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With gratitude for your company

Here in Rhode Island, we’ve entered phase 3 of reopening. While nothing feels normal, we are in a very different place from the dark days of March when I began the Coronacast

This series was an attempt to connect with thoughtful, courageous people who were finding their own paths through an unprecedented time. I needed help in making meaning of the pandemic experience. Almost four months later, I can say that these 26 conversations kept me connected at times when I felt very alone, challenged me to think about things that were not visible or comfortable to me, and made me cry with grief and gratitude. When I look back across these short interviews, I’m struck by how each one reflects an individual perspective at a particular moment and also fits into a bigger picture of human experience. 

To each and every person who made space to talk with me, to be tender, to share a personal story or glimpse into their life’s work, thank you. It is my belief that we are strongest when we are vulnerable. You have led the way for me in doing so.  

Talking with and listening to other people is a good place to start, in any situation. Parker Palmer talks about our responsibility to “hear people into deeper speech” — which seems like a worthy goal. Right now, there are urgent conversations our community needs to have about race, oppression, history, access, priorities, and opportunity. We have to talk about these things so that we can work together for equity and justice. We are lucky to have many strong voices leading those discussions, and I’m committed to supporting them.

So for now, I’m marking an end to the Coronacast. I might be back for a few more special conversations, but mostly I think it’s time to close this version of this chapter. I hope you will listen to each and every one of these 26 brave, funny, generous people and share their words.

With gratitude for your company,

Jessica

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