Our Founder, Susan B. Noyes, Responds to a Reader Letter: BLM, COVID-19 and Compassion

Summer 2020 Better Chicago Print Issue

Last week, we proudly delivered the first print issue of Better to 30,000 North Shore and Chicago homes since the pandemic hit and Black Lives Matter protests escalated in response to George Floyd’s death. You can see a digital copy of the issue here.

As we explained, despite difficult circumstances (think working from home alongside a stressed spouse, homeschooling children, caring for older or immune-compromised relatives), we leaned into our mission to provide helpful, inspiring content that connects you to outstanding community resources. This included reporting on and doing some of our own soul searching with respect to white privilege and the Black Lives Matter movement.

In response to this magazine, we received an email from a reader that reminded us of other perspectives within our community, an excerpt from which follows:

“I just read your editorial in your BETTER magazine … with a great deal of disappointment and disgust that yet another organization, without investigating BLM and truly understanding its origins, is jumping on the bandwagon to suggest that there is systemic racism in the U.S… My message to you: by your eagerness to jump on the bandwagon, you are not making things BETTER…  you are, in the long-run, making things worse.” 

I want this reader and others who feel similarly to know that I am grateful when anyone takes the time to share their views. Time and authentic dialogue are precious commodities. We gain perspective from one another when we can listen and seek understanding, especially with respect to people with whom we may not otherwise agree.

These are frustrating, restricting, wearying times, exacerbated by the constant deluge of bad news and lack of a clear path to a post-pandemic life. 

We hope and intend that readers find the magazine’s content to be well-researched and our suggestions to be educational and hopeful. We seek to grow trust and connection and foster thoughtful dialogue, rather than alienate any of our readers. We regret that you interpreted our content otherwise.

We want to hear from you. Email us at editorial@makeitbetter.com.

More from Better:

Susan B. Noyes is the Founder & Chief Visionary Officer of Make It Better Media Group, as well as the Founder of Make It Better Foundation’s Philanthropy AwardsA mother of six, former Sidley Austin labor lawyer and U.S. Congressional Aide, passionate philanthropist, and intuitive connector, she has served on boards for the Poetry FoundationHarvard University Graduate School of Education Visiting Committee, American Red CrossLurie Children’s HospitalAnnenberg ChallengeChicago Public Education FundLyric Opera of ChicagoChicago Symphony OrchestraNew Trier High School District 203, and her beloved Kenilworth Union Church. But most of all, she enjoys writing and serving others by creating virtuous circles that amplify social impact.

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