Usually this time I draft a look back on the year and the work we did. Well, 2023 was no normal year, and it is time to take a different perspective. This year, I find myself reflecting on 2023 and the significant shifts in the world.
Growing up near the L tracks in Ravenswood, Chicago, I became accustomed to the constant rumble of passing trains, much like how I initially normalized systemic racism in America. At first it was startling, but after a while you just got used to it. I came to accept it as normal.
My family was of two faiths, and while my Catholic father was not practicing, I was raised in the Jewish faith by my grandparents. As being Jewish in America is not the same as being African American or Latino, it took me a while to see just how deep intolerance ran. I remember first experiencing anti-Semitism when I moved to New Hampshire, only then opened my eyes to the deep-seated intolerance, and white privilege.
I am grateful to the New Hampshire Endowment for Health's L2E2 training, which delved into systemic racism and helped us to become anti-racists, actively working for equity and inclusion. As result of my own awakening, DEI is the prime cause that this firm will focus on in 2024. And, in 2023, I channeled this awareness into meaningful projects.
One in 2023 endeavor was the Fair Housing Project for New Hampshire Legal Assistance, funded by HUD. We created a multilingual, ADA-compliant website and digital campaign to educate people about fair housing laws, assist those facing discrimination, and promote fair housing practices.
Additionally, I collaborated on the SBA-funded Community Navigator Program with CDFA. Through this initiative, we offered expert business counseling, guidance on various business aspects, assistance in connecting with training resources, support in accessing capital, and tailored assistance as needed, empowering small businesses statewide
Partnering with the New Hampshire Center for Justice & Equity, we used marketing to help spark conversations among Granite Staters, emphasizing that the state prospers when everyone is included.
I worked on similar projects with the Endowment for Health, and chaired the DEI Committee at the Concord Chamber.
Amid challenges, I believe our efforts have been transformative. With determination, good partnerships, and a sense of true north guiding us, we are breaking down walls of racism and intolerance. I eagerly look forward to continuing this work in 2024 and hope you will stand with me. Together, we can unlock everyone's full potential and access.