A practice in gratitude: 5 things we’re thankful for in 2021.
I love that the first Jewish prayer of the day, if you practice, is Thank You. You say it right when you wake up, while still in bed in pjs.
As a parent who spends the pandemic worrying about family, friends, and neighbors, gratitude can easily be eclipsed by other feelings.
But I am grateful — for so many things. In my role as Chief Program Officer at Bend the Arc, I feel gratitude everyday for the staff, leaders, and supporters like you who show up to fight for justice.
As a practice in gratitude, our team made a list of five things we’re grateful for in 2021 — check out the list below. We hope it communicates our commitment, our hope, and our belief that, together, it is always possible to bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice.
Because in these dire times, your support mobilizes Jews and allies against fascism and antisemitism. Your support wins crucial legislation at the national, state, and local levels. When you give to Bend the Arc right now, your support makes change possible in 2022 and beyond.
1. Winning the Senate — and the chance to build a new future together.
January feels like a long time ago, but what we did together in Georgia meant Democratic control of the White House and both chambers of Congress. After kicking Trump and white nationalism out of the White House in 2020, we organized Jewish communities to mobilize Georgia voters for Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in January 2021.
Bend the Arc volunteers made over 100,000 calls and texts to Jewish voters in Georgia to drive support for Warnock and Ossoff safely, making progress on all our issues possible right when we needed it most.
2. When those who threaten our democracy are held accountable.
Some politicians show up to work to propose ideas for how to make our country better. Others sow fear, division, and bigotry to hold onto power, no matter the cost. The GOP has long stopped hiding their true colors — and we’re not letting them get away with it.
We successfully advocated for Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to be removed from House committees after she threatened colleagues with violence and promoted antisemitic conspiracy theories. And just weeks ago, we filed a formal ethics complaint against Rep. Lauren Boebert with our partners at Muslim Advocates after her violent anti-Muslim rhetoric, building momentum for further accountability.
3. The Build Back Better Act passed the House.
Thanks to united support from the Jewish community and the strong leadership of our progressive champions, the House passed the Build Back Better Act — generational legislation to transform our collective future. Can we say a big YES to paid leave and keeping immigrant families together?
I hope you were able to join with Bend the Arc and more than a dozen of our locally-led groups who have taken action at every turn of this legislative process to show up with our immigrant partners and fight for the most equitable bill.
This powerful work is only possible because of the generosity of people like you. When you donate to Bend the Arc, you join a community of thousands of Jews and allies who are powering our movement forward. Donate $18 today to ensure we have the resources to continue this work alongside our partners and allies in 2022.
4. Life-changing wins at the state and local level.
The Uprising for Black Lives in 2020 invited all of us to do more to address systemic racism and join together to build a country where Black people are safe, free, and thriving. All through 2021, Bend the Arc leaders across the country organized alongside partners to make these words real: Black Lives Matter.
In Memphis, Tennessee, Bend the Arc leaders worked closely with faith leaders, organizers, and people across the state to fight for Pervis Payne’s freedom. Pervis had been facing execution for 33 years, despite living with an intellectual disability and without key evidence in his case being tested for DNA. In November, Pervis was finally removed from death row — a direct result of years of organizing and massive public outcry. Today, Memphis leaders are still working alongside partners to make sure he is exonerated and returns home.
We’re grateful for you. Bend the Arc is where progressive American Jews join together to fight for justice and equality for all people. Everything we do is powered by our multiracial, intergenerational community of Jews and allies stretching across the country from Seattle to South Florida and everywhere in between. Everything is powered by you.
Each of us — whether we’re organizing our communities, learning and taking action Jewishly, or lobbying our members of Congress — believes something simple and necessary: this can be a country for every single person living here. This can be a country where everyone can thrive, no matter what we look like, how we pray, or where we come from. And we’re not going to stop until we make our vision real.
We don’t do this work because it’s easy — we do this work because we’re called to it, every day when we wake up — and your support makes it possible. Donate $18 or more today to power our movement forward in 2022 and beyond.
Thank you for all that you do,
Rachèl Laforest, Bend the Arc