It has become clear that the real hope for the sustainability of the global effort to strengthen democracy and the culture of interdependence lies with the independent sector—with civic, cultural, educational and religious organizations that can embrace the principal tenets of the emerging movement and integrate them into the very core of their work. Charities and foundations are uniquely positioned to encourage their constituents to see the post – Cold War, post –communist and yes, post 9/11 world with new eyes. The combination of historical events and the revolution in information and communication technologies has ended the old world order. It is for us to construct a future that acknowledges the realities of interdependence, for better and worse, and enlarge our sense of civic responsibility to meet those realities.
Society’s institutions can and must respond to the needs of our time. We can do that by expanding our view of civic engagement to include all the world’s people; redefi ning culture as “cultures” in all their diversity through performances, exhibitions, artist and scholar exchanges and residencies that reflect a recognition of our uniqueness and our interconnectedness; using education across all disciplines to open the hearts and minds of students to understanding and taking action in the world they will inherit; and demonstrating through religious organizations, by way of sermons and interfaith dialogues,that it is possible to live one’s life in one faith while respecting the right of those of different faiths or no faith to do the same.
Interdependence Day was formally launched at the American Philosophical Society (founded by Benjamin Franklin) in Philadelphia on September 12, 2003, it was a response to 9/11, affording us the opportunity to ask, “What next? Where do we go from here, beyond anger and fear, to find a constructive path to a more sane and humane future?” We firmly believe that in time Interdependence Day can have the same impact on the global civic movement that Earth Day has had on the global environmental movement