Stewards Rising

As our country experiences the pain—and possibilities—now roiling America, we at The Rippel Foundation hear the call for swift, structural change across the entire system that shapes health and well-being. Clearly, any meaningful change must begin by listening, really listening, to those who rightly assert that Black lives matter. Our work with stewards to transform America’s system for health and well-being holds justice as an essential element in any successful system change.

We condemn racism in all forms. The brutality that suffocated George Floyd is also apparent in the suffocating health effects of residential segregation, wealth inequality, food insecurity, underfunded schools, inadequate health care, and a long list of everyday injustices that together compromise Black lives and eclipse our country’s full potential to survive and thrive together.

Otto Scharmer famously observed that, “as systems collapse, people rise.” This single dynamic explains how people with a just cause can transform failing systems for the better. Everything we do at Rippel centers on working with system stewards as they expand the conditions that everyone needs to survive and thrive. Racism does the opposite. It is a toxic force that destroys Black lives and dehumanizes us all.

While some dismiss individual acts of violence as isolated incidents, an ABC News poll conducted last week found that 74% of Americans see the killing of George Floyd as a sign of a broader problem. This broadened awareness is up more than 30 points since 2014: a hopeful shift suggesting that the vast majority of Americans are thinking like system stewards and may be willing to act for lasting system change.

At Rippel, we will do our part by:

  • Relentlessly continuing our efforts to create an equitable system for health and well-being now: not waiting to convince skeptics about the need for swift change.
  • Understanding the destructive legacies of racism and working together with system stewards to create new legacies where everyone in America can reach their full potential for health and well-being.
  • Rejecting false narratives that portray Black people as somehow different and their lives as less worthy. Instead, we join with casemaking expert Tiffany Manuel and others to plant a new narrative that, “our fates are intertwined; our health and wellbeing depend on the health and wellbeing of many who may not even look like us; and the diversity of our cultures and skin tones is a cause for celebration, not a reason to destroy each other!”
  • Standing in solidarity with those who experience racism and those who work to end it. Together, we will create a new reality rooted in shared humanity and shared system stewardship.