The Year Of Intersectionality

A Tree Does Not a Forest Make
– Yoruba Proverb

As the saying goes, sometimes we don’t see the forest for the trees. As humans, the small issues, tasks, actions, and priorities of the moment take all of our attention. We focus to be sure we have each detail in hand, all the seeds planted that we will need for the future. But sometimes, keeping our eyes on the future forest we are planting can be a challenge.

Each year, as SWR starts the work to do our yearly reporting and planning to celebrate the year that was, we are afforded a few moments to pull back and look at the beautiful forest that we are helping to grow. It is becoming increasingly apparent thatthe impact of each action is not isolated to one impact area.  The interconnectedness of our world, of social movements, or the changes we see happening all around us is the fertile ground that is needed for a better future.

As a region that is focused on data, innovation, and impact, the numbers are often the thing that is driving us SWR is no exception. We strongly believe in the importance of measurement, that management and action comes from knowledge. The work that we do in reducing our climate impacts in a variety of ways must be driven by the reality of the data and actions must address these. To that end, we design all our work around data-driven decision making. The data is the thing that helps ensure we are growing in the right direction.

This year, our Year End Report has lots of data points for you. Each story, each action, each and every graph brings more information. And each of these are critically important. At the same time, we encourage you to consider pulling back a little, to see the bigger picture. Look not only at the individual accomplishments, actions, and commitments that have been made in our various programs, and with our vast network. Look also at the ways that we are all together putting down the roots that grow the forest.

While it is the metaphorical trees that hold our daily attention, join us in taking a moment to step back and look at the forest we are all planting and tending together. Think about the current community and future generations that we are growing this future for. Every trunk, branch, and leaf together grows towards a future that is kinder, offers support and comfort, and builds to stronger roots for those yet to come.

“A society grows great when old men plant
trees in whose shade they shall never sit.” —
Greek Proverb.

Tova Davidson
Executive Director

Barry Colbert Ph.D.
Board Chair