This Thursday, our country will join together in celebrating a national day of gratitude. Whether you have the opportunity to be surrounded by loved ones and good food, or are spending the day on your own, we join you in reflecting on all that 2016 has brought.
We recognize that this has been a hard year for many across our community of formerly incarcerated people (FIP) and those directly impacted by the criminal justice system, and beyond. Perhaps you will be observing the holidays while incarcerated, or without an incarcerated loved one by your side. Whether serving time on a wrongful conviction or paying the debt that a broken system has deemed necessary for a crime you did commit, we know how challenging incarceration is for both the person inside and the people they are forced to leave behind on the outside. Perhaps the election results did not leave you feeling like you have much to be proud of as an American this holiday season. Perhaps you are disheartened by racial injustice and that so much of our country does not view it as a needed point of change. Perhaps environmental protection and the treatment of our indigenous brothers and sisters brings you sadness, or anger. Perhaps you are fearful that our nation may soon reverse decades of progress, that true equality in our nation now seems further away and harder to achieve, that human rights recently deemed basic and necessary may be rescinded. Perhaps you are suffering more personal hardships and disappointments. We stand with you.
But we also work hard to stay focused on the positive. Here are some of the achievements that we have to be thankful for this year:
While we, too, find ourselves with many battles to fight and loses to mourn in 2016, we are incredibly grateful for the good that this year brought to us, to our community, to the country, and even to the world. We hope that you, too, find joy and success to celebrate this Thursday.