January 21, 2021 under Posts

Together we’re stronger – Blog by Rev. Derrick Harkins

Rev. Derrick Harkins, Director of Membership & Strategic Partnerships, FPWA

Few, if any, would disagree that the immense challenges facing human services agencies, organizations, and institutions have been unlike any in recent memory. The continuing crises of institutionalized racism, and systemic inequity, healthcare disparities, especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, housing insecurity, and broader economic instability, all demand that FPWA continues to expand the ways in which we work alongside the meaningful work being done by its 170+ member partners and beyond. FPWA, through the work of Membership and Strategic Partnerships, is committed to sustaining and expanding these critical efforts.

The challenges demand that FPWA continues to be an active voice in advocating for the just policies that must be part of confronting societal disparities and inequities. As so many providers have been asked to “do more with less,” part of that advocacy includes supporting human services workers and ensuring that nonprofits have the resources they need to continue to offer the highest quality programs and support their communities. The R.E.A.L. Equity Agenda to build a fair and just city for all New Yorkers is a key example of the work toward enduring change that will benefit those who have be disenfranchised and marginalized.

Scholar and anti-racist activist Ibram X. Kendi states that “Individual behaviors can shape the success of individuals. But policies determine the success of groups.”  

Because the work is challenging, it will be crucial to develop even greater alliances and partnerships to effectively reach common goals. The value of FPWA’s role as a convener of a network of organizations that provide and advocate for the broad range of human services is a core element for Membership and Strategic Partnerships.

With so many significant changes on the political landscape, both nationally and here in New York City, keeping up to date with the developing trends and information regarding meaningful data in the human services arena must also be an ongoing priority for FPWA in its relationships with members and the broader human services community.

In my faith tradition, I am often encouraged by the verse in Galatians that says:

 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

As this new year begins, it is a difficult time, yes, with significant challenges, but also with the hope and promise of the impact of your work, together, may we continue to “not grow weary” in doing good.