By Connie Martinez, SVCREATES’ Chief Executive Officer

The centrality of equity in our lives, our relationships, and the way we do business has been amplified in recent months as we try to make sense of the inequitable impact of COVID-19 and the murders of people of color at the hands of police. Let’s hope that our collective focus on equity is more than just a politically correct moment in time, but rather central to our enduring quest for a “more perfect union” — anchored in truth and justice.

When change occurs it often seems as if it happened overnight. It never does. SVCREATES has been on an 18-month journey of self-reflection related to issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. Our consulting team at Equity Arts has helped us better understand our nation’s history, its impact on people of color, and the important role that arts can play in inspiring and driving social change. Our board and staff have a renewed sense of purpose and commitment to social justice as we make changes to our programs in support of equity and inclusion.

We are learning every day and have a lot of work to do. I am excited to announce that Tamara Alvarado, executive director of the Shortino Foundation, and Roy Hirabayashi, founder of San Jose Taiko and the current director of the Multicultural Arts Institute (MALI), have joined the SVCREATES Board of Directors and will lead our newly created Equity Council. We are grateful for their insights, wisdom, and leadership. Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial spirit tends to think we did it all on our own — when, in fact, nobody does it on their own. And we won’t pretend we can.

I remain hopeful that we can do better as a region and as an organization. What if Silicon Valley moved from technology innovation to social innovation as its brand for changing the world? What if we helped to create a new and improved normal for all of us? What if the arts helped make that happen?

Stay tuned for change.

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