National Dialogue on Tolerance

“All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common:
it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety
of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.”
- John Kenneth Galbraith

The recent events of violence linked to political rhetoric and personal beliefs demands immediate attention by every citizen across the globe. While we are a nation and world united by shared values of equality, justice, family and fairness – we are often too easily divided by religion, race, sexual orientation and class. How can we find a safe place for disagreements where we listen, respectfully disagree as opposed to try and change, and move on in search of a higher plane of understanding and connectedness?

After witnessing the tragic event in Arizona on January 8, it is obvious that our current differences have led to increased acrimonious political discourse. However, we do not believe this type of discourse is a hallmark of a healthy democracy. Therefore we are calling on institutional leaders and influencers to create a safe environment for activists, donors and others to continue to support social change in the U.S. and beyond – free of fear and threats of violence or retaliation. We need to support and value the passionate, industrious and innovative people who drive work forward in the social sector. We invite you to do what you do best, to benefit and sustain these extraordinary citizens and colleagues.

We also invite you to join our National Dialogue on Tolerance calling on all of us, as individuals, to take personal responsibility for our actions and words, and the conversations in which we participate. We believe every citizen has an obligation to promote tolerance and acceptance in their lives and their communities to ensure that, despite our differences, no person should feel vulnerable to verbal or physical attacks for their beliefs. Our dialogues will certainly address the recent vitriol that has been politically motivated. However, they will expand to include the work being done in response to the increased intolerance against the LGBT community, the heated debate related to immigration, the historical differences of religious communities, and the persistent and systemic issues of race and class. The intention of our outreach and partnership is to leverage our network and resources to engage and support existing and emerging conversations on tolerance. Our outcomes are to support diverse voices, raise public and personal awareness, identify common ground, and promote cura personalis, care for the entire person.

Over the next several months we will be engaging donors, partnering with activists, and inviting entrepreneurs, legislators and others to be a part of the dialogue. We will leverage our network and communications ecosystem to support online exchanges, host crucial and collaborative webinars and conference calls, as well as sponsor place-based gatherings with our partners and projects. We look forward to partnering with you in this important work.

From all of us at Tides