Enough. I’ve had enough. Of the tragedy and heartache all around me, the deep injustice, the systemic prejudice, the terrorism here and abroad, the senseless violence, the grief and suffering of the families who’ve lost their precious loved ones. I worry about my kids’ safety at school, I worry about my black friends’ safety in life, I worry about the police who protect us, I worry about the deep divides in our country, I wonder if I’m doing enough. I feel angry. I feel sad. I feel overwhelmed. Here and there I just feel numb.
And then I remember who I work for – nonprofits. And I remind myself that what makes us unique is yes, our ability to provide critical services to those in need, but also to fight for change, to be our community’s conscience, and to build the social capital that staves off loneliness, and isolation and fear. We need the nonprofit sector, and those of you who are committed to it, now more than ever.
IF you are a nonprofit searching for lessons learned from other communities about how to come together in the face of tragedy, try this report from Ferguson.
IF you are a philanthropist seeking information on how best to support communities in crisis, check out Four Ways Funders Can Respond to Tragedy from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.
IF you are a board member who has committed to doubling down on increasing diversity in your boardroom – because a diverse board makes better decisions for the community it represents – this resource from the National Council of Nonprofits can get you started.
IF you are a black nonprofit or foundation leader seeking to connect nationally with other black leaders to share your grief about recent events and learn more about targeted philanthropy responses, find out about the Association of Black Foundation Executives recent national conference call.
IF you just want to come together locally in the name of peace and justice, join Common Ground Healing Arts, The Women’s Initiative and the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center tonight for a Yoga Vigil for Peace.
I won’t give up if you won’t.
p.s. More food for thought on the role of nonprofits and philanthropy in strengthening a civil society: