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As the sky around us darkens and historic wildfires rage across our beloved PNW community, we at Impact NW are watching and weeping over the ongoing destruction and heightened feelings of helplessness, confusion and fear. Here at Impact NW we are taking this moment to check in with our colleagues, our neighbors, and the vulnerable community members we serve.
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This year’s Labor Day presents new challenges for each of us as individuals and our community at large. In a recent message to the Impact NW family, Executive Director Andy Nelson reflects on the moment:
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Launched in 2018, the Impact NW Ambassador Board (AB) is composed of emerging professionals who act as Impact NW (INW) ambassadors within their communities, promoting Impact NW to an expanded network and fostering the next generation of supporters.
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In continuation of our #TBT series highlighting some of our longest-tenured Impact NW staff members, today’s featured staff member is Sonia Rincon-Heflin.
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For over 50 years, Impact NW has united our community across all identities, ages and backgrounds. And within our own organization we do the same through active participation in committees and support groups. In ongoing support of our Black community during this important moment and in recognition of Pride, our LGBTQ2SIA+ committee has this message (and invitation) to share:
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It takes a community to Prevent Homelessness. We’ve known this from the earliest days of Impact NW as we sat around that kitchen table in the Buckman Neighborhood and sought to unite our community in the fight against poverty and homelessness. And now today, as our community endures the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the power of a united community is shining brighter than ever.
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This list was created in response to the recent events and unfolding situations within our country surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement. As an organization that works with many bipoc (Black, Indigenous People of color), it is important that we recognize and understand the current movement, and where we can start the process within ourselves. It can be completely overwhelming and oftentimes begins with a question - “Where to Begin?”
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We know that access to individualized services from compassionate and knowledgeable people in the community is the key to finding and successfully navigating the path to stability and opportunity. And moreover, having access to this information and the opportunity to partner with people in our own communities can mean the difference between stability and homelessness for so many of our neighbors.
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At its core, Impact NW has always stood for justice, fairness and inclusion. We have always stood with our community’s most vulnerable. These time-tested values drive us and inspire us. So when we see in our community, or our nation, actions that decimate our values, we are -- as one of our valued team members put it this week -- shaken to the core. We are also obligated to condemn them.
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The power of community is realized through the collective action of individuals and organizations alike. We’re stronger together and this is all the more true in times of unprecedented difficulty. Among those in our community stepping up in support of our most vulnerable neighbors is Genentech.