Words have often escaped me over the past week. I have seethed in anger and cried silently. I have watched the anguish of people in communities across the US and the world.
I have read essays, opinion columns, and social media posts. I have learned from the words written and spoken by friends and colleagues shaken to their cores by the deaths of George Floyd, David McAtee, Amaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others. I have comforted my children even while searching for answers of my own.
And yet, my own words haven’t come easily. But this I know to be true: silence and complicity are not acceptable.
We need to listen to, not just hear, the voices of hurt and pain in our communities – locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.
We need to listen to, not just hear, the ghosts and survivors of violence, atrocity, racism, intolerance, and inequity.
And, we need to move forward together, as a community, to reach common ground and find compassion for one another.
When I joined LACF earlier this year, I planned for our work to more intentionally embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our mission – to inspire, lead, and empower residents and organizations for a strong community – requires such a focus.
The pandemic shifted some of those plans but we remain true to our mission. LACF’s 2020 Nonprofit Relief Fund was born out of our conviction that the pandemic would exacerbate disparities and inequities in the communities we serve.
As your local community foundation, we need to listen, not just hear. We haven’t worked out all the answers and possible next steps yet, but we will take action. Moving forward – with your input and support – we can speak out about race and systemic racism, and work together to address inequalities. We need to hear from you; we will listen. Send me your thoughts: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be safe, be healthy, be vocal.
Adin Miller, Executive Director, Los Altos Community Foundation