It’s customary for publishers to offer personal perspective in their publication’s final issue of the year. A reflection on the year that was. Words of wisdom for the new year approaching. Then, conclude with an uplifting holiday wish. Something like:  Happy holidays to all … and to all a good night.

Well, I can certainly handle the second part:  May you enjoy a pleasant and inspiring holiday season. You’ve earned it. 

As for being sagacious, I have nothing. 

I’m still in fact-gathering mode. Still processing the impact of the pandemic, the state of our democracy, the work-from-home movement. … Still searching for normal in “the new normal.” 

To say it’s been a traumatic couple of years is like saying Hurricane Ida was a pesky little storm. Uncertainty is the only thing that seems certain. And that breeds stress — a stress you see in the mirror as well as on the face of most everyone you encounter. 

Rebounding from this trifecta — pandemic, coup attempt, work-transformation — is a challenge for the ages. And challenges for the ages should not be tackled alone.

Which leads me to one positive aspect I’m noticing in the state of play — a growing desire to talk things through as a collective. An increased willingness to collaborate.

Currently, I’m privileged to be participating in three significant collaborative efforts:  Delaware Journalism Collective, Delaware Arts Community All-Hands Calls, and Wilmington Allies. Each comprises like-minded yet independent organizations embracing the notion that the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts.

The Delaware Journalism Collective consists of Delaware media outlets and partners who are committed to improving access to high-quality local news in the state. DJC receives guidance and sponsorship from the Solutions Journalism Network, whose goal is to foster at least 15 such collaboratives across the U.S. — each reporting on pressing challenges in their respective communities. 

DJC’s focus is on uniting Delaware communities driven apart by polarization. You will see DJC content created about polarization on as well as on the pages and websites of other DJC partners. For a list of those partners, visit

The Delaware Arts Community All-Hands Calls are bimonthly Zoom meetings hosted by Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long and moderated by Delaware Arts Alliance Executive Director Neil Kirschling. The purpose is to provide a forum by which arts leaders can share news, events, best practices and general communication. 

The calls also seek to identify ways arts organizations can work together and make a collective argument that arts are not only essential to a vibrant society but a key economic pillar that should be treated as such. I find it stunning that arts organizations are still having to make this argument.

Finally, Wilmington Allies is a bimonthly conversation among 8-10 organizations that have a hand in marketing the City of Wilmington — from the Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau to the Riverfront Development Corporation. The goal is to share information, foster collaboration and reduce redundancy. 

This exemplifies what I see as a growing trend — cooperation, collaboration, talking things through. Saying, I don’t know. Can you help me find out?

It’s the smart play when you have more questions than answers.

  Jerry duPhily