A Holiday Message from Mendi Blue Paca: Reflection and Possibility

Dec 15, 2022

Dear Friend,

The holiday season offers countless reminders of what we value most.

People of all faiths and backgrounds approach this time of year as a period of reflection and celebration. For many of us, it’s also a time to reconnect with the traditions and the people who have shaped who we are and what we care about.

In my family, the value of supporting our community was a year-round pursuit, but it was always amplified during the holidays.

Holiday gatherings found us sharing stories, including hearing memories of my great-grandmother Ada — the only Black midwife in her Rock Hill, S.C. community.  As the story goes, during a time of racial segregation, Ada delivered all the Black babies in the community because Black women didn’t have the same access to hospitals and quality of care as white women.

The value of community was instilled in my grandmother, Ann, Ada’s daughter, who often provided financial support for members of our extended family, especially as they migrated from the South to the North, and during the holiday season.

And that value was again reinforced by my parents — who consistently showed me the importance of being kind, persevering through adversity, and pushing beyond any limitations placed on me.

That support and belief in me and my potential is a blessing that I come back to again and again, especially during holiday time.  It inspires me to want to work harder on behalf of people who don’t have similar good fortune.

What stories or memories have influenced your choices? What values guide you?

As we pause to celebrate the season, I encourage you to take time and reflect on your story, remember those who have enriched your life, and celebrate the ways you’ve contributed to our community over the past year.

I am grateful for your partnership and wish you an abundance of health, happiness, and hope in the new year.

Mendi blue paca