Over the past few years, I have made a concerted effort to try at least once a week to take a moment and remember all the things for which I am thankful… two wonderful children, great health (so far), a career I love, wonderful friends, amazing colleagues, and the opportunity to be an active participant at some level in important public debates.
Though I think it is critical to remember the things for which I am thankful throughout the calendar year, at this time many of us are engaged in a collective effort to reflect on who we are, what we have, and for what we are thankful.
So I want to take advantage of this moment to say thank you to the many, many people who inspire me every single day. Many of these people cross several of the categories below so for that and other reasons, I will not name persons or organizations specifically.
Thank you to the staff of RH Reality Check. I am incredibly lucky to work with a group of people who are extraordinarily smart, dedicated, and hard-working. They bring it each and every day and work long hours to produce what has become an award-winning publication, one that this year was named number six in the top 25 reproductive justice organizations in the United States. It would have been impossible for me to understand just how much work it takes to produce what we do every day until I was involved in doing it myself… and it is a huge task involving everything from responding on the spot to news, commissioning articles, reviewing and editing, and fact-checking the best content we can produce from among more than 30 paid writers, to choosing images that balance various needs, to ensuring that we provide space for various voices and viewpoints, to making sure our work is shared through social media. It’s hard to describe to others how much work this takes, but it is deeply appreciated and I thank them for their devotion to the health and rights of all persons.
Thank you to RH Reality Check‘s funders. I will not name them all here as it would be impossible, but we are deeply, deeply grateful for the tremendous support we receive from private foundations both large and small, as well as from the literally hundreds of individuals who have contributed to our work in amounts from $5.00 to $1000.00 over the course of this year. Thank you for your belief in and support of our work. We seek to make you proud of your investments in us. A very, very special thanks to those who have helped guide us in fundraising and have provided authentic and trusted guidance and input. You know who you are and you know we could not be here without you.
Thank you to the RHRC board of directors: Our board is made up of tremendously dedicated long-time leaders in their field who not only believed in what we could be and where we could go, but who also use their talents and their resources to help us get there.
Thank you to the many contract writers and freelancers who have contributed fabulous work to RHRC this past year, who have borne with us through editing and fact-checking and redrafting and positioning, and who have contributed their very best to the goals of providing evidence-based news, analysis, commentary, and investigative research on a daily basis.
Thank you to the heroic, brave, and dedicated professionals who, despite being the target of constant harassment, legally, financially, and physically, nonetheless work every day to provide sexual and reproductive health care, including safe abortion care, to people in need. You all truly are heroes and you are appreciated much more than you can ever guess.
Thank you to colleagues across the progressive community, whether they be working directly in reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations, or in our partner organizations seeking to ensure that people are paid fairly, can exercise their rights to vote, have access to food, housing, health care, and legal rights, and who work in other ways far too numerous to mention to try to make this country a model of its best self and who work selflessly and tirelessly in the interest of building an equitable world. Thank you all for your enduring inspiration, dedication, vision, and the many, countless things you have taught me. On my worst days, I look to you for the motivation to go the next step.
Thank you to the many people in the reproductive and social justice movements, women of color, Latinas, red-state activists, GLBT activists, progressive religious leaders, and others who often must fight harder than others to be heard and to exercise their rights and who do so while facing unrelenting discrimination. Thank you to the progressive leaders challenging women’s rights movements to evolve more quickly and to be more representative. Thank you for teaching me, thank you for debating me, thank you for challenging and inspiring me. Thank you for forgiving me when I am wrong.
Thank you also to those women political leaders—whether they are in the states or the U.S. Congress—who are stepping up and stepping out to push a truly progressive agenda.
And finally, thank you to our readers, you, the person who now has come to the end of this letter, for your support, dedication, and interest in these issues, and for the fights you wage each and every day to support women, at home, in your communities, in your state, and nationally. Without you, we would not be here.
I am deeply grateful for all of you. And together I am deeply hopeful and optimistic that we will change the world.