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Statement on the Events of the Past Week

Monday, October 29, 2018

Over the past week, we have witnessed a series of tragedies across the country that have become disturbingly too common. These events include the massacre of 11 Jewish people in Pittsburgh in a house of worship; the slaying of two black customers at a grocery store in Kentucky; the delivery of pipe bombs to critics of President Donald Trump; a proposed plan by the current Administration to erase transgender people by redefining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined at birth; and the demonization of a “caravan” of refugee families from Central America on their way to legally seek asylum at our border.

We are appalled by and condemn in the strongest terms the violence and intolerance of the past week. In the face of such deeply disturbing intolerance, SCG stands against this hatred, embraces diversity and is actively working toward more just, equitable communities.

One thing that all of these events have in common is that they are part of a broader effort to sow division between Americans by “othering” certain groups, whether those groups are determined on the basis of race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation or citizenship status.

Such divisive tactics will ultimately have the opposite effect. In this moment, just as we did last month at our 2018 Annual Conference, we can recognize Our Common Humanity and how it brings us together in unity. To demonstrate the point: 48 hours after the shooting in Pittsburgh, a Muslim-led crowdfunding campaign that endeavors to “respond to evil with good” has already raised over $125,000 to help support the short-term needs of victims and their families.

These words about responding to evil with good both comfort and empower us to work toward a better future where “othering,” intolerance and division are remnants of the past. Thank you for all the work that you do to help us realize that vision.

Chris Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers

Please visit our partners for ways you can help on these issues:

Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania

Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles

Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees

Funders for LGBTQ Issues