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Let the Healing Begin

Wednesday, November 9, 2016
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. Therefore, since I have known all of these things, I have found them to be reason enough and – I wish to live. Moreover, because this is so, I wish others to live for generations and generations and generations and generations.”

When I first read these words I was so inspired by the clarity of her view that the goodness, beauty, and love that exists in this world are reason enough to push forward, and that we should aspire for others to experience these things as well. On this day, nearly 35 years later, I find her words to be especially grounding and right.

Donald J. Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. Regardless of one’s feelings about this outcome, nearly everyone agrees that the tenor and tone of the political discourse over the last year and a half has been one of the most divisive and destructive in generations, amplifying deep divisions in our country and laying bare the pernicious conditions that undergird so much of the anger that has erupted.

Let the healing begin. 

The philanthropic community has a unique and significant role to play in the healing that needs to happen, and in the work that lies ahead as we continue to grapple with inequality, injustice, and the deep divisions that impede us. Now is the time to come together: to find common ground, look together in the same direction, summon our energy and resolve, roll up our sleeves, and get busy. That has always been our opportunity and obligation, but it has never been truer than it is today.

The outcome of the election is a fact. So are the wounds that need healing, and the suffering that persists in our communities. The rest is story, and we make that story. Let’s make it together.

We invite you to join us at 10:30am on November 30 at the NCG offices for an informal community conversation about the implications of the election, where we are now, and what we can do to begin the healing process. If you wish, you can stay on for a more formal program beginning at noon called Post-Election Special: What Did We Learn? What’s Next?, in which we will dive more deeply into the issues at hand.

Big, deep breaths. We got this.