I Don’t Know What to Say

A Message from Bill Abrams, President, to Trickle Up staff, board and friends

Dear colleagues,

I don’t know what to say.

But I feel the need to say something to you, dear colleagues.

We are living in a moment of unprecedented turmoil and uncertainty.  The coronavirus pandemic.  A typhoon in India and Bangladesh that is another example, not that more are needed, of the climate crisis.  Growing insecurity in West Africa.  Predictions of alarming increases in poverty and hunger.  Plus the steady, silent stream of economic, racial, social and other injustices that people around the world face every day, uncovered by the news but dominating the lives of those who are affected.

And now, triggered by the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, people in cities across the US are taking to the streets to voice their anger, exhaustion, and demand for deep systemic change, both in our systems and in our hearts.  In my 67 years on the planet, I have seen a lot of traumatic national and global events, but I can’t recall a time quite like this.

Frankly, I was unsure whether to write to you at all today.  You don’t need me to tell you what to think or to add to the many voices promoting their opinions and agendas through the media and Internet.

What I do want to say, however, is to thank each of you for having chosen Trickle Up and the work we do.  In our modest way, against the gigantic challenges of poverty and injustice, we make a positive difference in the lives of so many people.  Over the last several days, as my nights have been disrupted by the sounds of sirens and police helicopters here in New York, I have struggled at times to find my way to optimism, which is place I try to occupy every day.

Hopelessness (how will this end?) and hopefulness (maybe now real change will emerge!) wrestle with each other.

To lift myself up, I think of all of you. I summon up a mental image of our recent Zoom meetings, when I can see and hear each of you very clearly.  Your faces, words, and determination give me courage and hope, helping to find my way back to optimism.  Thank you.

I hope that you and your loved ones remain safe and that each of takes pride and hope from the work that you have chosen to do.


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    Bill Abrams became Trickle Up’s President in 2005, following a career as a senior executive and journalist for The New York Times, ABC News, and The Wall Street Journal. Prior to Trickle Up, Mr. Abrams served as President of New York Times Television, which produced documentaries and current affairs programs for cable and public television; […]