As scenes of violence unfolded in our nation’s capital - which was nothing short of an attack on American democracy – we’ve arrived at a pivotal moment in history. Will we use our collective voices, power and resources to break, demean and divide? Or will we come together with humanity, generosity and shared purpose? There are certainly those that are encouraging division and hate.
In the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Although I never would have imagined the events at the Capitol happening in my lifetime, I have faith in our democratic institutions, the rule of law and the underlying commitment of the vast majority of Americans who believe, despite its imperfections, in the freedoms and aspirations of our democracy.
Our country’s motto, E Pluribus Unum – “out of many, one” – also reflects OCF’s philosophy and value that WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER.
I have faith in the strong and generous network of OCF donors, volunteers, community and business leaders, nonprofit organizations and staff and OCF Board leadership. They are daily advancing the greater good with diverse communities throughout the state. I see people coming together around shared values of improving lives for all Oregonians and having real impact.
In wave after wave of crises throughout 2020, OCF’s ecosystem of good emerged as a reflection of Oregon’s better angels - resilient in the face of great difficulty - responding with urgency and priority for the disproportionate impacts faced by BIPOC and rural communities. The magnitude of pressing needs in our state will continue for months and years to come, and we are relying on this sense of unity and generosity to meet the moment.
On this day, as we remember and celebrate the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., let us reflect upon his notions of “Beloved Community,” freedom and justice. And, let us move forward with determination, humanity and purpose as we seek to bridge divides, foster understanding and create solutions to improve the lives of all people that call Oregon home.