Pilot House from the harbor

Matt Conti

We Must All Speak Out

Together, we must ensure that hate does not prevail.

At a moment in our country’s history when the President of the United States chooses to fuel division with his words and through his actions or inaction, it is no longer an option to remain silent.

We at the Barr Foundation add our unequivocal voice to the growing chorus that explicitly renounces the violent expressions of hate and the vile racism and bigotry that we witnessed in Charlottesville in August. Of course, such sentiments are not isolated to Virginia, and with a President who increasingly empowers these fringe actors, we will see more of it.

It is no longer an option to remain silent. Tweet This

That we find ourselves in this moment only reinforces the fact that our work is far from complete on our way to fulfilling this country’s promise of “e pluribus unum.” It is a moment that should lead all of us to decide what we should do, how we can engage, and where we can commit energy and resources to demonstrate unambiguously that there are not “many sides” to moral imperatives such as fighting racism and combatting bigotry in all of its forms.

In Barr’s philanthropy, we focus on creating a better future. We do this by investing in expanding opportunities for young people, helping them to develop the skills and competencies to be critical thinkers and engaged citizens. We aim to address one of the most urgent challenges of our time in climate change, an area under particular attack by this administration, which only strengthens our resolve to ensure we are protecting our planet for future generations. And we seek to ensure that artistic expression in all of its forms remains vibrant and relevant. This is especially needed at a time when the arts can serve as a powerful tool to express our humanity, capture the essence of this moment, and engage us in constructive dialogue. All of these commitments will continue unabated, of course, as we believe that these investments in potential will lead to a better tomorrow.

Earlier this year, and following some of the early actions of the new presidential administration and expressions by the President that the media were “the enemy of the American people,” Barr announced a special initiative focused on investigative journalism and support for frontline organizations working with the most vulnerable communities in Massachusetts, including immigrants and refugees, LGBTQ people, and people of color. To date, we have committed over $3 million to this critical work, which we saw as a necessary expansion of our grantmaking in view of today’s reality.

We will remain focused on opportunities to engage with this perilous moment in our country’s history. Whether through our grantmaking, other ways we can best support our partners, or the use of our own voice, we will remain vigilant about how we can play a role, along with many others, to ensure that hate does not prevail.

Whether through our grantmaking, other ways we can best support our partners, or the use of our own voice, we will remain vigilant about how we can play a role, along with many others, to ensure that hate does not prevail.

Earlier this week in Boston, we celebrated the groundbreaking for Martin’s Park, honoring Martin Richard who was tragically killed in the 2013 marathon bombing. That joyous and energetic event embodied the best of our city, with its clear focus on inclusion, its emphatic messages of unity and peace, and its evident spirit of hope and aspiration. It was a day that called us to be our best, to honor a young boy who immortalized the message: “No more hurting people. Peace.” And it was a day that reminded us that good can come out of evil when we are resolute in a shared commitment to forge a better tomorrow.

It is that spirit that will continue to animate our work at Barr, as we stand resolute in our continued commitment to the principles of inclusion, equity, and opportunity that inform all that we do.

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Jim Canales

James E. Canales

President & Trustee