A Beginning

Newsletter No. 1

Anne Snyder
Anne Snyder is the editor-in-chief of Comment magazine, a publication of Cardus, and the creator and host of Breaking Ground. From 2016 to 2019 she directed The Philanthropy Roundtable‘s Character Initiative, a program seeking to help foundations and business leaders re-envision the nature and shape of formative institutions needed for social and moral renewal in the United States. Her path-breaking guidebook, The Fabric of Character, was published in 2019. Anne is also a 2020 Emerson Fellow, a Trinity Forum Senior Fellow, and a Fellow at the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, a Houston-based think tank that explores how cities can drive opportunity for the bulk of their citizens. She has published widely, and currently lives in Washington, D.C.

What a time to begin a collaborative initiative. What was initially founded as a space to get articulate on the various moral opportunities embedded in the complex crisis incurred by COVID-19 now finds itself properly cat’s-cradled into the reckoning with racial injustice rocking the United States, and indeed, the globe. The Great Reset, it turns out, wasn’t just a function of a bodily disease sweeping the earth; it is now dealing with a disease of the soul.

So many questions are swirling now, more than we were asking even three weeks ago. How do our democratic institutions preserve their ideals while pruning their habituated hypocrisies? Where are wise and courageous leaders we can look to for guidance and cooperate with in trust? Is it possible to have an honest reckoning with our sins as nations, and come out better and closer on the other side? Where are the bridge-builders, peacemakers, place-makers and justice-shakers working in appreciative tandem?

Breaking Ground was founded on the observation that crises reveal a society’s vulnerabilities. They also test a society and will, one way or another, reshape it. The question is, will the interwoven crises of 2020 be remembered as cleansing or corroding? Is there a grace the church herself might offer that can stand in the gap?