Standing Together in Love and Faith

Standing Together in Love and Faith

FAITHS (Foundation Alliance with Interfaith to Heal Society), a program founded by the San Francisco Foundation, has issued the following statement in response to the violent incidents across the country.

We are living in real times where people are murdered for their religious beliefs and the color of their skin. We are faced with dehumanizing and fearful rhetoric that forsakes our deepest religious scriptures that teach us to welcome all people into our communities.

As we grieve for our brothers and sisters killed at the Pittsburgh synagogue and for Maurice Stallard and Vickie Jones murdered at a Kroger grocery store in Kentucky, we express our deepest condolences to their families and friends. We also recommit ourselves to building a beloved community where we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers and allies. Our shared humanity and solidarity across different racial, ethnic, and religious communities is what binds us together and inspires us to move toward the promise of a brighter peaceful future.

We, like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., have decided to stick with love because as he said, “Hate is too great a burden to bear…hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

We raise our voices along with others across the country to call for an end to this violence and dehumanizing rhetoric that divides us.  We believe strongly that your voice, your actions, and your vote can bring about change. We also have noted giving suggestions below.

We stand together in love and faith.

Signatories from the FAITHS executive committee,

Rita Semel
Past Chair, San Francisco Interfaith Council

Michael Pappas
Executive Director, San Francisco Interfaith Council

Rev. Deborah Lee
Executive Director, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity

Rev. Clarence Johnson
Oakland Resident and Theological Seminary Student

Rev. Michael Yoshii
Pastor, Buena Vista United Methodist Church

Ralph Morales
Interim Executive Director, South Hayward Parish

Valerie Street
Jones Memorial United Methodist Church

Michelle Myles Chambers
FAITHS Program Manager, San Francisco Foundation

If you are moved to action, we recommend giving to the organizations below. These are nonprofits that our foundation has researched and vetted, as well as supported with our own grantmaking dollars. If you prefer, you can make a grant to our Rapid Response Fund and we will deploy your dollars quickly to address the most urgent needs.

Southern Poverty Law Center
The Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society.

San Francisco Interfaith Council
The San Francisco Interfaith Council’s (SFIC) work centers on civil rights, homelessness, housing affordability, and disaster preparedness. The SFIC convenes and amplifies the voice of the city’s faith-based community on these important issues.

Interfaith Council of Alameda County
The Interfaith Council of Alameda County (ICAC) promotes mutual respect, understanding and engagement among the diverse faith traditions in Alameda County. ICAC mobilize people to serve the community against bigotry and hate; support religious liberties; promote interfaith organizations and activities; and build a just and moral community to provide shelter, living wage jobs, and dignity for all.

Interfaith Council of Contra Costa
The Interfaith Council of Contra Costa (ICCCC) is committed to supporting the religious and communities in the county. ICCCC provides a Defusing Hatred Program – participants learn nonviolent communication skills and develop tools for responding to harassment and hate speech. The Winter Nights Family Shelter offers warm shelter at night and daytime services for families with children.

Marin Interfaith Council
Marin Interfaith Council (MIC) is a respectful collaborative that celebrates faith traditions, advocates justice and builds community. MIC cultivates a community diverse in belief, opinion, and culture to make Marin a more vibrant and equitable community. The work in the religious, nonprofit and public spheres aims to make Marin a national model of inclusive community.

Bend The Arc: Bay Area
Bend the Arc: Bay Area is part of a national Jewish movement to help build a country that lives up to our values of justice and equality for all. Bend The Arc advocates for structural policy changes working in partnership with communities most impacted by economic inequality and systemic racial injustice.

FAITHS (Foundation Alliance with Interfaith to Heal Society) program, founded by SFF in collaboration with key faith organizations in 1993, represents hundreds of diverse communities that support the mission of racial and economic equity across the Bay Area. Our congregations and faith-based organizations are among philanthropy’s strongest partners. We have a unifying belief that all people deserve to be free from violence and persecution and it is our shared responsibility to build strong, healthy, and equitable communities.