Does the Past Author the Future?

JP President and CEO Chastity Lord suggests that, after an aggressive few years, planning the future will mean revisiting the past.

It’s a powerful question. This year JP turns 25, and like all great movements, we believe progress requires that we honor our history — the good, challenging, and beautiful. We have witnessed the beauty of a growing JP community, of JP moms and alumni fulfilling their dreams.

The past few years have been aggressive, and there is a desire to forget, to move forward. However, in order to do that, we must retrace our steps. There are no shortcuts: the path forward winds through the days gone by. We did what was necessary and emerged stronger.

Now, like many of you, JP is in planning mode, outlining the year ahead. We are planting seeds to foster and cultivate opportunities for the 1,000-plus JP moms and children in pursuit of economic mobility. At times, JP’s mission feels audacious and simultaneously fragile, held together by a staunch belief that empowered moms are the future.

More than ever, it’s tempting to forget the beautiful as we reflect on the loss, confusion, and violence of the past few weeks. The path forward is unclear but promising, requiring us to be students of history. To move forward, we must walk through the yesterdays — the good, challenging, and beautiful.

Chastity Lord is the President and CEO of Jeremiah Program.

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