Marguerite Casey Foundation believes it is the responsibility of philanthropy to support leaders on the forefront of community organizing — leaders helping those gain power who have long been excluded from having it. We achieve this mission by acting as an unwavering champion for their vision, ideas and leadership. We also do this by supporting leaders and communities as they navigate the conflicts of our time. Those conflicts are not just national in scope, but global. Struggles over the concentration of political power, economic wealth and social representation are not contained within our borders. They never have been.
At this moment, from Colombia to Palestine, people who have been targets of state terror and economic violence are organizing, standing up and shouting for the world to recognize what’s at stake in allowing the grave injustices they face to go unchallenged. At this crossroads, we can choose the peril of continuing down the same path of inadequate action or the promise of doubling down on our commitment to achieving truly representative democracies and economies — everywhere. At this crossroads, we can choose silence or we can choose solidarity. At this crossroads, we can choose the charitable acts that mitigate harm or we can choose bringing about the justice that prevents it.
As a foundation that supports the efforts of local communities in the U.S. to gain greater power over the decisions that shape their lives, we cannot ignore the needs those communities have to shape how their government responds to world events — especially events that affect their family members abroad. There are communities across the U.S. that are affected by these global struggles over our collective futures: Colombian communities in Queens, NY, who have taken to the street to call out the military mobs that have terrorized communities across the country; Palestinian communities on the South Side of Chicago, who have organized to end war crimes, forced displacement and violations of human rights; Burmese communities in Fort Wayne, Indiana, calling for a response to the military overthrow of their democratically elected government. We know they have been hurting, some for generations, but that the current moment brings acute pain and hardship.
What is happening today across our globe is not merely the result of who happens to be in charge in a country at this particular moment, though that is highly influential. It is about the persistent, pervasive and prevailing systems of oppression sustained by political and economic regimes — regimes that use military and police forces as a means of gaining and consolidating political power, aiming to crush those who look different from themselves and whose self-determination they (wrongly) feel threatens their own. At Marguerite Casey Foundation, we stand in solidarity with all people across the globe fighting for freedom, organizing for justice and planting the seeds for the world we know is possible.