Dear JCCA Colleagues,

This is a Father’s Day unlike any other in my lifetime; it feels like years of history are happening every week. It was only a few weeks ago that George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis; only a few days ago that Rayshard Brooks was killed in Atlanta. Let us dedicate this Father’s Day to them and to their children, to all the families torn apart by systemic racism and the violence that results.

In a time of so much change and anxiety, I am more thankful than ever for my daughter Maya. Parenting a 10-year-old in the middle of a pandemic has not been easy, but even on the days I know she is sick of spending so much time with me, it still feels special to have both breakfast and dinner together almost every day — something we rarely had time for before this crisis. She is a gift I do not take for granted.

My fatherhood is directly related to decades of struggle and resistance by LGBTQ+ activists across the country, which is why it is always so meaningful to me that Father’s Day falls right in the middle of Pride Month. Society has come a long way since the brave trans women of color led the riots at Stonewall. While the Stonewall uprising is considered the beginning of the LGBTQ+ rights movement, many battles remain. We still have much work to do in the fight for serious, actual liberation and civil rights for all.

On Father’s Day, during Pride, let’s celebrate our love and commitment to each other, our families, and ourselves . Let’s also recognize the many forms, roles, and genders that we honor on this special day: fathers, father-figures, mentors, counselors, leaders, helpers, joke tellers, coaches. You embody all these values and roles every day at JCCA, and I wish you a day full of hope, optimism, and fierce love in all its forms.

Thank you for what you do and for your commitment to our mission,

Ronald E. Richter