The Blue Ridge Institute has seen nearly a century’s worth of humanity’s best and humanity’s worst. Blue Ridgers have been there in their communities to help pick up the pieces after nature has displayed its awesome power, and left destroyed lives in its wake. Through it all Ridgers have remained steady presences. Through the Great Depression. Through World War II. Through the Korean War. Through the turbulence of the 60s, stagnation in the 70s, rising inequality in the 80s and 90s. This millennium has given us 9/11, the neverending wars in the Middle East, the Great Recession and our current circumstances, where multiple and seemingly everlasting crises have spawned new words like ‘permacrises.’

Through it all Ridgers have been bulwarks against despair, loving presences when it seemed the world was indifferent to the plights of those forgotten and those abused.

I’m thankful for the Ridger community. And a community it is. We’ve recently re-opened the blog space on the BRI website and on it you will find wisdom from your Ridger community. Read (or re-read) Sara Faircloth’s post where she provides personal testimony to the power of the BRI community, as a “place where the “cobbler’s children” can be cared for and nurtured, be they young or old, member or BRIG, or little BRIG’s, or even the light and sound guy.” Or visit again one of Danielle Rottenberg’s posts, perhaps this one, where she invites us to attend to our well-being, and helps us to identify the fiery mind. Among her several posts Grace Alfiero explores the difference between ownership and leadership in the nonprofit sector. Or visit this one, where Patrick Jinks reminds us that we get out of BRI what we put into BRI and asks the questions: What will the next chapter in BRI’s story be? What role will you play?

You do have a role to play, a crucial one. And I’m beyond grateful that you and I are a part of this great Ridger community.

—Dave Parker, Marketing Committee Chair