This year at High Impact, our team is sharing words of inspiration with each other. At the end of 2023 we gave each staff member a frame with the same inspirational saying in it--and each month this year, a different staff member will select a new phrase to be shipped out and put in these frames for the new month. It's a simple way to connect us all from our headquarters in Albany to the home offices of our remote staff across the country.
The first phrase is this: Hopelessness never got anything done. It struck me as having two important applications to our work. First, the work we do is hard--and I’m not talking about the day-to-day work of underwriting or portfolio managing, I’m talking about the work of creating more just and equitable neighborhoods where everyone can thrive. In fact, at times it can be discouraging to think about how long the impact lending industry has been around, and how many problems persist today. But you know what? Despairing won’t do us any good. There’s no doubt that doing the next loan is a good thing. Taking the next step makes some progress. While I can’t guarantee that we’ll solve our country’s problems, I can guarantee that giving into hopelessness and doing nothing certainly won’t. So we keep pushing..
The other application for us is from the perspective of our neighbors that we are trying to help. If you grow up in an environment that exposes you daily to structural racism, failing schools, a lack of accessible job opportunities, and unaffordable housing, resorting to hopelessness is one logical response. And in that state, it becomes very hard to find those few opportunities that might exist, or believe in yourself, or, in short, get anything done to improve your situation. We want to build the affordable housing, create the excellent schools, and provide for job opportunities that can undo that--give hope where there is none. That’s critical work and can have such an impact on someone’s life. So once again--we keep pushing. We look forward to continuing to do what we can with you, our clients and partners, in 2024, all while also thinking about how to do more and do differently to make a bigger difference than we have already.