As we near the end of the year, I reflect with gratitude on all of the ways our members and partners have led effective and adaptive responses to COVID-19, also recognizing the unfolding efforts related to vaccine distribution, vaccine hesitancy. As we are all aware, the pandemic has also amplified the urgent need to address the systemic issues of inequity that have been so starkly and squarely magnified. Over this year, JLI has been laying the foundation to increase the leadership and voice of the full breadth of our global membership.
In 2021 we will see new regional hubs that will be defined through listening and consultation, increased investment in local research and evidence work (including practice-based knowledge), and a restructured governance body. We recognize that our own approaches can be reshaped and repurposed to better embody fair and equitable approaches and practices, including expanding and deepening our evidence base on how faith and religious actors address and confront systemic inequalities within and across our own partnerships. Our forthcoming State of the Evidence will showcase the best available evidence that supports and deepens durable faith engagement approaches, fit for purpose, with full attention to issues of accountability for what is required to effect meaningful change at global, regional, national and community levels. I am thankful to the staff, the Hub Chairs, the Leadership Board, and all of our individual members. Your experience and insights have guided me in discovering new forms engagement.
May I also take this opportunity to thank Jean Duff for her vision and gracious support during this year of transition from President and Coordinator. She is our champion and we are grateful for her eight years of leadership at the JLI.
Kirsten Laursen Muth