NGCF’s Statement on Racial Justice
The North Georgia Community Foundation
Our Statement on Racial Justice:
Standing in Solidarity, Leading with Empathy
By: Rob Fowler, Board Chair and Michelle Prater, President & CEO
As we watch our nation and community grapple with crises on two fronts, one stemming from COVID-19, the other from timeworn injustices – we feel and recognize a powerful, urgent call to action. Many of us are heartbroken and angry about the circumstances that have triggered the very raw and emotional conversations and protests taking part here at home and across our nation.
While many can never fully understand the daily realities and challenges faced by our nation’s Black and Brown communities, we recognize that our current crises have only exacerbated longstanding social and economic inequalities that expose our previous “normal” as a skewed reality that shapes destinies based on differences rather than abilities. We believe our community can – and should – seek to lead the way to a fairer, more compassionate way of life for everyone.
We are fully aware that cultivating permanent change can create confusion and cause uncomfortable feelings, but lasting transformation is possible. It is up to all of us to share this responsibility and transform current inequities into sustainable solutions.
In the face of crisis, we are far from powerless.
As a community connector and partner, the North Georgia Community Foundation is fully committed to bringing individuals and organizations together to improve the lives of all people. For 35 years, we have invested in our community to improve the lives of all and we have made considerable progress, but our work is far from over.
At the North Georgia Community Foundation, we have a passion to walk alongside others and hear their stories. Everyone has a story, some that we easily relate to, and others that we do not understand. Those are the times that we lean in a little closer, listen intently, and learn about the needs of others. The North Georgia Community Foundation has always listened to the community and has stood ready to ignite action and extend support through informed decision-making when the time comes. We recognize that now is that time.
It is time to stop fixating on our differences, and instead, fix our sights on the goal of addressing the injustices taking place in our community and world today. It is time to get uncomfortable, time to start having the hard conversations, and time to start exploring ways to work together towards change that can revolutionize our community. Change that the next generation can understand and fully embrace as they dig in their roots, create their own stories, and understand their power to make an everlasting impact.
We are committed to continuing our work and we ask that our community join us on this path of enacting change. Take this opportunity with us to rally together and break down the barriers of racism. To walk into each new day with attentive ears, receptive hearts, and open minds. We recognize it will not be easy, but we know it is worth fighting for. The North Georgia Community Foundation will continue to shine the light brightly on the people and work in our community that stands for good, forever.
While it is important to state our position in print, we believe that words are ineffective without action. Our commitment is to continue addressing the concerns of our community – from providing funding for dental and healthcare programs for the Hispanic population to funding an on-staff mental health clinician to assist and support police officers in critical situations. We will seek and fund new programs that are designed to promote effective dialogue between those with differing perspectives, so that we can find common ground and together create lasting change.