I am not gonna lie: the world is some tricky s**t right now. All around us, we are confronting myriad, urgent challenges: to the safety and well-being of our loved ones and neighbors, to the vitality of communities undermined by disparities and inequities, to the fabric of civility that can feel at times like it is shredding. At home and at work, we labor to discern what most needs our attention, energy, and resources so we can attend to it thoughtfully and well. We look for allies, we do our best to take care of ourselves and our loved ones along the way, and we search for reasons to hope.
There are some things you are glad to have, but hope never to have to use: A quarter for the phone booth (I know, I know – 20th century stuff). A snake for your drain. An epi pen. The capacity to respond quickly and effectively to an emergency is certainly close to – if not right at the top – of that list.
In 2007 I found myself in a situation we all dread: witnessing my mother’s declining health and doing everything I could to help her in what turned out to be her last year of life. With the hindsight of ten years, I now look back on that time as one of despair and helplessness as I watched her grow progressively more ill and ultimately pass away. But I also remember it as deeply intimate, precious, irreplaceable time with her that I cherish.
By Ellen LaPointe, President and CEO, Northern California Grantmakers
“Now is the time to be the grantmaker, you have been waiting to be, Time to be braver and more committed, Than you have ever imagined yourself” - Chinaka Hodge
I’ve been thinking a lot about leadership these days. Recent events have inspired many of us to explore opportunities to lead in our communities, in our work, in our world.
We invite you to take a look at our year’s NCG's 2016 Annual (Not)-Report, to spot some great people doing great work.
Most mornings when I wake up these days the same thought immediately fills my brain: “There is so much to DO!” Don’t get me wrong – this has pretty much always been the case. So many of us live full lives, juggling busy work schedules and family activities while scrambling to squeeze a few minutes for ourselves here or there if we can. Busy is the new normal. That’s not what I am talking about here.
Last Wednesday NCG members and our partners gathered for a festive and lively holiday party. We celebrated one another, gave thanks for a job well-done in the past year, and enjoyed ourselves. It was a beautiful evening. But it was more than a party.
When I was in high school I was captivated by a book called To Be Young, Gifted, and Black, the autobiography of the playwright Lorraine Hansberry. In 1959, two weeks before the opening of her groundbreaking play Raisin in the Sun on Broadway, she said this: "I wish to live because life has within it that which is good, that which is beautiful, and that which is love..."