Message to Members
Dear Members of Maryland Philanthropy Network,
Last night, we watched with horror the images of violence, looting, and arson in our city. As long time residents of Baltimore City it is hard to express our deep sadness at the death of Mr. Freddie Gray and at the violence and destruction that we witnessed yesterday. We know that many of you have deep and long lasting investments in the communities that suffered damage last night.
Laurie spent the morning visiting neighborhoods that the Goldseker Foundation has been supporting. As heartbreaking as it was to watch with our community partners as the progress we have made was threatened last evening, she was heartened to find community members hard at work and more determined than ever to continue their important community development work.
Celeste, meanwhile, has been reaching out to our members and public sector partners to determine how our Maryland Philanthropy Network can be most helpful, not just in this immediate situation, but in the long run. Yesterday afternoon, the Mayor asked to brief a small group of leaders representing the philanthropic, medical and university community on the Freddie Gray case. Participants were invited to ask questions and share concerns. The Maryland Philanthropy Network and its members were clear that the philanthropic community stands ready to support the city and the Mayor’s efforts. Celeste is working directly with the Administration to identify specific support we can lend in this challenging time.
We look forward to hearing from our membership about your thoughts and individual efforts to support our community.
Throughout our history, Maryland Philanthropy Network has been a forum for philanthropy to lead and realize the power of intentional collaboration. In the coming days and weeks, we will work to facilitate more dialogue and action to address the policies and systemic issues that underlie these incidents. While it may be easy to dismiss these acts of violence and destruction only as opportunistic crime in the wake of a tragedy, it is for us to consider what the last three weeks, and the last twenty-four hours, reveal about the divisions in our community and how we can help our city heal and continue to grow in the years ahead.
We know that what has happened will not deter our membership from its commitment to building a stronger, more equitable city in which all citizens can thrive.
Laurie Latuda Kinkel, Board Chair
Celeste Amato, President