MACCA President 2020
“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”
I struggled this week to write a message that would “appropriately” represent who we are as an organization. I struggled this week to understand the restless nightmares experienced, waking gasping for air. I would wake relieved that I could breathe, but then felt the weight that George Floyd could no longer catch his breath. But it wasn’t just George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, David McAtee, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Justin Howell and so many others that have not been named. The inalienable right to breathe has been stolen from so many who have been afraid to breathe, to flinch, to let their guard down as they are judged first by the color of their skin.
What we are challenged by are those who stand by, and watch, and do nothing. It isn’t just the three policemen that watched as their partner stopped the life of a human being. It is the family member, the neighbor and the colleague who shake their heads in disgust and turn away, not seeing their apathy as part of the problem. We are reminded of the courage it took for the teenage girl that instinctively recorded evidence of this fatal interlude because she knew not everyone would believe what happened. A testimony that action speaks louder than words. We do not condone violence of any type, but to remain quiet, disengaged, and without voice is a crime.
As social service providers, social justice is part of our charge. But social justice requires action. We must look in the mirror and challenge our own implicit bias, and the degrees of privilege that we hold dear. As career development professionals we need to be aware of the conditions under which people, particularly the Black community, are working and living and being educated, whether they have opportunities for advancement or earn a living wage, and whether these conditions of work are equitable across race.
We urge you, as citizens and voters, to make your voice known; call out your politicians and neighbors and relatives; get out and demonstrate (with social distancing); call/write your local, state, or federal representative. You may not participate in a demonstration but you can support in so many other ways. We can no longer afford, for the sake of our democracy and society, to be so complicit.
In the wake of confusion and uncertainty of the COVID-19, it's easy to feel a challenge to our sense of security and hope. However, we have the responsibility to act wisely and not recklessly. Tasked to practice social distancing to avoid exposure, as counselors, we choose not to practice social isolation. It is in the interaction with others that we grow.
MACCA's mission has always enveloped the spirit of community, providing a specialized, supportive, and diverse organization where career professionals in the Middle Atlantic States can enhance the quality of their skills while networking and collaborating with others in the field.
As we commemorate MACCA's 50th year, we celebrate that MACCA has remained steadfast in its character, warmth, and vision to bring development professionals together with a mission to keep up with changes. It is with this career synergy that we invite our members - past and present - to look to their communities and be of service.
Our charge, at the start of the year, was "Forward Motion." Our resolve, is to celebrate our past and embrace the future. We persist and seize opportunities to make a difference in our communities. It is a time for us to reset, with self-care and consideration for others. We invite you to join us in online discussions through our social media sites. We also support the efforts of our affiliate organizations, as we embrace the possibility of growth in our approaches and our practices. We invite ALL our Career Development Professionals to share, their best practices, their challenges as well as their solutions.
We know that it is not the wishing away of challenges that make us strong, but the resolve to overcome the obstacles that make us stronger.
Join us in MACCA's Forward Motion.