Aug 19

"A New Sense of Community"

by Sargent Shriver Peace Institute | 08/19/2019 1:16PM | Quote of the Week | Leadership | War on Poverty

"A New Sense of Community"

"A New Sense of Community"

Our Quote of the Week is inspired by the relentless attacks on some of the most vulnerable members of our communities across the United States, including the economically disadvantaged, people of color, migrants and refugees (keeping in mind that in many cases our most vulnerable neighbors fall into more than one of these categories).

What does an inclusive community look like? This was a question that many American leaders have asked themselves in moments when they tackled our largest societal challenges. It was a question Sargent Shriver answered with the War on Poverty. It was a question that Sarge’s formidable contemporary, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., tackled with the Poor People’s Campaign and with his vision of the “beloved community”. An inclusive community is one that accepts everyone on their own terms. But it is more than that -- it is also a community that allows everyone to create economic security for themselves, and where no one is shunned or excluded when they are struggling.

The question of what makes an inclusive community is one we should be focusing on once again. In 2019, our most powerful leaders continue to threaten the safety and well-being of millions, by cutting health care, eliminating social assistance via the Public Charge Rule for both documented and undocumented immigrants, and continuing to deport and detain thousands of people who face life-threatening situations in their countries of origin (see Jimmy Al-Daoud’s story for just one recent example). Sargent Shriver knew that the only way to create a truly stable, and ultimately, a peaceful society would be to provide ample economic opportunity for our more vulnerable neighbors in moments when they needed it. This message is clear in the speech we used for our Quote of the Week, the Address to the Association of Counties.

We have an opportunity to create a more stable, inclusive society with the 2020 Presidential election. Let’s look for leaders who are communicating a message about a sense of community that includes opportunity and support for all of us, regardless of where we come from, what we look like, and how we worship.

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