Dear New Albany Neighbors and Friends of the Foundation:
At a time when so many in our community and beyond feel hurt and angered by injustice, we reaffirm our commitment to bring people together to create an inclusive community for everyone. The death of George Floyd and the ensuing national outrage remind us that we must redouble our efforts, individually and collectively, to end racism and promote social justice and equality.
The New Albany Community Foundation has seen our community unite time and again over the past 25 years. In recent months we’ve witnessed community members volunteering, donating and checking in on neighbors during the pandemic and quarantine. These actions reflect our identity and values as a community, and remind us that we can work together even in divisive times. But we can’t have an extraordinary community until or unless everyone can feel safe, respected and valued.
When Clarence B. Jones, a former speechwriter and advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., visited New Albany and spoke to students and residents at The McCoy in 2011 as part of a Foundation sponsored author residency program, he emphasized the power of people coming together.
“It was exhilarating to see the generations come together over such an important issue,” he said of the Civil Rights Movement. “This was one important key to the movement… It could not have worked otherwise.”
In this spirit, we must further strengthen our shared efforts to create a just community for all. These ideals dovetail with the Foundation’s goals in launching lecture series and other educational programs, by welcoming distinguished leaders to speak in New Albany to promote community dialogue. Two years ago we were proud to host the first program of the New Albany Center for Civil Discourse and Debate, which specifically aims to promote the free exchange of ideas through civil discourse.
Normally during a time like this the Foundation would move swiftly to convene a program which facilitates community dialogue on racism, however COVID-19 does not allow us to do this now. However, in the spirit of love that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. advocated so often, the Foundation will continue to support those in need not only in New Albany but across central Ohio through its COVID-19 Assistance efforts.
Now more than ever, we need to come together to address injustice and establish a basis for peace and understanding.
Craig Mohre, President