Greetings Dear Carat Sisters,
I am so honored to serve as your 24th National President.
What a flurry of excitement and energy since our national election on July 31, 2020. This was a very different but interesting election year. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and our need to social distance for our own safety and wellbeing, we held the very first virtual business meeting of CARATS, Inc. We were looking forward to Conclave in Chicago, but that could not happen. Even though we couldn’t be together to greet each other with hugs and kisses, we were with each other.
To Be With is more than being in someone’s physical presence; it is about a stronger connection of mind, and spirit. In my training in psychology, it means being emotionally available. During this pandemic, let’s remember always to Be With each other. It appears we will have another year of virtual activities as we continue in the unknown of this pandemic. One of the words in a publication I like, The Daily Word, is devotion. The writer states, “My devotion inspires me to serve. When I believe in a person, a cause, or an organization, I express devotion.” My thoughts exactly.
As I said to you on August 1, I believe that “to serve is a gift.” I am excited about our journey for the next two years. As I appointed persons to committees, my goal was to make sure we had representation from each of our 15 chapters, to be inclusive, to look for younger Carats, ones who had not served on the national level before. The task was completed with much assistance from you, my sisters. I loved speaking to so many of you, to hear your ideas and to have you graciously accept the call to serve.
Thanks to all newly elected and appointed Carats and a special Thank You to the outgoing officers who conducted transition meetings with the incoming officers. The enthusiasm and excitement I have experienced remind me of a children’s book that I love, The Crayon Box that Talked. The essence of the story is twofold: that every color is needed to complete the picture and that the crayons felt excitement when they realized that the picture was beautiful and that all of them played a significant role.
It takes all of us to complete the picture of CARATS, Inc.
Please help me to achieve these goals for the next two years:
- To keep in touch with members of CARATS by hosting meetings and other fun events, through the newsletter, and through personal phone calls and letters/notes. During this pandemic, we may all be experiencing numerous loss- illness and death of family members and friends, feeling isolated because of lack of accessibility to them, loss of jobs, inability to move about the way we typically do. It is for some an emotional and a financial rollercoaster. It is important for all of us to continue to reach out to each other.
- To improve our social presence by utilizing technology.
Technology Committee will focus on how we can improve our current website and increase our social media presence.
- To focus on Health and Wellness and be well informed about health issues that affect us as African American women. In addition, I want to celebrate the Carats serving in the health field, because they are truly on the “frontlines” for the wellbeing of this nation during this critical time. Reach out to our Wellness Chair, Dr. Patricia Wilkerson Uddyback, and her committee to get answers to any questions you may have.
- To make our new Carats feel welcomed by the organization. Because we didn’t host a face-to-face Conclave and we had 34 new members inducted, I felt like we needed to recognize them and welcome them as a group. Hence activity on October 30.
- To ensure that our written history is accurate, especially since we are approaching our 50th anniversary in 2025. Let’s start a real conversation and work towards that. Past National President Rosalie Johnson (St. Louis) and Geri Harris (Atlanta) will lead this effort but will reach out to others who have valuable knowledge.
I will be counting on each of you to make these next two years fun filled and memorable. Let’s always remember to Laugh, Love and Live. Embracing Dimensional Friendships
Carat Juanita Armbrister
Carat Juanita’s newest passion – quilting with African Fabrics.