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Contemplating Your Future Role

Contemplating Your Future Role

Friday, May 7, 2021

I hope all of you are maintaining good health and contemplating your future role in reimaging our communities in New Jersey.

I had the privilege of taking my first trip in fifteen months after completing my COVID-19 vaccination series. I chose as my first venture out to go home to the beautiful island of Puerto Rico to revel in its beauty and share the experience with a group of vaccinated friends and family.

While I still practiced and will continue to practice all of the CDC guidelines of wearing a mask and social distancing, I felt that I could breathe again at a level that I will never take for granted again.

This time away was not a typical vacation, it was an opportunity to reflect on my blessings for surviving one of the most challenging times I have ever experienced in my personal and professional life.

While like many of you I suffered the loss of close friends, colleagues and relatives in this pandemic, I realize that I am still here for a reason and must do my part to make a difference. This respite has been both a lifesaving and reaffirming experience for me.

I hope all of you take the opportunity to escape or reconnect with family now that we have this liberating vaccine available to us. Now more than ever, we must make self-care a priority in order to be reenergized for the hard work that lies before us.

As philanthropists we need to examine our role in this post -pandemic frontier as change agents for a society that will create new opportunities for the underserved and marginalized members in our communities. As we chart this path, we must take the opportunity to optimize our collective power by convening and collaborating with other key stakeholders in order to eliminate systemic racism and drive our work through an equity lens for greater impact on the lives of all who have been denied the privilege.

CNJG pledges to its membership that 2021, will be a year where we forge ahead with equity centered activities and productions as the principal goal for your association.

The upcoming conference on the future of work launches an opportunity to explore, discuss and take action on how philanthropy can play a role in bringing equity to the ultimate equalizer in society: the opportunity to thrive through work.

We invite all of our members to register for this unprecedented event and begin the journey to reimagine the future of work.

We like to thank the sponsors who have committed to this program to date: PSEG – Signature Sponsor, Citi – Connector Sponsor, and NJM Insurance Group with a special donation.

There are still opportunities to invest in this conference as sponsors so we hope you will give it serious consideration.


Maria Vizcarrondo, President and CEO
Council of New Jersey Grantmakers