Amidst growing political division, a new coalition, “Tomorrow Together,” including more than 20 nonprofit organizations, is organizing diversity service projects, helping to teach empathy and unity to America’s youth, and bringing generations together nationwide for community service.
The initiative was announced in April in preparation for the upcoming 15th anniversary of 9/11. The groups will ask Americans and the nation’s political leadership to put aside their differences and pledge to work together on a bipartisan basis to help solve some of our country’s most pressing societal problems.
“It is unfortunate how divided America has become since 9/11, a time when we were so strongly united as a nation,” said David Paine, president and co-founder of 9/11 Day. “Our goal with ‘Tomorrow Together’ is to rekindle and reinforce the important lessons of empathy, service and unity that arose from the 9/11 tragedy, and encourage all Americans and our leaders to work more closely together again as one nation to address the challenges facing our society.”
Plans for the anniversary celebration call for interfaith service projects and the development of lesson plans that teach empathy. The large-scale service projects staged in many cities on September 11, 2016, are intended to bring together a diverse community of people to help address hunger in America and other important societal issues.
Nonprofits and education groups in the “Tomorrow Together” initiative
- Voices for National Service
- AARP Foundation
- Teach for America
- America’s Promise
- Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality & Equality
- Alliance for Peacebuilding
- Repair The World
- Catholic Volunteer Network
- Points of Light Institute
- Service For Peace
- Building Bridges Coalition
- National Collaboration for Youth
- United Way Worldwide
- Ashoka’s Start Empathy Initiative
- National Youth Leadership Council
- City Year
- Global Peace Foundation
- Compassion Games International
- The George Washington University
- Youth Service America
- Corporation for National and Community Service
- Save the Children
- After School Alliance
- National Human Services Assembly
One of the nonprofits taking part in the 15th anniversary is MENTOR: The National Mentor Partnership. David Shapiro, CEO of the nonprofit, told US News & World Report last year that for young people who are struggling—with school, friends, or just life in general—having an adult show interest in their lives can make a difference.
A one-to-one mentoring relationship between a student and an adult can be supportive and has been linked with positive outcomes, such as an improved connection to school and adults, lower dropout indicators, and higher achievement, according to a 2014 report on the effect of mentoring from his organization. It could also improve attendance at school and reduce absenteeism.
“It turns out kids really care that people care that they are at school, and that’s not always clear to them in really big institutions and with parents under a ton of other pressures,” he was quoted as saying.