Mid-Year Update from President & CEO, Sherrie Armstrong
This year, the Community Foundation is living by the mantra, “Pivot. Reset. Reimagine.” Its positive and forward-focused message is not meant to diminish the hardship of the past year, but rather honor it. The pandemic and racial reckoning illuminated and exacerbated systemic inequities that have left too many people behind. We cannot go back to the way it was. It is imperative that we reimagine our community to ensure we all move forward together.
As we slowly and carefully emerge from the pandemic and return to the workplace, we reflect on what we’ve been through and how far we’ve come. We learned important lessons about the advantages of staying nimble. We took time individually and collectively to listen, learn, and acknowledge the value of our differences. We leveraged relationships and resources beyond our wildest expectations with the COVID-19 Response Fund, and we built resiliency as a community. Even as we draw inspiration from all the ways we came together and rose to the moment, community needs persist at elevated levels. We must maintain a sense of urgency.
The Community Foundation is doubling down on its commitment to create equality of opportunity throughout our region. We are working closely in and across sectors to strengthen connectivity and alignment in our actions. Our collective goal is to support a more inclusive, innovative, and competitive region where all residents can benefit. In our latest round of community impact grants, you will see even greater focus on equity, with deeper investments in high impact areas such as early childhood development, access to jobs, and affordable housing – each fundamental to advancing economic mobility. Lastly, we are intentionally cultivating new partnerships that have led to expansive giving and engagement opportunities, such as:
- Amandla Fund for Economic and Racial Justice to mobilize long-term investments to strengthen the Black community and achieve racial equity.
- ouRVA Collective to support shared learning and leveraged giving among emerging philanthropists.
- K-12 school partnerships that support the development of learning and volunteer opportunities to engage youth and families.
The Community Foundation is more than an institution. It is a collection of people who care deeply about strengthening our community and improving lives. There is much to do, and we could not be more grateful to be on this journey with you. Please reach out anytime with thoughts or ideas about how we can work better together.
With warmest wishes,