As I look back on 2020, I feel a profound sense of relief wrapped in gratitude.
Our Alliance weathered the challenges of the year. With the help and support of partners, members, and even new supporters just learning about us, we were able to continue the important work of protecting clean water and uniting Alabamians around sound water policies. Challenge can show us where we need to do better and it certainly shows us where our strengths lie.
This is what happened at the Alabama Rivers Alliance in 2020.
We learned that our team and our programs are quickly adaptable. By successfully pivoting our existing programs, like Alabama Water Rally and the Southern Exposure Film Fellowship, to virtual and even creating a hugely successful new program, our weekly Water is Life Zoom Talk series, we didn’t miss a beat in informing and engaging the public about the work of our strong Alliance across Alabama.
By adjusting our travel budget to acquire new technology for remote communication, we continued to participate in state agency meetings and brought partners together when needed around important advocacy campaigns.
However, the events in our country — from the pandemic to the continued racial injustices –taught us that we must do better as an organization and as a statewide Alliance, in addressing issues of racial injustice and inequalities both within our organization and within our movement. When we viewed our work through that lens, many opportunities were right under our nose. From stepping up our work with diverse regional coalitions that are working at the intersection of climate, justice, and jobs to working with utilities to seek relief for low income customers from water shutoffs and debt caused by the pandemic to doing deeply personal anti-racism work within our staff, we accepted the challenges and committed to do the work it takes to be the change we want to see in the world.
Our 2020 Annual Report lays out our year in more detail. We could not have made it through this year so successfully without the steadfast support of partners, members and donors. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
We are looking forward to continued success and heightened momentum in 2021!