Like many of you, I am experiencing a visceral level of pain watching and absorbing the news of the violent warfare in Gaza and Israel.  My occasional blog posts tend to be far more human-centered rather than politically motivated, and this one centers on the pain and trauma of children, families, and all persons suffering at the hands of this terrible conflict – Israeli, Gazan, or Palestinian.

As a person of deep faith, I am and will continue to pray for peace in this region.

As the leader of an institutional investor in community wellness through a social justice lens, the latest conflagration in the Middle East helps explain why we fund what we fund and who we fund.  We believe in the principles of voice, democracy, and full inclusion — and that transformative change must happen through concerted, values-based, non-violent action.  This is what our state of California, nation, and world have learned from leaders named Gandhi, King, Lewis, Lawson, and Huerta.  It is why we fund community organizing and community organizers hand over fist at TCE because community organizers are skilled at witnessing and channeling the pain of injustice in the community into positive transformational change through peaceful action.  Community organizers are unapologetically inclusive – and this is precisely what our national and global communities need more than ever right now.

It explains why I and we can believe in the co-existence of a secure state of Israel, a thriving Palestinian community, and a world free of both anti-Semitism and racial injustice.  Our world functions politically in a zero-sum game – and this is why we invest in those who imagine the opposite:  doing the work of voice, participation, justice, and inclusion through peaceful organizing.

When the pain of violence sears through the marrow of our bones, then blessed are the peacemakers – and the organizers.

Bob Ross


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