At The Alaska Community Foundation, we work to strengthen communities, now and forever. We focus on supporting the efforts of those working to build and develop communities across the state. When the lives of some of our community members are not valued, it degrades every community member’s value. We stand with those working to eradicate oppression and racism and to remove the barriers that have so long stood in the path of equity.
Alaska has one of the most diverse populations in the United States. If we wish to celebrate that diversity and grow together, all communities, their perspectives, and experiences must be recognized and considered. One of the great matriarchs of Alaska, Elizabeth Peratrovich, once said in a debate to pass Alaska territory’s Anti-Discrimination Act of 1945, the first anti-discrimination law in the United States, “No law will eliminate crimes, but at least you as legislators can assert to the world that you recognize the evil of the present situation and speak your intent to help us overcome discrimination.”
This is a critical time for Alaska to surpass intent and endeavor to overcome. To that end, it is only together that we can create safety, inclusivity, belonging, and opportunity that recognizes and celebrates our differences and allows us to find adaptive solutions to the needs of each community. In working together, we will find that we are so much stronger for that diversity of perspective. When facing these issues, you may feel the grip of guilt and vulnerability or not know in what ways you can help. Rather than stepping back, we invite you to dig deep and engage in understanding others’ experiences and help strengthen our community together.