Inclusion, not exclusion

Newest SVCF Magazine features stories of 'Agents of Change'

Emmett Carson
Emmett Carson
CEO and President,
Silicon Valley Community Foundation

The events in Charlottesville remind us that this is an exceptionally challenging time in our nation, with deep divides over race, religion, income and purpose. As a community foundation, it’s our job to find ways to build bridges and move forward. Our purpose is not to further the divide but to bring people together.

Silicon Valley Community Foundation has long believed in the strength of diversity. We have taken on difficult issues such as immigration and have built consensus. And we’ve done it in ways that have brought people together on why the issue is important — not merely to the immigrants who make up nearly a third of our population, but to everyone.

In fact, one of the grantmaking strategies we’re launching in 2017-18 centers on ensuring the safety and security of immigrants, as well as curing discourse. A new strategy of civic engagement will promote greater civic participation in all levels of government. We are doing what we can to ensure that people have the full rights and opportunities that America can provide.

Democracy by definition is contentious, but we can’t be complacent about its importance. We have to tell people why they should be invested in civic issues. There are ways to build bridges and find balance, but that doesn’t happen by itself. That’s why our passionate advocacy around diversity is so important.

Let’s come together and be the example of what a community truly is.

Read more in our latest issue of SVCF Magazine, above.