Grassroots’ Reflections on 2016
by Alana, Amit, Anna, Cynthia and Paul
As we begin the holiday season in the U.S. this year, we at Grassroots would like to step back and reflect on why we do what we do, and how we foresee continuing this work moving forward. What motivates and energizes us is a belief that those of us who have been blessed by wealth, security, health and education have an opportunity and an obligation to use the capabilities and influence that come with these gifts to promote economic justice, to pass on a healthy and resilient planet to the next generations, to protect and lift up others, and to forge and strengthen bonds with diverse people and communities.
We will continue our work of promoting and supporting companies that place these objectives at the center of their identity and priorities, and to help others to do so. But as we reflect on the challenges ahead, we recognize that what we do in our day jobs can be only a part of our response to the circumstances we now face.
We must support and engage with others that bring complementary approaches to pursuing our shared goals, and who give direct voice to diverse people and communities at home and around the world. So we will redouble our personal and corporate engagement and support of organizations that are on the front lines in engaging with those less fortunate and protecting equality, freedom, and every person’s inalienable rights.
At the same time, we also need to get out of our bubbles and personally engage with our neighbors down the street, across town and down the highway. More than ever, realizing our values needs to start next door, not only on another continent in another language. This work at home has multiple dimensions – engaging with community and religious groups and becoming more active on all fronts and perhaps most importantly at this juncture, intervening directly through public demonstrations and direct actions to protect members of our communities – minorities, immigrants, refugees, and the economically stressed – and come together in the spirit of unity.
The Grassroots team and our families include diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives .We are sickened by the recent validation of hatred, bigotry, and fear in the US and in many countries and saddened by the promotion of the mindless disregard and persistent plundering of our planet and the health and futures of men, women and children at home and around the world.
2017 and the years that follow will require us all to work harder, share our resources more generously, forge new alliances and put ourselves at greater personal risk to work towards economic and social justice for all. We look forward to working with all of you, our friends and collaborators, as we do so.