President’s Blog: Charlottesville & Our Values

President’s Blog: Charlottesville & Our Values

By Dan Baldwin, Community Foundation for Monterey County President & Chief Executive Officer

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to wrap my mind around the events in Charlottesville, and the aftermath, which is ongoing. Normally, this space is reserved for addressing topics of direct relevance to our work at the CFMC, so the question becomes how marchers in Virginia (and now elsewhere) connect to philanthropy and grantmaking on the Central Coast?

DanBaldwinSpeaking out against bigotry, racism and hate speech isn’t a question of whether the primary event is local. Events that impact our national mood, our ability to live in a civil society, affect us all.” – Dan Baldwin, CFMC President/CEO

That we live in a community that is racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse, and where religious freedoms and personal identity are not threatened is a bed rock of what has made Monterey County such a remarkable place to live, work and raise families.

Anything that erodes our sense of safety and security is a threat to everyone.

Bait and Switch

What often happens in national arguments is the emergence of a rhetorical “bait and switch.” For years we’ve heard that the Civil War was about state’s rights. What rights were they standing up for? The ability to own another human being? To treat people as a commodity, to be bought and sold at will? The Civil War was first and foremost about slavery.

Hate Speech vs Free Speech

And now hate speech is being conflated with free speech, as though marching and shouting Nazi era slogans – only 70 years after the extermination of 6 million Jews – is a 1st amendment right we should proudly preserve.

Free speech is indeed paramount in a free society. We must be willing to listen to and be tolerant of multiple points of view. But that isn’t the same thing as espousing hatred, of subjugating entire parts of our population because of their race, ethnicity or identity.” – Dan Baldwin, CFMC President/CEO

The 1st amendment was not based on the premise of violently denying the rights of others to live and prosper in America.

Our Values

Pretty much every community foundation has “Mission, Vision, Values” statements. We can all generally recite the Mission and Vision, if only because we say them so often.

The values statements tend to lurk in the background, like supporting actors to the lead role. But, in this moment, I want to focus the lens on our values, and make sure we do our very best to have them gird all our work. I think we’ll be better for it.

Community Foundation for Monterey County Values

  • We advance positive change through grantmaking, community engagement and collaboration.
  • We build a legacy for future generations through responsible stewardship of the resources entrusted to us.
  • We operate with the highest standards of integrity, ethics and accountability.
  • We embrace inclusivity and diversity.
  • We commit to fairness and respect for the dignity of all people.
  • We are open and honest with our philanthropic partners, grantees and the community.
  • We strive for excellence in all that we do.
 Dan Baldwin is President/CEO of the Community Foundation for Monterey County, which holds more than 450 charitable funds and has total assets of  more than $220 million. In 2016 the CFMC granted $15 million to hundreds of nonprofits in Monterey County and beyond.