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21 posts from March 2012

One Year Later: Rebuilding After the Great Tōhoku Earthquake

March 09, 2012

James Gannon is executive director of the Japan Center for International Exchange/USA, which works to strengthen U.S.-Japan cooperation across a range of fields. Recently, Laura Cronin, a regular contributor to PhilanTopic, spoke with Gannon about the progress of rebuilding efforts in the quake- and tsunami-affected Tohoku region of the country.

James_gannon.jpgPhilanthropy News Digest: The earthquake and tsunami affected a four hundred-mile region along the northeastern coast of Japan -- an area roughly comparable to the BosWash corridor in the United States. What are conditions in the region like now, a year later? And how have people in the affected region, and the country at large, been changed as a result of the disaster?

James Gannon: Even now, some communities are still disposing of rubble, while things appear almost normal in other, less-hard-hit areas. Compared to the scenes of utter devastation we saw a year ago, there has been extraordinary progress. But if you spend any time in these communities, you realize the depth of the wounds. More than three hundred thousand people are still without homes, and that is weakening traditional community ties. Many of the jobs in the fishing industry, agriculture, and small business have not returned, resulting in high unemployment and all the social problems it brings.

Meanwhile, women who lost family members, men who are ashamed that they can no longer support their families, and children traumatized by the disaster are grappling with mental health issues. The stoicism of the people in the Tōhoku region is stunning -- even by Japanese standards -- but most acknowledge that the road to recovery will be long.

On the other hand, there has been a resurgence of ambition and a sense of mission in the country. Seeing what's at stake, many people -- especially young people -- are losing patience with the status quo, and that is bound to affect politics, business, and society in general. In particular, many young people are searching for ways to contribute to the recovery by seeking out careers in the nonprofit sector, partly because Japanese nonprofits have played such a visible and indispensable role in helping the nation recover from the disaster. It is not entirely accurate, but some people cite the 1995 Kobe earthquake, when thousands of volunteers streamed into the city to help, as the birth of civil society in Japan. To extend the analogy, the 3/11 disaster is likely to be seen by historians as the coming of age of Japanese civil society.

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International Women’s Day: A Photo Essay

March 08, 2012

On this, International Women's Day, we are prompted to ask: To what extent is the global water and sanitation crisis largely a women's issue? After all, women almost exclusively shoulder the burden of water collection, suffer the most from lack of sanitation access and its resulting indignities, and, as primary caregivers, are affected the most when children fall sick with water-related diseases. Fully involving women in community water and sanitation programs, as WaterAid does, ensures that programs meet their needs. It also helps equip women with the skills and confidence they need to tackle other development challenges in their communities.

Written by Libby Plumb, senior communications advisor for WaterAid America, the post below reflects on and celebrates the role of women in the WASH crisis through photos. In her thirteen years with WaterAid, Plumb has undertaken a variety of roles in both the UK and U.S. and has visited many of the organization’s country programs. Plumb has a degree in philosophy, politics and economics from the University of Oxford. A version of this post appears on the new FC-powered WASHfunders.org blog.


Credit: WaterAid/Eva-Lotta Jansson

The indignity of lacking somewhere private to go to the bathroom is particularly felt by women. In many cultures women have to wait until it is dark to relieve themselves, causing discomfort and sometimes illness. It can also expose women to the risk of both sexual harassment and animal attacks. In Sandimhia Renato's village in Mozambique, women have to cross an unstable bridge to go to the toilet. Some have drowned crossing in the dark or at high tide.


Credit: WaterAid/Abir Abdullah

The world’s poorest communities are generally male-dominated, so extra effort has to be taken to ensure that women are equally included in all stages of water and sanitation programs, including planning, construction, and decision-making. A lack of education for women in developing countries means that very few women can be decision-makers, yet enabling women's voices to be heard is a crucial step in development. Above, women are pictured making latrine slabs for a WaterAid sanitation program in Bangladesh.


Credit: WaterAid/Jon Spaull

WaterAid helps to elevate women's status in society by giving them positions of responsibility in the water committees established to manage new water supplies. Zeinabu Kayisi (above), chairperson of a village water committee in the Salima District of Malawi, told us: "Being able to maintain the pump myself makes me feel independent and strong!"'


