As it has always been, the New Year is a time for reflecting back and looking forward. 2020 was an extraordinarily difficult year for our country, our clients, and ourselves. Between the pandemic, recession, divisive rhetoric, police brutality, and racial protests, all of which highlight systemic inequities, watching the news for the past year in the isolation of our homes has drummed a steady beat of new and old trauma for us all. To respond to these inequities, RAMS has initiated an array of activities and programs like the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force led by Dennielle Kronenberg (Program Director of the RAMS Wellness Centers Program) and the Street Crisis Outreach, a partnership between RAMS Peer Division and SFDPH to reroute mental health-related 911 calls.
As we entered 2021, we looked forward to new leadership, new social policies, and new vaccines that presented better prospects for the year ahead. So, undoubtedly, it has been deeply disappointing to witness the armed insurgency in the Capitol Building less than a week into 2021.
Without reservation, RAMS denounces the egregious violence perpetrated in DC and all language intended to incite it. Comparisons between how the day unfolded between this incident and BLM protests last summer also highlight how this, too, is a racial justice issue. Those of us deeply affected by systemic inequities highlighted in 2020 have witnessed the storming of the Capitol with renewed pain.
As we observe the upcoming holiday on January 18 celebrating Martin Luther King Jr., many of us will be reflecting on the current and ongoing challenges that we still face, and the work that must still be done. RAMS is thankful for its staff and all of the hard and compassionate work they do for our communities. The empathy with which our teams serve clients and support each other strengthens us all. This gives ample reason for hope for 2021.