Dear Friends of TASK,
As the Fourth of July holiday is upon us, I find myself reflecting on the meaning of the day and what has recently transpired in our country, our state and at TASK in the last four months.
A few weeks ago, I was a panelist on a discussion sponsored by New Jersey Policy Perspective on how to ensure a fair and healthy recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The panelists were asked how the recent racial unrest and calls for justice had affected our work during the health crisis. We know that the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on populations struggling economically – a pain felt especially among people of color in those communities. Of course TASK continued to work, bolstered by our deep-seated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusiveness through our programs, services and interaction with our patrons, but there was a shift – a collective yearning to do more in the fight against the systemic racism that has catapulted so many of the people we serve into a lifetime of poverty.
Two weeks ago, I shared that TASK is taking a hard look at its advocacy work to see how we, as an organization, can best focus our efforts to increase equity and opportunity for our patrons. That is a work in progress that we invite you to participate in with us.
In the meantime, I am stepping back during this Independence Day to examine our country’s Declaration of Independence which says that we are all created equal, and have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I’m honored that TASK has helped many on that journey, including some folks on our staff. I won’t name names, but you know who you are. I’d like to think that TASK helped open the door of opportunity for them and that it can do the same for others and make a lasting difference as we work to bridge cultural, ethnic and racial divides wherever we encounter them. And, with your support, I have no doubt we will.
Happy Independence Day everyone, and please do remain safe and healthy. You are important to the TASK Family!
Joyce E. Campbell