Last week, we all witnessed unprecedented and inexcusable acts of anti-democratic violence targeting pillars of American democracy, including universal voting rights, the peaceful transition of power, and the ability of our duly elected representatives to do the people’s work without fear of reprisal by angry mobs and insurrectionists. In the days ahead – as the nation pays respect to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday and invokes his message of healing, and as a new president is sworn in by the Chief Justice on Wednesday – officials warn of the potential for further insurrection in Washington, D.C. and in state capitals across the nation.
Connecticut Community Foundation condemns these acts and threats, and the toxic ideas they reflect, as we condemn all violence. Our work as a community foundation is to foster an equitable, just and vibrant community in Greater Waterbury and the Litchfield Hills. Central to that work is the value of inclusion: that all residents are entitled to have their voices heard and to participate fully and peacefully in civil society. The insurrection we all witnessed last week was an example not of free speech, but of an attempt at its denial.
Connecticut Community Foundation recognizes that we benefit from the access, power, and influence that come with the philanthropic resources we steward. With this privilege comes the responsibility to serve our community according to our values. To that end, we stand firm in our commitment to promote equitable access and outcomes for local residents, regardless of race, place, identity, or wealth; to engage with the community, including underrepresented or marginalized voices; to support community action toward progress and justice on our collective behalf; and to use our own voice toward these ends. In these ways, we aim to live up to and advance the inclusive ideal that is so vital to our democracy. We invite all who call our region home to join us in this work.