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America is at a crossroads.
One road leads to community; the other to the chaos of competing identities and interests. We have all hurt one another, often unconsciously, in ways we would never intend. We need each other… We must demonstrate that our diversity is our greatest strength and that out of this diversity is rising a new American community. We can offer hope to a world torn by divisions of every kind.
We invite everyone to join us in a renewed commitment to an American community based on justice, reconciliation and excellence. The original promise of this country, that out of a rich diversity of peoples a great nation would rise, has only partially been fulfilled. This unique experiment remains incomplete because the promise of equal opportunity and dignity for all has not been fully realized. Much of the distrust, resentment and fear in America today is rooted in our unacknowledged and unhealed history…
The new American community will flow from a spirit of giving freely without demanding anything in return. In the new American community, when any one individual is injured, exploited or demeaned, all of us will feel the pain and be diminished. It will be a place where hearts can put down roots and where each feels accepted and at home. Some painful memories cannot be erased. But forgiving is not forgetting; it is letting go of the hurt.
To build this new American community, we must empower individuals to take charge of their lives and take care of their communities… This approach calls us to a new concept of partnership and responsibility:
Together, we will share our lives and the resources God has given us to make America a community of hope, security and opportunity for all.
In 1996 Hope in the Cities (a program of Initiatives of Change) issued A Call to Community at the National Press Club. One hundred local and national elected officials, and leaders of national organizations, joined this bi-partisan invitation which helped to spark a movement of inclusive, honest dialogue across differences of race and politics. Senator Bill Bradley described it as a bridge to a “spiritually transformed community in which reconciliation is possible.” This practical framework, based on the experience of thousands of people, is more relevant today than ever.
For the full text and list of endorsers go to Call to Community
Building trust in the heart of community
• Listen carefully and respectfully to each other and to the whole community