Shutting down after 60 years of operation, the Foundation for Global Community, a local educational and fundraising nonprofit, will be celebrating its achievements and message with a local television broadcast this weekend.
The Palo Alto foundation officially closed Dec. 31, 2010, and has since been liquefying all assets, including a retreat center in the Santa Cruz Mountains and headquarters in Palo Alto. The funds will be donated to nonprofit organizations including the Land Institute in Salina, Kan., the Pachamama Alliance in San Francisco and others, trustee Jim Burch said.
"We weren't making maximum use of the resources that have developed over time and now we are hoping to send them to others who can use them," Burch said.
"The money will also go to a young people's organization in Africa among others, funding their travel and work there," he added.
Since 2006, the foundation has granted more than $17 million to 197 recipients, Burch said.
The Foundation for Global Community traces its origin back more than 80 years, to Dr. Henry Burton Sharman, a theologian and scientist from the University of Chicago, who sought to unify the disciplines of science and religion in the belief that each searched for the same universal truths about reality, according to the nonprofit.
Eventually, in 1949, Sequoia Seminar Foundation was incorporated locally and by 1964, men and women were writing curricula, leading discussion groups and seminars, and planning and giving presentations for the public. Some of these programs were called "The Quest for Meaning," "Challenge to Change," and "The Challenge of Time."
In 1971, these activities were incorporated as Creative Initiative Foundation.
In 1981, the Cold War was at its height and the organization's focus changed to survival in the nuclear age. The Beyond War movement developed, eventually involving more than 20,000 people around the world, the nonprofit states on its website.
With the end of the Cold War, the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, and other hopeful signs of change, Beyond War enlarged its focus and, in 1991, became Foundation for Global Community.
"The foundation is essentially an educational one which began its formation in 1950. We are involved with social activism and operate on the basic belief that cooperating together with all cultures, races and nations will help make the world a better place," Burch said.
The two-hour television broadcast, hosted by the Midpeninsula Media Center and entitled "Global Community," will air on Friday (Feb. 25) from 7 to 9 p.m. (Comcast Channel 28) and Saturday (Feb. 26) from 8 to 10 p.m. (Comcast Channel 27).
It will present an overview of the organization's philosophy, history and work, with commentary by seven grant recipients, Burch said.
More information on the foundation's history is available online.