for some of America’s most significant Supreme Court cases. She was a cultural and feminist icon, as well as a role model for the young and young at heart. She was also a spirited, passionate defender of the rights of our nation’s most vulnerable until her last days. For these reasons, her admirers cross all communities! As an admirer of Justice Ginsburg, it indeed brings me both sadness and joy to reflect on her contributions to our justice system and humanity.
You may be feeling unsure of what to do, or wondering if you should react at all. I completely understand and hope that this message lights your path. Since March, Nonprofit HR has been hosting brave space conversations for our staff to address and confront the challenges associated with equity and inclusion. Through this work, our goal is to ensure the voice of every staff member is heard in an intentional and deliberate way. Our internal diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) taskforce leads our discussions and exercises and these efforts will remain a high priority through 2020 and beyond.
Continuing to remain steadfast in tangible efforts to offer safe and brave spaces for our colleagues to process and work through what has been a very difficult year remains a high priority. It is essential to publicly recognize the importance of fostering positive mental health and morale as the country continues to face many uncertainties.
The passing of Justice Ginsburg has occurred during a fragile season in the nation’s history. It certainly has the potential to further impact the way your workforce shows up, performs, and engages with one another and your organization’s stakeholders. As we continue navigating today and the future, may we all rise to the opportunity to demonstrate the same type of care for one another as Justice Ginsburg relentlessly demonstrated for us. Taking proactive steps can help prevent culture breakdowns among your staff during this time will help sustain the strength and impact of your organization’s mission.
Lisa Brown Alexander
President and CEO