To the incredible and dynamic NTEN community and nonprofit sector,
We hear you.
We hear so many people from the community expressing fear, anticipation, anxiety, and even hope. Little of the emotions of today has to do with the man who is our next president. Instead, those feelings being posted on social media, email, and in private text messages are rooted in a reality that we cannot ignore now: We live in a deeply, troublingly divided country.
As we listen to so many of you today, we ask that each of us take time to intentionally listen to those around us – our friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors – regardless of the candidate they voted for. We do not address our divisions by hunkering down, talking only to those we know already share our beliefs, and planning for a future time of action. We address our divisions and create stronger ties by listening first, finding shared ground, and recommitting ourselves every day to the belief that we all do want a better America and to create it we all must take action every, single day.
We see you.
We see so many people in the nonprofit sector, in our local communities, in our service networks responding to the election result with the impulse to withdraw, to hide – some out of fear of what others will say to them because they support the elected candidate, some for fear of what could happen when campaign rhetoric turns into policies. We cannot offer solace but we can say that we see you, we appreciate you, we believe that we all want a better America and we commit to working with you to make it.
As we witness your reactions, we do not expect you all to stand bravely because for many in our communities there is still too much risk. Instead, we ask that for those of us who do not fear the impacts of the election on our own personal lives, for those of us with access to power and privilege, that we take a stand for the rest of our fellow Americans. Using your power to hold our elected officials, our communities, and ourselves accountable to the policies and principles that support a better America for every member of our community.
In times of celebration, in times of challenge, and in times of decision-making we turn to our values. As always, they offer both reminders and guideposts to direct our actions today and into the future:
We are practical dreamers. We are the community of nonprofit technology professionals. We are a stage and platform for you. We are accountable to you. We strive to be authentic and honest. We embrace change. We walk the talk. We believe that laughter, irreverence, fun, and a deep joy about what is possible are essential to our work.
We were a community yesterday. We are a community today. We will be a community tomorrow.
In your service and strength,
Amy Sample Ward and the team at NTEN