While difficult, this past year has given us a lifetime of opportunities to build our resilience muscle.
What is resilience?
Experts say resilient people have the three P’s – Perspective, a higher Purpose, and are ready to Pivot. The Tibetan Buddhist monk Pema Chodron challenges us to abandon hope to connect with the present moment. Consultants at McKinsey & Company encourage us to practice bounded optimism to ensure we can weather a crisis.
When I think of resilience, I think of JUST clients like Leti who embody the three P’s. From battling cancer to being without work for months, she rebounded from the pandemic stronger than ever. She could teach all of us a masterclass in resilience.
The pandemic is not over. Our issues of social justice have not gone away. We do not yet know the impact of 2020. Did it become a cultural and economic reset or an accelerant to the growing divide in the United States? Even before the pandemic, there were persistent systemic barriers keeping low-income communities from access to wealth-building opportunities.
JUST was founded in 2016 with a commitment to investing in those most excluded from opportunity. Since then, we have made over $7M in small loans to thousands of women like Leti. To create lasting wealth, we need to do more than just issue loans to ambitious women excluded from economic opportunities.
COVID has turned our high-touch, human program upside down and accelerated our evolution to build a more resilient organization. Rather than hope for a return to normal, we have spent the past 6 months reimagining a radically more scalable and impactful organization. Our bold new approach has been selected as one of five finalists for the $10M Lone Star Prize.
The evolution of JUST is rooted in two beliefs – 1) our clients deserve better and 2) they are capable of so much more. In our new vision, our clients will shift from being JUST leaders to JUST owners. We will make home ownership accessible alongside other transformational, inter-generational wealth-building opportunities.
We will chronicle this vision through our series, Closing the Gap. With bounded optimism, we do not hope, but rather know, that better days are on the horizon. And, it will take real, sustained work to create a just Texas. Join us on the journey.