Press Release - December 2, 2014


CEO Emmett Carson calls on community foundations to keep addressing complex issues such as justice and race, in light of events in Ferguson, Missouri

MOUNTAIN VIEW — In a historic gathering at the White House on Tuesday, Dec. 2, Silicon Valley Community Foundation will co-host more than 150 community foundation and government officials, both to celebrate the 100th anniversary of these organizations and to commit to tackling some of this nation’s toughest social problems in the decades to come. 

“We need only look at current events in Ferguson, Missouri, and the protests of solidarity among diverse people in cities across the United States to see that the need for candid community dialogue and bridge-building among people with very different experiences is urgently needed,” said Emmett D. Carson, CEO and president of SVCF.

The event, hosted by the White House’s Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation in partnership with SVCF, will be attended by community foundation executives from all parts of the country. These leaders will convene with federal officials to highlight potential areas of collaboration between community foundations and government, as well as highlight the work they currently do to improve lives in their communities.

The first community foundation started in Cleveland in 1914 to fight the effects of a flu epidemic, and today there are nearly 800 such organizations in the United States. Each is attuned to the strengths and weaknesses of its own communities and supported by local, charitably minded people. These nonprofits work to improve lives in their communities, from leading rebuilding efforts after disasters to funding afterschool programs.

Especially against the backdrop of events in Ferguson and elsewhere, the gathering offers an opportunity for community foundations to recommit themselves to addressing the world’s most pressing challenges, Carson said. “Community foundations are ideally situated to answer President Obama’s call for constructive local dialogues that engage diverse community members about the legitimate concerns of racial profiling, police brutality and unequal sentencing by the criminal justice system,” he said.

About Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation makes all forms of philanthropy more powerful. We serve as a catalyst and leader for innovative solutions to our region’s most challenging problems, and through our donors we award more money to charities than any other community foundation in the United States. SVCF has more than $6 billion in assets under management. As Silicon Valley’s center of philanthropy, we provide thousands of individuals, families and corporations with simple and effective ways to give locally and around the world. Find out more at