Before everyone heads off for the holiday weekend, I just want to quickly remind you that our first annual convening is May 30-31 at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center. We’ve been honored by a very enthusiastic response — more than we anticipated — and we have to give the hotel a final number of attendees sooner rather than later. As such, we’re ending registrations at the end of the day tomorrow, May 22.

Forgive me for the mild spoiler from the last episode of Game of Thrones, but Tyrion Lannister hit the nail on the head of the thesis behind much of the activity you’ve seen from our Foundation this year when he said that stories are what really unite people.

Just like people, communities and even whole states tell stories about themselves, often without being sure exactly why. Those stories, repeated over time, become a kind of shared vision of what a community thinks of itself. And if those stories aren’t flattering, they’re doomed to become self-fulfilling prophecies.

If we all share the vision our state is and always will be among the last in health outcomes, we will stay that way. If we all believe the story that our education system will struggle, then we quietly consent to let it happen.

As a funder who shares a small role in a lot of positive stories about resiliency, change, and transformation, we’ve made it priority to share that good news wherever we can. We want to do it often and consistently enough to interrupt the cynical narrative and, with your help, contribute to a new shared vision that will push us forward in health, education and much more.

I’m not saying that if we just think happy thoughts, it’ll happen. But we are heirs to the laws of the world with which we identify. If each of us claims a role in transformation, and work together, we will see it happen.

That’s why we’re bringing folks together this May at our annual convening — to share those stories and unite behind shared dreams. If you haven’t signed up yet, I hope we’ll see you at the end of the month.


-Michael Tipton
BCBSLA Foundation President and Head of Community Relations

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