The number of Americans who say they’re willing to resort to violence to achieve political ends remains small, but that number is growing at a time when deep divisions have come to characterize our country’s political system. Stand Together and the partners in our philanthropic community are proud to support dozens of organizations working to bring people together in recognition that Americans have much more in common than that which divides us. These are a diverse group of organizations equipping people to de-escalate tensions and protect freedoms of speech, conscience, and the right to peaceably assemble in order to make it possible for Americans to continue to participate in this great experiment in self-governance.
We recognize that despite our challenges, Americans are resilient. And nearly 250 years of elections shows our ability to navigate uncertainty and draw strength from our founding ideals — those of equal justice, inclusion, and empowerment reflected in the Declaration of Independence. We urge Americans to draw on these principles as the source of the solutions to our country’s problems. As such, Stand Together joins more than 100 philanthropic leaders calling for a condemnation of violence and adherence to democratic norms and the rule of law. Specifically, to:
- Ensure that all eligible voters are able to vote and to have their votes counted.
- Uphold the safety and integrity of the electoral process.
- Condemn all forms of political violence.
- Respect the peaceful continuation or transfer of power.
Although we have come to expect this kind of civic responsibility, 2020 has taught us not to take anything for granted.
Trust that America’s system, long the envy of the world, still delivers on the expectation that all voters will have their voices heard requires those involved to take responsibility for defending it against any who threaten to push that strain to the breaking point. A vigorous defense of our core civic values transcends partisanship and goes to the very heart of what it means to be an American. Every participant in American democracy has a role to play — media, businesses, civil society groups, citizens, and philanthropic organizations such as ours — in ensuring that people trust the process is honest, inclusive, and peaceful.
“Our goal,” concludes the letter, “is the strengthening of American democracy and careful and thoughtful leadership through this tense moment to achieve that objective.”
We stand alongside partners in protecting equal rights and promoting peaceful participation in our democratic process.