This year, it was hard to write a Thanksgiving message to you, the members of the NAACP San Diego Branch, because of all the challenges, losses and chaos we have all experienced in our lives. We have seen a pandemic that has infected over 12 million people just in the United States alone. This pandemic has led to the deaths of over 250,000 Americans, with the death rate approaching nearly 2000 per day. Sadly, the impacts of the coronavirus have disproportionately affected black/African-American and brown communities. This pandemic has shined a harsh light on the inequities in access to healthcare and the tools needed to fully participate in distance learning. We have seen the education of our children disrupted in ways that affect their learning and their social and emotional well-being. Yet on Thursday, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving.
Amid all this truly awful news, we have seen stories of courageous behavior and examples of the remarkable spirit that enables so many people to rise up and confront and conquer the visible and invisible forces threatening our well-being and progress. Every day, our friends and neighbors provide medical care to those of us who have become ill, stand for long hours making sure we are fed, respond to our calls for assistance and deliver our mail. There are countless other examples of this selfless service to our communities. I join with others who have benefited from their essential service in giving thanks to their dedicated service to our well-being.
Recently, we received news that researchers and scientists worldwide have developed and are close to releasing vaccines against COVID-19. I join an anxious world in thanking the individuals who have brought us hope for a healthier life. I join others in hoping the new year will bring us effective vaccines to reduce the threat of death and serious disability from COVID-19.
I am especially thankful for the love and support from my family. I’m sure you also feel the same. As a way of returning that love and support, I work to make sure their lives have meaning and a bright future. We can all join together in being thankful for the support we get from our families, friends and those we join together with to share our faith.
I am also very thankful for the opportunity the members of the NAACP San Diego Branch have given me to help lead this organization in its fight for civil rights, equity and equal justice for all of us here in the San Diego region.
Happy Thanksgiving and may you have a blessed future.