I applaud the Council on Foundations for having Al Gore speak on Monday.
The theme of this annual conference—Intersections: Social Change, Social Justice, Social Innovation—was a perfect match for the former vice president’s passionate words.
I watched the more than 1,000 Council members who represent so many different passions (children, social justice, education, innovation) respond to Gore’s message—that he wished he could take what is in his heart and pass it to all of us, so we would have the will to act on climate change and vital democratic concerns. I wondered: How do we connect when this conference is done?
The pitting of immigration reform against climate change is a perfect example. It can’t be an either/or proposition—one but not the other. We all need to stand together and figure out how to layer our work to include climate in our own focus but support vital debates like immigration reform. One movement should connect to the other.
I met a family funder after the Gore talk who told me she doesn’t consider herself an environmental funder. She primarily funds women and girls in her community, but she also funds sustainability and, more and more, is seeing the connection rather than the silos. That is how we will all win, when we connect and find ways to complement our own missions with that of the world.
I invite you to check out the Environmental Grantmakers Assocation (www.ega.org). We are a membership organization of funders who focus on the environment. But many of our members have other focuses; they believe part of their docket should go to protecting our future. Check us out if you want to explore that path.