Dear partners and friends, holiday greetings from all of us at IDF! We hope this finds you healthy and safe as we turn the page on another year still in the grip of a global pandemic. Hopefully this time next year, Covid will be in our rearview mirror (or close anyway) but for the time being living with this unwanted guest for a bit longer is our shared project. As Arundhati Roy and others have described, the pandemic is indeed a portal revealing the deeper roots of many global crises that need our collective attention and urgency:

Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.

As we reflect back on 2021, we have felt the discomfort of being in this “portal” yet are grateful to be part of larger change happening in the world. We are filled with gratitude for the little bits of normalcy and human connection that have been slowly returning, eg. going back to our office and getting to meet in person with some grantee partners passing through Boston. We are grateful for all the ways we have been able to stay connected with partners near and far and continue to be in awe of the incredible steadfast care and resourcefulness of partners on the frontline who are working tirelessly in these very challenging times to alleviate human suffering and not give up when so much progress on so many fronts has been set back by this pandemic and other global challenges. 

Change is in the air everywhere, here too at IDF. We were sad to say goodbye to Lisa Jackson, who is moving onto another chapter in her incredible career. We are so grateful for all the ways she has left her imprint on IDF over the past four years and has spoken into the larger ecosystem of philanthropic and social change we operate in. We are adapting and settling in with a smaller team and are busily working on a new set of strategy conversations as we look forward to the next chapter ahead.

On behalf of all of us at IDF, may you experience the peace of this holiday season as you embrace the uncertainties of change around you.

May our hearts continue to expand and grow and remain open and kind as we look ahead to 2022 and discern ways to lean in and tend to the needs and crises around us asking something of each of us.

May you find some hidden joy this upcoming year conspiring together for the better world we all seek.

Warm wishes for a blessed holiday season,

Emily & Ross

PS: In the spirit of rest and rejuvenation, the IDF offices will be closed Dec 27 – Dec 31. If you need anything before the end of the year, please reach out to your program partner within the next two weeks. Otherwise, we’ll be back in touch on Jan 3.