Following the tragic events that played out on Sunday at a mosque in the neighborhood of Ste-Foy we are thinking of the Quebec City community and our friends at Fondation Québec Philanthrope.
Local leaders and community members have shown great resolve in rallying together to support one another, and our network of 191 foundations have offered our assistance to the community in this difficult time.
Against the backdrop of conversations about immigration policy and women’s marches around the world, perhaps now more than ever we need our communities and our communities need us.
The values of pluralism, diversity, inclusion and belonging have guided our collective work, and we in turn have become stronger as a result of holding true to those values.
This past year saw us support refugee families arriving from Syria into our communities; invest in the long-term recovery efforts in Fort McMurray; build upon a commitment to engage in the process of Truth & Reconciliation; and mobilize around a national sesquicentennial initiative to foster a greater sense of belonging.
The diversity of people, ideas, cultures and religions around the table has been our strength every step of the way – a theme echoed loudly this week by members of Canada’s technology, public service and university communities, among others.
As Senator Sinclair so eloquently reminds us: “Diversity is natural and not something that needs to be overcome. It need not threaten the unity of humanity. Accepting and coping with our diversity as humans, calls for accommodation, trust and respect.”
We know that the makeup of our communities is changing and with that change community philanthropy has an important role to play in being a strong voice for pluralism, a champion for social equality, and a leader in fostering a greater sense of belonging, both in Canada and around the world.
Community Foundations of Canada will continue our efforts to work alongside our network of community foundations to realize their potential as civil society leaders and evolve the diversity of our organizations to align with the values we believe in. Together, as a movement, we are a force for generosity, innovation, dialogue, Reconciliation and caring among neighbours, near and far.
As our communities continue to support one another we look forward to engaging in deeper reflection and conversations in person at our upcoming international conference, so aptly named Belong 2017.
So much of this important work starts on the ground in our communities. Already Fondation Québec Philanthrope has created a fund to support the Muslim community and we encourage you to share local action and collaboration so that we can amplify your efforts.
Vicki Grant Ian Bird
Board Chair President