We’re half way through the VOICE listening sessions we are holding throughout the Bay Area and what we are learning will have practical application, informing our immediate work and the next decade of our work expanding opportunity and shared prosperity in the region.
The conversation in Marin held true to that mission. Many of you joined us with passion, energy, and truth-telling about what you are experiencing in the county. We heard that as much as there is pride in the prosperity and beauty, there is a gulf in who gets to experience all of those positive attributes due to a variety of factors including geography, race, and class.
This challenge is the challenge of our day, and the very challenge that we intend to tackle as a community foundation serving the Bay Area region. As a region, we won’t be able to thrive if the entrepreneurs, public officials and policymakers of tomorrow are being left behind today.
With all the conversations we’ve had so far, a consistent theme our team has heard is how interconnected our region is as many of you live and work in different counties and cities. While this rings true throughout the region, there are issues in Richmond and Union City that are markedly different than in East Palo Alto or Marin City. Being able to have a strategy that’s both region-wide and responsive to nuances of neighborhoods and communities is important and the only way we will get there is through the kinds of partnerships and community conversations we are having throughout the region. This is how we will continue move forward.
In addition to asking people to share stories in person, we’re also doing so virtually. I invite you to visit bayareavoices.org to read and continue to share stories about your lived experiences in the Bay Area.
The more we share our stories, the more equipped we are to understand and take action that will make real change in people’s lives. Encourage your friends and neighbors to share their story and take part as well because in order for our work to be impactful, it has to be grounded in community, in your voice and day to day experience about what it means to build a life and a future here at home.