I have the honor of standing for a 75-year-old philanthropic institution that has faithfully pursued the mission of serving the most vulnerable in our community. And yet, I have asked myself every day over the last week: why is it so hard to find words to do justice to a moment in our history when the entire country is focused on vulnerability?
Our airwaves are filled with expressions ranging from rage to tenderness. They come from former presidents, the pope, bishops, journalists, activists, high school students and 6-year-old Gianna Floyd.
All in-person meetings cancelled or moving online, when possible.
The Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership, honored philanthropic leaders Maxwell King, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Foundation, and Grant Oliphant, president of The Heinz Endowments, for their strategic, innovative and transformational leadership as recipients of its Exemplary Leadership Award.
In a year strained by man-made and natural calamities, Pittsburghers confronted, overcame and uplifted. They doubled down in giving their time and treasure to those in need. The impulse for that extra effort is explained in the simple response of longtime Pittsburgh Foundation donor Joann Klein: “When it comes down to it, we just have to help as many people as we can in this world.”
Over the past two weeks many of us have been checking in with one another about how we’re doing. The consensus is that we are NOT O.K. We are Sad. Angry. Enraged. Anxious. Afraid.
Afraid for ourselves. Afraid for our children, our partners, our families and our friends. And we are TIRED – utterly exhausted.
We stand in solidarity with those calling for the fair administration of justice and we support the right of Americans to protest. Inspired by the millions who have done so, we join in the quest to end racist behaviors, policies and practices in systems that lead to emotional and physical violence to people of color, immigrants and other minorities.
IT MAY BE A CULTURAL QUIRK, but it seems that the only way we Pittsburghers truly understand the special value one person has in our community – the only way we accurately gauge the enormity of that person’s ability to make us better than we thought we could be – is when that person leaves us.
In October 2018, at the second annual presentation of The Pittsburgh Business Times Corporate Citizenship Award, The Pittsburgh Foundation announced an expansion of its Corporate Philanthropy Program.