FYI Blog

Avalon Dispatch 01.26.21


Dear friends,

We made it to the Biden era! For many of us, this marks the REAL beginning of 2021 – and a sigh of relief that Trump’s chaos is over. I am thrilled to see renewed focus and leadership from the executive branch.

The inauguration was historic in many ways ­(yay, Kamala!), and I was touched to see so many notable dignitaries from both parties. By far, however, the showstopper was Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s powerful recitation of her inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb.”

I was also inspired by Biden’s honest and hopeful inaugural speech. Heather Cox Richardson, my go-to for historical context on current issues, emphasized that Biden needs Americans to show up and get to work for democracy and the common good:

After taking the oath, Biden delivered an inaugural address that was not simply the call for unity that he has been making for the past year. It was a call for Americans to come together to rebuild America, one that echoed that of President John F. Kennedy in 1961, when he told us: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” 

Biden recalled the Civil War, the Great Depression, the World Wars, and the attacks of 9/11, noting that “[i]n each of these moments, enough of us came together to carry all of us forward.” He urged today’s Americans to do the same in what he called “a time of testing” that brings together great crises: “an attack on our democracy and on truth. A raging virus, growing inequity, the sting of systemic racism, a climate in crisis.” 

“Are we going to step up, all of us?” he asked. “It’s time for boldness, for there is so much to do. And this is certain. I promise you, we will be judged, you and I, by how we resolve these cascading crises of our era…. Will we master this rare and difficult hour?”

What a powerful call to action.

To heed it, Avalon will continue our focus on two big things: the work that needs to be done to advance the causes we care about and building our resilience. To the former, consider attending this roundtable by M&R, which explores the idea of ethical process and creative products. If you can’t make it on such short notice (the event is this afternoon), rest assured that Avalon will be in attendance.

One thing Avalon does in the realm of ethical creative is use language carefully to reinforce our clients’ values. I appreciated this list of words to avoid from Blue Duck, which offers good food for thought on common business jargon.  Their point is not that we should never use these terms; rather, we should be more intentional about when and how we do.

While the transfer of power is behind us and Inauguration Day was peaceful, we are still in the thick of the pandemic. With the new variant, we need to stay vigilant and continue to take care of ourselves. Outside Magazine has some good tips for how to stay strong this winter – mentally, emotionally, and physically – including a good reminder that it helps to keep our bodies moving. (If you’re wondering how to keep moving when it’s cold outside, here is some bonus material on layering your clothing for warmth.)

Finally, a fun fact: this month is historic, and not just because of the inauguration. Beginning with 1-20-21, we will move through a string of palindrome dates.


Take care,