Philanthropy Must Lead

Recent events have been devastating, tragic, and called us all to action. From the shootings in Baton Rouge to St. Paul to Dallas, it has become increasingly apparent that we can no longer grieve and move on – we must live in this moment. We must strive to truly understand the inequality and injustice that has led us to this point. And we must try, in ways big and small, to address those root causes.

As social investors, this is the cornerstone of much of our work – making our communities safer, healthier, and more inclusive. And we know that we can only do this when people come together – across sectors and neighborhoods – to make change happen.

In the immediate aftermath of this kind of tragedy, it is so easy to give in to anger and resentment. Because we should be angry. We should not accept this. We should not accept the rampant gun violence we see in our communities; ongoing manifestations of structural, implicit and explicit racism; and the manifold other inequities that prevent people from living prosperous lives. But while we grapple with these feelings, we must find ways to channel our frustration into action. To turn our fear into resilience and a commitment to come together as a community to make change happen. 

The Community Foundation’s investments work to make our community more equitable, just, vibrant, and livable. These tragedies require all of us to take a fresh and deep look at how we’re doing that – how we can double down on what’s working, fix what’s broken, and try new approaches to address these urgent problems. We at the Community Foundation will continue to do that. If you wish to join us, or even just share your thoughts, please do so. We want to hear from you.

I echo these words from The Council on Foundations, and will close with their call:
… In the wake of these recent tragedies, philanthropy must lead. We must bridge differences of opinion and ideology. We must listen to, learn from, and respect one another, and we must use our moral authority to advance the common good.
– Bruce McNamer, President & CEO