Can we do this, Rhode Island?

The aftermath of an election season we will all remember, a global pandemic, an economic downturn, racial injustice in focus, still far too many in need across our state. We are facing formidable challenges. A look at the map of our state suggests Rhode Island is a deep shade of purple — not red, or blue — and compels us to all work together. Can we truly do that, Rhode Island?

Can we embrace common decency and common sense? Can we respect each other, returning to civic and civil dialogue? Can we be inclusive, equitable, and fair? Can we ensure that the state budget reflects our collective values — planning for long-term investment, not short-term fixes, focusing on big-picture solutions — how we adequately educate, keep healthy, house, feed, and ensure economic security for all Rhode Islanders?

Can we leverage our size for success? Can we have the courage to rethink, restructure, allow access and improve the systems that are meant to serve us all? Can we celebrate our rich cultural diversity? Can we be honest, and transparent? Can the social and economic will supersede political will? Can we compromise and not polarize? Can we all step up, show up, and speak up — leaving no one behind, and working to build a better future, together?

Yes, Rhode Island, we can!

As the state’s community foundation, we are committed and optimistic about what’s next. We stand ready to partner with a diverse base of inspired philanthropists, community stakeholders and advocates, public sector and business leaders to keep moving forward with purpose and conviction.

The upcoming holiday season is going to look and feel very different than it has in years past. Let’s use it as a time to recharge. And let’s make our way into the New Year safely, with renewed energy and drive to tackle all of this work — to start anew and stay the course — together.