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Dear Friends of the Headington Institute,
I confess that I chose to watch the Green Bay Packers football game last Sunday instead of the presidential debates. As a Wisconsin native, my love for the Packers was a strong motivator. But, I’m also frustrated and impatient with this campaign, like many of you. The issues that matter most today are often overshadowed by rhetoric that seems off-track. So, watching the game with my boys was a good choice. At least it didn’t raise my blood pressure.
Yet, escape and distraction don’t work for long. I am increasingly troubled by the rising violence, increased nationalism, and vitriolic tone of politicians here and abroad. The most vulnerable among us are often left to fend for themselves without the international cooperative efforts needed to help their plight. And, those emergency responders who serve these disaster victims and refugees are far down the food chain, receiving little support for their important work. What does the future hold, if this trend continues?
Despite our efforts over the past 16 years, the need for our services is outpacing our impact. Many emergency responders and humanitarian aid workers have not yet had access to our expertise in promoting personal, team, and family resilience and trauma recovery. They remain outside our reach. That must change. They need our services and resources to thrive and remain on the job. Growing at our typical rate of 5-10% per year will not get the job done. Who knew that disaster management and emergency response would become major growth industries? We do now, and it’s time for a bigger vision.
In the coming months, we will be sharing a bolder plan for achieving our stated vision: “One day, all humanitarian workers and emergency responders will have the personal skills, social support, organizational resources, and public interested needed to maintain their wellbeing and thrive in their work.” This will include a description of what we will do, how we will do it, and how it will be staffed and funded. Please let me know if you’d like to join in this effort. We welcome your help.
The presidential candidates got one thing right: it looks like there will be even more terrorist attacks and humanitarian emergencies in the future. Let’s work together to be a bigger part of the answer to this challenge.
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