Letter from the executive chair

Executive Chair, Trevor Pears
From tolerance to understanding

Our Foundation has always worked hard to recognise, celebrate and champion plural identities. By this I mean that we all hold a number of identities that help shape who we are.

I am Jewish. I am British, English, Scottish, European. I am a Southerner, a Londoner, a North Londoner. I am a husband, a father, a brother. I could go on.

I am happy and proud to be all of the above. But it is only in combination that they describe who I am, how I think, and how I see and relate to other people.

Today, in our increasingly complex and divided world, there can be considerable pressure to hold one singular identity and to champion one set of values and loyalties above another. But doing so denies the richness and diversity of our lives.

We are often told that one of our great British values is tolerance. I am, of course, all for tolerance. But, like most people, I would much rather be understood than simply tolerated. And in order to understand, we must learn about others. We must develop individual, critical thinking, and fully embrace difference and complexity.

A tremendous amount of our work here at the Foundation therefore seeks to promote a better and deeper understanding of others, and of oneself.

We hope you have time to explore our website further and to read more about our work and what we are trying to achieve.

Our family are continually grateful to all our partners and friends who make our work possible, but particularly appreciative of our terrific Foundation team who have stayed focussed and kept everything moving forward.

Trevor Pears

Read the previous letter

To read the 2011 Letter from the executive chair click here