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yolanda3When 2020 began, who could have ever imagined just where we’d be by July? With the global pandemic, our lives have taken quite a turn. While the effects of COVID-19 have been horrific all around the world, the infection rate has worsened in my country. Without clear and decisive leadership using actual science and making sure every citizen has access to personal protective equipment and accurate testing, there is very little chance that the infection rate will slow down any time soon.

On top of that, some police officers have felt empowered to use their authority to oppress, harass, and kill Black and Brown people. When four police officers killed George Floyd, it was only one of the latest cases to inspire a global movement for racial justice. But it’s not just police officers who feel they have the right to detain, harm, or kill people. A White father and son team shot and killed Ahmaud Arbery and were filmed by a friend doing it. Ahmaud was jogging while Black. Thank God they are all being charged with murder. Protests for justice, for George, Ahmaud, Breonna, Tony, and so many others are still happening every day in major cities across America and around the world! This feels like a real moment for change. I pray that it is.

People deal with these serious issues every day, and they’re just getting more attention now. I’m glad that there was such a groundswell during Pride month in June, because the first Pride commemorated a protest and uprising for justice, too. Each year for the last 15 or more, we Kinship members in the Maryland, DC, and Virginia areas have come together to remember that history and participate in the Capital Pride Parade. Each year folks with an Adventist background come up to us, overjoyed to see others just like them!

But, with the pandemic, Pride events have all been canceled. And with the uprising and so much grief across our community, it felt hard to celebrate as we usually do. So I’m glad that we were able to host Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International’s very first virtual Kinship Pride Parade! For the very first time, Kinship members in more than 99 countries could celebrate our community all together.

If you missed the live showing of the parade, you can still view it: just click this link:

As my dear friend Rom Wilder said after she watched it, “Beautiful! Fabulous, welcoming, diverse!” I couldn’t agree more. Seeing our community—people from every culture and social group—celebrating safely and without fear brought tears to my eyes. Thank you all for being you!

Let’s make this a new tradition for Kinship. Let’s have a virtual Kinship Pride Parade every year!

Yolanda Elliott
SDA Kinship Int., Inc.