NBA Pauses Operations for Week of Reflection and Care, June 15 – 19

During the week of June 15–19, the National Benevolent Association will pause all staff operations and programs. For this week, the NBA will not be hosting any events nor will we be meeting with leaders of peer groups and various ministry partner organizations. Our staff will refrain from responding to emails and we will be silent on our NBA social media accounts.

Culture and Context – There Is No Return to Normal

NBA President and CEO, Mark D. Anderson, recently shared at a spring meeting of the NBA Board of Trustees, “We acknowledge that there is no ‘normal’ for us to return to.  In the past 10 weeks, it is important to name that our staff, in particular our colleagues of color, have with deep courage and continued persistence made the daily work reaching out to partners, preparing resources, working with grantees, and ensuring that people’s stories and experiences are validated.  And, all of this in the midst of living through their own traumas related to COVID-19 and national and local acts of racism and violence. As NBA, we hear and understand the sorrows of our staff and ministry partners. We have heard the honest reflections of how staff are—both physically and spiritually—fatigued, and still addressing the ongoing uncertainties in the midst of a global health pandemic and the righteous unrest of communities across the U.S. who lament the structural racism that results in police brutality against Black people.”

Beginning in 2019, the NBA has been working with a set of consultants and facilitators with expertise in areas of anti-oppression and racial equity. As the NBA, our commitment is to bring to light how we are complicit in maintaining unhealthy systems of discrimination and oppression. As a general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we actively support and partner with the Disciples Church in our denominational efforts to be an anti-racist and pro-reconciling church, struggling to dismantle racist structures and discriminatory practices.

We understand NBA’s ability to take this operational pause is an example of our privilege as an institution. Yet, NBA is deeply committed to our mission and vision of creating communities of compassion and care for the well-being of all humanity. We invite other organizations to consider what ways you can imagine offering respite, care, and time to reflect for your community and staff.

When we return, we look forward to working together on issues of justice and equity for all of God’s beloved community.