Christopher Howie, Sr. Director of Business Architecture, at home with his wife Katie and their daughters Nora and Anne.
"Other than Covid causing a full-time shift to working at home, my job is essentially unchanged. Which given the disruption caused by the pandemic - and our fragmented response - puts me in an even more privileged position than I was prior. I work in operational strategy for a health services company with a mission to make the system work better for everyone - and with the size to actually influence that for better or worse. At its core, my job is to identify and connect disparate parts of an organization around common objectives and outcomes that may not seem so common at first glance. The craft of it is in the creative ways we find that common thread, articulate how it connects things together, and advocate a path forward.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the murder of George Floyd (and the long list of Black people murdered by police) are inseparable. From different angles, they each reflect the same systemic and uniquely American failure to ensure universal access to basic, fundamental human rights - healthcare, income, justice, life. I initially felt fortunate that the only thing the pandemic really changed for me was the location from which I worked, the additional precautions our family took to protect our immune-compromised youngest daughter, and a new side job supporting my artist spouse on a passion project when her business evaporated. Was any of this easy? No, but that's not the point.
George Floyd's murder and its aftermath brought into acute clarity the magnitude to which privilege played a role in enabling me to adapt. What's changed for me is that I acknowledge this privilege in a way that I haven't before - and more importantly accept the responsibility to do and support the work of dismantling institutionalized racism."