Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew.Arundhati Roy, 2020
There is a serious movement underway in America and around the world for well-being and justice. It is a vast movement of movements, and is far more extensive than any of us know.
This Springboard, created in just eight weeks, is an imperfect and evolving contribution to the wider work. The intent is to amplify, learn from, and join efforts among those who are already moving in similar directions. It does not seek to create a new kind of movement or any new organizing structure.
This movement is much older—and will extend far longer—than today’s legacy moment. Generations before us have delivered landmark achievements. Those legacies confer important benefits. Yet still, the vital conditions that our families and communities need are too often diminished and denied. How will actions today shape our legacies for generations to come?
There are many ways to create thriving communities, each fit to its own place and organizational context. In a country as vast and diverse as the US, progress requires working through a mosaic of cultures, corporate climates, big bureaucracies, and local circumstances—always reaching across boundaries to form relationships and combine spheres of influence. Through it all, we will use our differences as a strength, not a liability, to advance well-being and justice in a rapidly changing and fiercely contested world.
We will be tested again and again, and new crises will emerge. This Springboard is a modest attempt to help us shape a shared course of action for the disorienting day and years ahead. This will be hard, healthy work. It will test our resolve to live up to the original, unqualified commitments of America’s founders. It will test our willingness to leave the relative comfort of business as usual—even if that comfort is increasingly hard to find. It will test our ability to see through the illusion of separateness and embrace interdependence. Specifically, it will test whether we are serious about ending centuries of racism, sexism, economic inequity, and other forms of injustice to create a better future with all people and places thriving—no exceptions.
How could this Springboard inform new thinking and action in the months and years ahead? Amidst a spiraling crisis—fraught with hardship, violence, and partisan division—which actions will keep us away from calamity? Momentum for renewal is gathering force all around us. Witness, for example, just a few endeavors that are currently gaining traction:
- Braver Angels unites red and blue America to depolarize our politics and reawaken what it means to be American in our time;
- The Poor People’s Campaign rises with 140 million poor and struggling Americans to insist that no one is ignored, dismissed, or pushed to the margins;
- Active Minds lifts up the power of young people to speak openly about mental health, reduce stigma, and create hope out of tragedy.
- Color of Change and the Movement for Black Lives lift up the voices of Black, Brown, and all long-excluded people calling for justice.
More broadly, the Well-Being in the Nation (WIN) Network, enables stewards of all kinds to connect and cooperate as they expand the vital conditions we all need to thrive.
These endeavors—and countless others—are already bringing to life the renewal envisioned here. This document is not complete and never will be. There will always be new voices to hear and new legacies to question, as well as more pivotal moves and trend benders to surface. America’s movement for well-being and justice can never be codified in a single playbook. Yet, it can spring forward with great force and direction if we pursue our priorities, together, to make change happen where it counts.
That is why we assembled this Springboard: to help America draw from its immense reservoir of resilience and humanity to realize a future in which all people and places are thriving—no exceptions.