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A Happier New Year: A Note From Our Executive Director

“Happy New Year!” may ring hollow for some of you this year. In light of the overwhelming  dourness of our political, cultural, and environmental condition, the sunny disposition of this banal greeting may come off as an affront. “Happy New Year? Are you kidding?”

If this is how you are feeling, let me cheer you up with some stories of community and hope: The Community Lovers Guide. Scroll through this website, and you will see a wonderful menagerie of ways people are coming together to create a world rooted in strong communities of place: Tool banks, community kitchens, pop-up stores, cooperatives, and more. Are you inspired yet?

You may feel that such localized and small-scale work cannot make a difference given what is happening at the national-level. I respectfully disagree. How we come together to shape the places where we live, such as the projects highlighted in the Community Lovers Guide, is the front line of our democracy. In fact, it is democracy.

It is in the ashes of our broken communities that swirl the whirlwinds of authoritarianism and tribalism threatening our democracy. Conversely, the forging of strong place-based communities is how we can regenerate a culture of collaboration and participation, modelling behavior on a local level that will carry upwards into our national politics.

We are hearing from our supporters that Pomegranate Center is one of the most transformational and effective organizations in this line of work. We are leveraging our 30 years of on-the-ground experience to teach and practice methods of community engagement based on principles of compassion, inclusiveness, and collaboration, building strong communities along the way. One community at the time, we are letting people take back control over their lives, inspiring hope, and building a more compassionate public life.

We hope you will join us on this journey. The beauty is that we don’t need anyone’s permission to begin. We can start right now.

This month’s newsletter offers a glimpse of how we are evolving our work to respond to these urgent times. Stay tuned for more, as we have a lot in store for this Happy New Year.