2021: DON’T GIVE UP

Its January 25th of a new year and I already broke my resolution to a “dry-January” two weeks in. I had a good reason – a dear colleague is making a big career change and our Zoom celebration required some forbidden beverages. I am hopeful that my commitment can be re-ignited in “dry-February”. Providing no one else decides to have celebration-worthy life change. Good intentions too often go wasted but I won’t give up. That’s how I feel in general about 2021.

I WON’T GIVE UP.

I won’t give up on humanity, I won’t give up on the amazing positive power of cities, I won’t give up on the Karen’s of the world – that privilege can be directed for the forces of good. Cities have been sitting in desperate survival mode since 2020 began. Pandemic deaths worldwide, massive job losses, angry protest in city streets, civil uprisings, all we need now is locusts, frogs and boils and the ten plagues of Egypt will be among us (footnote – only after the plagues were the Israelites allowed to depart from slavery).

But like my waning DIY home gym routines hope comes in fits and starts – it is a roller coaster. Take last week for example. A Black south-Asian woman, Kamala Harris, was sworn in to be the Vice President of the great economic giant – USA. A first (but #notTheLast). This coupled with the youngest Poet Laureate to ever recite at a presidential inauguration brought us all to our knees with her uplifting and insightful lyrics. What a high! I wore pearls and tweeted out in joy with others

It took 252 years for this major first to occur, but at lightning speed (in three days) my high was cut down with a staggering piece of research by the Globe and Mail when journalist Rita Trichur declared “… systemic discrimination remains a persistent problem in Corporate Canada , creating a power gap for women, Black people, Indigenous people and people of colour (BIPOC) and other minorities.” OY VEY! Persistent problems.

This Monday morning I picked myself up, looked at the next five days of my calendar – meeting with the Ontario Anti Racism Directorate, submitting a print media opinion piece on anti-black racism, kick off for the Urban Land Institute mentors program to meet my new mentee, discussion with a local municipality about how to build more complete suburbs, an ideas jam with our Emerging Leaders Network, checking in with the new organization I have been part of founding that is aiming to mitigate the economic impacts of Covid-19 on women. I am tired. I am questioning. I am frustrated,

BUT I WONT GIVE UP. There is too much at stake.

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