PACT: Celebrating 30 Years of Community Building

PACT: Celebrating 30 Years of Community Building

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Bishop Patrick J. McGrath gave a Welcome Reflection at the PACT luncheon on November 13 at the Santa Clara Convention Center.
Bishop Patrick J. McGrath gave a Welcome Reflection at the PACT luncheon on November 13 at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

 

By Liz Sullivan

A luncheon was held on November 13 at the Santa Clara Convention Center to celebrate 30 years of an organization that brings people together to create a more healthy and just community.

PACT – People Acting in Community Together — held its Leadership Luncheon in the Mission Ballroom. Hundreds of people came together to celebrate honorees, Judge LaDoris H. Cordell, and Sanjay Mehrotra and Tom Baker, both of SanDisk.

In his Welcome Reflection, Bishop Patrick J. McGrath focused on the term “We” for each of his reflections.

“We gather to celebrate our values as communities of faith,” he said. “We believe that family is a value that motivates participation in public life and that across economic levels most families share common concerns for good schools, affordable housing, safe neighborhoods, high quality healthcare, civil rights and civic participation.”

A focus of PACT is helping immigrants to assimilate and lead healthy, productive lives in their new country.

“We believe that the immigrant experience is the universal American story,” added Bishop, “that as we build strong communities, we need to insure that new community members are welcomed, valued and not exploited. We believe in People Acting in Community Together!”

Two executives from SanDisk, a company that produces flash storage products, were honored. CEO Sanjay Mehrotra and Senior Vice President, Human Resources Tom Baker received awards. Mehrotra was ill and could not attend so Baker accepted for him. Since 2003, SanDisk’s community foundation has provided 800 grants totaling $16 million. About 90 percent of its 6,000 employees participate in some kind of community service,

“At SanDisk we are committed to social responsibility,” said Baker. “Acting in community together transforms a community. For PACT, my respect and admiration has grown tremendously. You have certainly helped many people get an education for them and their families. I am very humbled by this award.”

Delivering a truly inspiring speech was Judge LaDoris H. Cordell. A retired Superior Court Judge in Santa Clara County, Cordell ended her talk by playing the piano and singing a song about Psalm 30:6 ‘Hold Out for Joy,’ so all you need to do is hold out hope for the morning.

“This honor leaves me humbled, grateful and very happy. I know I am in the company of good people. Now it is up to us to go forward and do all that we can so the system will guarantee justice and freedom for everyone.”

Learn more about PACT by visiting, www.PACTSJ.org.