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GBIO Listening Campaign 2021

By Anne Licciardello

“None of us alone is as strong as all of us together,” Imam Taymullah.


On Tuesday, March 16, over 1,400 people, with over 102 from TI, participated remotely in GBIO’s Refounding and Re-Launch. That night, 19 new member organizations officially joined the 40 prior members as we stood together for change. The hallmark GBIO roll call, in which each member institution stands and commits to working for justice included our own Rabbi Slipakoff speaking of peace and love from our sanctuary.  Moving in its sincerity and energy, the roll call was a wonderful glimpse into the diversity that will give GBIO even more power going forward.  Watch it here!


There is so much that needs to be repaired in our world. Right in our own corner, we and our neighbors may be struggling to find affordable safe housing, accessible health care, or enough to eat. We may live in fear of racist hatred or anti-semitism or both. At times we feel that our own public institutions have turned their backs on us. Whether we personally suffer these frightening  indignities or not, we are angry that things aren’t right, but when we feel small and alone, we wait every few years for the chance to vote and hope that things will get better.


Does this sound familiar? I had long felt this way and a 2020 of a mishandled pandemic that laid bare the inequities with which we live, followed by the public murder of George Floyd, could have been just too much to handle. Like so many at TI, though, I replace helplessness with empowerment through GBIO. In the midst of the misery of the past year, we together made real change, bringing new strong police accountability laws, savings on prescription drugs, and improved access to mental health care to our community. What joy and satisfaction in such a hard year!


Now, the new, larger, and more diverse GBIO is ready to begin anew.


So what is our next step? Now we listen to each other as we share our own stories of injustice and of fear for our society, and from this collective concern will come the new legislative campaign. When we weigh in, we each help shape the GBIO agenda for the next two to three years, and by listening fully and sharing meaningfully, we also build connections with each other within our congregation. Our own Em Mueller, shared these observations after attending the Refounding, “The work of GBIO changes the world, and I am glad and honored to be part of it.” Over the months of April and May, there will be many opportunities for all TI members to be part of GBIO’s massive and radical listening to determine our future direction and to explore what unites us as we seek to repair the world.