by Ellen LaPointe, President and CEO, Northern California Grantmakers
I have been thinking a lot about community lately. I am moved to do so by several things: the quality, character, and noise level of the current public discourse concerning policy and politics, the ongoing challenges people living in the Bay Area and beyond navigate daily as they strive to live into their full potential, and the way my heart is beating as I contemplate leaving a place I have lived for over twenty-seven years.
What is this thing we call “community,” anyway?
It’s a feeling.
It’s a sense of belonging to something – and with others. It’s a way of identifying ourselves. It’s a mooring to something that can’t necessarily be seen with the eyes, but is deeply real in the heart.
It’s a place.
It’s a gathering of folks with a shared affinity for something that draws us in and anchors us. This might be a physical place like a neighborhood, a street, a church, or even the stoop in front of an apartment building. But it might also happen by way of a shared commitment to something we care about deeply, or an experience we have all shared.
It’s a force multiplier.
People who gather in community generate an energy together that we cannot create alone. We inspire each other, challenge and encourage one another to act, and lift each other up when we need to. We are more creative, more fierce, and more impactful when we work in community.
Of course it is. Our NCG community embodies all of these qualities, and inspires me and the whole NCG team to push harder, work longer, and always expect more. Our community also is a place to celebrate, commiserate, and laugh together. This last thing is especially critical in difficult times.
All of us at NCG are honored and delighted to be part of a vibrant community of people who care so deeply about helping people to thrive and live to their full potential. Thank you for how you show up – each and every day.
PS It IS a coincidence that the title of this post is also the name of a song by the ‘70’s rock band Boston. Really! ;).