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Field Notes

April 2021 Newsletter

Erin Rodriguez
April 19, 2021

In March of 2020 when the world was thrust into operating in a pandemic, the leadership team of Root Cause set 4 priorities: The wellbeing of our team, keeping our projects on track and also adapting to meet the current needs of our clients and partners,  careful management of our resources to help us survive as an organization, and finding a way to be of service in our community and beyond.

We did not know what was ahead, but these 4 simple priorities helped us hold our center and know what was called for in each moment. One of Adrienne Maree Brown’s principles of Emergent Strategy is “trust the people and the people will be trustworthy,” and this could not have been more true of our Root Cause team as they juggled every curveball social distancing could offer up (shout out to the parents!) Our team has individually experienced  a lot of grief and uncertainty this year, mixed with the joys of life that come, pandemic or not, like engagements, grandbabies entering the world, and amazing academic opportunities.  We suffered, and continue to, with anger, sadness, and big questions of what our role might be in addressing the further unveiling of racial injustice, intolerance, and bigotry and tried to make room for every person to cope in the ways they needed to. We held each other close (from a distance, of course!) and did our best to give space and time when that was the best possible offering.

In our April newsletter, we shared some of the best work this team of humans, caring for themselves, their families and friends, our clients and each other were able to do in this unprecedented year. In it, you will learn how programs adapted all year long to meet the needs of their communities and the part we played to help them do that.

We learned a lot about the limitations of virtual communication and also its possibilities. As vaccines allow us to come back together, many of our new practices will stay with us because they work.

What pandemic adaptations have your organizations adopted, and are they here to stay? Let us know by sharing and then tagging us on social media on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Here’s to adaptability and trust.



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