Over the past few weeks our community and nation has been inundated with tragic news that has left us reeling emotionally and mentally; barely having a moment to catch our collective breath and grapple with these harsh realities. My heart aches for the families of those directly affected by the recent events in our hometown and around the United States.
Amidst the turmoil, courageous voices do exist and one of those voices was recently heard at a United Way Board of Directors meeting. We begin board and staff meetings with a “mission moment” – examples of encounters or sharing about United Way’s work. Board member and Pillsbury United Communities President and CEO Chanda Smith Baker shared – as an African American woman, mother, leader, and proud Northside resident. Her powerful words resonated as we individually wrestled with fear, outrage, and uncertainty. Ms. Smith Baker reminded the board this is the moment to come together, to inspire, to respect our differences, and to find our collective path forward.
“Take care of this moment.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Refusing to surrender to hopelessness and despair, Greater Twin Cities United Way joined nonprofits and philanthropic foundations across Minnesota for a moment of silence to honor those who have sacrificed their lives, or whose lives were taken too soon. Collectively, it was a powerful symbol of what has been lost as well as hope for the future.
Let’s be that future now.
We are at a critical juncture in our history and together we can harness the potential and power of humankind to prevail over anger and prejudice. We are fortunate to live in a region with people uniquely positioned to reflect human-kindness and to inspire action.
Thank you for all you do to support the collective work towards establishing a better community for all.
We stand with you in these difficult times.
Sarah Caruso is president and CEO of Greater Twin Cities United Way. Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter: @CarusoUnited.
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