We, the board of directors of The Global Switchboard and the undersigned members of the network, believe that two recent events – one national and one local – require our response. The first is the President’s disparaging remarks regarding immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries. The second is having the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette print an editorial supporting racist views on Martin Luther King Day.
These events offend principles and values of our globally-focused organization and the local community we serve.
We believe that when leaders in our country and community denigrate others, or publicly extoll a perspective that many of our fellow citizens find threatening or diminishing, we are all diminished.
In response, we want to be clear about what we stand for and why. At its core, The Global Switchboard – a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization – is committed to greater understanding among peoples and cultures. We offer a forum for diverse perspectives from around the world, and from across town and down the street. We amplify ideas and solutions from wherever we find them, and create an inclusive platform for conversations about current issues. We support activities and programs that further engagement with the world, offer a welcoming environment for newcomers, and uphold basic human rights.
We are interested in that which connects people rather than what divides them. The Global Switchboard convenes internationally-focused organizations and globally-minded people in our region to work together, learn from each other, and become more effective democratic citizens by seeing the world through the lives of others. Our goal is not to make up anyone’s mind, but rather to open minds. We hope you will join us in supporting these values and our mission.
-The Members of the Board of The Global Switchboard and the undersigned members of the network, January 2018