A Seismic Shift
Whenever the earth shakes under our feet, we Californians hope it’s not the beginning of the “big one.”
In the past two years, we all have experienced a seismic shift in our social and personal lives: the pandemic has led to the loss of many lives, caused much grief, unveiled social inequality and racism, and contributed to increased mental health challenges like depression, anxiety, and loneliness. In many of the institutions we work in, especially in healthcare, staff are burned out. Social distancing and digital and virtual communication have changed how we connect and how we teach. Amid these major shifts, we have also seen creative and flexible approaches to cope with these new challenges.
As spiritual care providers, psychotherapists, and educators we are in the midst of these changes and struggles. We have looked for old and new ways to be present and serve with compassion in this time of hurt. How do we most meaningfully respond to these new challenges? How can we make a difference in our hurting world? During earthquakes, we are trained, to drop, cover and hold on. It seems to me, that the social seismic shift we find ourselves in, calls for our ACPE community to take a moment to hold on and anchor ourselves.
The Foundation Board came together in January of this year to anchor our work and chart a new direction. We decided to prioritize projects and educational support for students from traditionally underrepresented communities and move the needle towards justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Right now, our ACPE community is engaging in such an anchoring process. We are taking stock of the events of the last years, what they mean for our work and how we can respond. This strategic planning process is the work of all members, not just a few committees. The different committees and commissions are for sure part of it. But we need all members to join in. In the next weeks and months, you have opportunities to express your views and perspectives about the direction ACPE will take in the next few years. You will be invited to share your feedback in two different surveys. We hope to hear from you and are grateful for your help in this important reflection and dialogue.