When I wrote my column for the Summer issue, at the end of April, 60,000 people had died from COVID-19 in the United States. It is now the end of July, and 90,000 more people have died. I dread the tidal wave of grief that is likely coming, as people succumb to disinformation and resist even simple precautions and as politicians continue to undermine public health experts. My heart breaks for our broken country.
Meanwhile, millions of people reacted to the horrific murder of George Floyd by joining protests against police brutality and affirming Black Lives Matter. Polls suggest that Americans have joined these protests in greater numbers than any prior protest movement, provoking everything from new legislation on policing to sometimes clumsy corporate slogans to the UUA’s support for defunding police (see page 6) to the federal government’s egregious deployment of paramilitary police in Portland, Oregon.
Will we emerge from this catastrophic year a more just society or an even more disastrously divided one? Our individual and collective choices have rarely mattered more.
I announced in the Summer issue that our publishing schedule is changing. This is the final issue of 2020 (Vol. 34, No. 3). In 2021, UU World will begin publishing two issues per year, in March and September, to help the UUA reduce expenses. We deeply appreciate the notes from readers who told us what the magazine means to them.
We welcome a new director of Communications at the UUA, Lisa Gregory, who is succeeding John Hurley, who retired after twenty-five years at the UUA in July. This fall the UUA begins work on a new strategic communications plan, including a process to define a new publishing mandate for the magazine. We look forward to finding new ways to serve the mission of the Association.