Earlier today, the United States of America will complete the transition of power from one White House to another.
President Biden and Vice President Harris will get to work straightaway, with 17 executive orders to be signed starting after 5 PM today.
Many of those executive orders are directly relevant to the health and human services sector we have the privilege of serving: From an extension of the federal eviction and foreclosure moratoriums, to reversal of the Muslim Ban, to a series of measures advancing racial equity and preventing discrimination— there is much for which our sector has fought that is forthcoming in the hours and days and weeks ahead.
These actions are welcomed. And yet, we all know there is an astonishing amount of work to do, on so many fronts.
And we must act boldly, with urgency, and with intentionality.
The last ten months have exposed and exacerbated the inequities in our communities, and in our systems. Indeed, as Langston Hughes charged us, we must rededicate ourselves to making America the America we have not yet been but still can be.
The challenges ahead of us are daunting. But yes, my friends: We can do this.
On this morning, I cannot help but think of the late Maya Angelou, and her poem delivered on a different Inauguration Day. Her closing lines resonate with me today, and I hope they may resonate with you as well:
Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes, and into
Your brother’s face, your country
And say simply