Like many people, we have watched, horrified (but not surprised), as events over the past few months have unfolded.

Whether we're talking about the events in Charlottesville that took place four weeks ago, or the 8-year old boy who was hung from a tree by some teens in New Hampshire just a couple of days ago, people, who are energized by hateful rhetoric, have been given permission to act on their most hateful ideology. And, to be frank, if you are surprised that these events are happening, then you have not been paying attention.  

Earlier this year, on January 20, 2017, 2nd Story issued a Statement of Solidarity. Everything we said then remains true today. We remain committed to the Craft of storytelling, as we believe that sharing and deeply listening to each other's personal stories opens the possibility of moving forward far beyond any exchange of ideas or opinions ever could.  

We remain committed to Inclusion, but find ourselves wondering: how tolerant are we meant to be of intolerance? My answer: We're Not. Claiming Inclusion as a value creates a bit of a paradox in that way, and as writer Robert Jones, Jr. said, "We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist."

We remain committed to employing our Courage, as stories do have the ability to create change, but only if we have the courage to tell them, and the courage to allow the telling and the hearing to change us. This is what is required of us, right now, in this moment, if we truly want to move the needle towards justice. 

The work of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion has no end point.  There is no box you can check off on a list: Check, now we're Diverse!  Check, now we're Inclusive!  Check, now it's all Equitable. It is a lifetimes-long journey, and success is rooted not in words, but in action.