The state of the world impacts the state of our country, impacts our communities and impacts our personal relationships and well-being. When I began my term as President, I saw and felt the impact of the permacrisis of the last few years on our members and our communities. We were forever changed by the shared experience of going through something incredibly hard as a society. There was, and continues to be, a deep restructuring of priorities and almost a molting of our previous selves - a metamorphosis of our lives.
Over my term, I have been thinking about the last pillar of our strategic plan, “Empowering Our Communities,” in which we aim to build communities of collaboration, cohesion, and impact that reach across the organization and beyond to foster a culture of belonging and trust. And as we work together towards this goal, it reminds me of a quote in Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown, “we would understand that the strength of our movement is in the strength of our relationships, which could only be measured by their depth.” In thinking to the future, I am encouraged by the intentionality for inclusion that focuses on developing and supporting a culture of belonging in our communities. This then creates a foundation that supports a greater depth of relationships that can then focus on a core set of expectations and a commitment to a shared goal of integrating genetics and genomics into healthcare for all.
This year the NSGC Annual Conference was the most attended of all time. With 2,121 attendees in Nashville and 1,298 joining us virtually, the depth of the content and opportunities for connecting in community were greater than ever before. Our SIG Task Force is beginning to hone their recommendations and is working with a small group of board members in a collaborative approach to change our internal communities. Committees are holding their final meetings to sum up the year and will begin orientation, onboarding and creating those foundational relationships for 2023 to drive our movement forward. We also came together this year with our North American Genetic Counseling Organizations to adopt a Statement of Collaboration focused on accountability for J.E.D.I., and we have taken key findings from a recently released Human Genetics & Genomics Workforce Survey Report to foster community with other genetics organizations, look at current gaps and future opportunities to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
In big ways and small, I have seen NSGC members and staff come together to dedicate time, energy, and thought to finding better, stronger, and more sustainable ways to foster community and change. Thank you for being a part of this metamorphosis, the deep rethinking of our organization, and being on this journey with me in 2022. I summarize this year in a quote by Octavia Butler, “All that you touch, you change. All that you change, changes you. The only lasting truth is change.”
As we go into 2023, I hope one of my parting gifts is an organization that is a little more efficient, a tad bit more sustainable, and that there are a set of charges for the organization that are prioritized and strategic so as to leave space for the expected and unexpected.
Here’s to change, showing up, and Lizzo, “I’m not the girl I was or used to be, but we might have left NSGC a little better.”