Credit: WaterAid/Libby Plumb

WaterAid often chooses women to become hygiene educators. Zubeyda Gudeta (pictured above), helping women wash their hands before eating at a wedding reception, works as a hygiene promoter for WaterAid in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. She told us, "There has been a great change since the WaterAid project. Before this, some people didn't wash their things like food containers. Now they wash their pots and plates three times. Now, people are healthier in this area than in other areas."


Credit: WaterAid/Caroline Irby

A safe water source makes everyday household tasks much easier. More importantly, mothers and expectant mothers, like Sila Adeke from the Katakwi District of Uganda (above), no longer fear for the health of their children. "The borehole is much closer so I can fetch more water than before. Washing clothes is so easy now and I can use a whole jerry can for washing plates. The rate of illness is much lower. With this new source my child will grow up healthy and I am not concerned that it will grow sick."


Credit: WaterAid/Jon Spaull

The privacy that comes with safe, clean bathrooms is especially important for women with disabilities for whom leaving the house is more challenging. Suffering from impaired vision, Rukhmani Devi from India (above) is pleased her family now has a private latrine: "When I had my eye operation [for cataracts], I realized just how convenient having a latrine is, as before I would have had to go to the fields. Life is good now, as before people would be able to see us using the fields and we weren't able to relax -- instead we were always alert and worried."


Credit: WaterAid/Suzanne Porter

When women are freed from having to spend hours each day collecting water, they have more time available for other activities that can help them to escape poverty. Mary Chukle (above) from Takkas in Nigeria credits the new water supply with enabling her to open a business: "Before we got the well, we had to trek down to the river with the children and it took up to two hours. Because of the time I save now from getting water the old way, I was able to work more and apply for a loan to buy a small village shop which I now run."

Do you have a story about how women are meeting development challenges in their communities? Feel free to share in the comments section below...

-- Libby Plumb

Tragedy in Greece: A Q&A With Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President, Stavros Niarchos Foundation

March 06, 2012

Andreas_DracopoulosFor almost two years, Greece has been the epicenter of a sovereign debt crisis that threatens to undermine a European monetary union more than twenty years in the making. Ever since the country received a bailout in 2010, questions about its ability to service its debt have kept global financial markets on edge and Eurozone finance ministers, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund scrambling to find a solution. The announcement in February of a second, $172 billion (€130 billion) bailout did little to boost confidence that the country will be able to put its public finances on a more sustainable footing and avoid a potentially catastrophic default.

The real tragedy in the situation, however, is the worsening economic plight of the Greek people. Even as Europe skids into recession, the Greek economy is spiraling into depression, taking people’s livelihoods, life savings, and hopes for the future with it. As Anastasis Chrisopoulos, a 31-year-old Athens taxi driver, told a Reuters reporter after the most recent bailout deal was approved: "So what? Things will only get worse. We have reached a point where we are trying to figure out how to survive just the next day, let alone the next ten days, the next month, the next year."

Earlier this month, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) announced grants totaling $12.1 million (€9.2 million) to sixteen organizations in Greece -- the first installment of a three-year, $130 million (€100 million) commitment announced by the foundation in January to address the effects of the deepening socioeconomic crisis there. Established by Stavros Niarchos, the Greek shipping tycoon, before his death in 1996, the foundation typically allocates in the neighborhood of 50 percent of its grant dollars to organizations and projects in Greece. In 2009, the foundation committed $790 million (€566 million) for the development and construction of the Renzo Piano-designed Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens.

Two of Niarchos' sons -- Philip and Spyros -- and a great-nephew, Andreas Dracopoulos, serve as co-presidents of the foundation's six-member board. PND spoke with Dracopoulos in New York in December and again in February about the foundation's approach to grantmaking, its decision to proactively address the situation in Greece, and his views on the ultimate resolution of the crisis.

Philanthropy News Digest: SNF makes grants in four broad areas -- arts and culture, education, health and medicine, and social welfare. What, if any, are the advantages of working internationally within those portfolios?

Andreas Dracopoulos: Well, we believe in collaboration, at all levels, and having broad portfolios gives us a lot of flexibility to pursue public/private partnerships that help link the U.S. with Europe or with Greece, and vice versa. At the end of the day, however, it's really about whether a project actually will add social value. If we think it will, and if the people behind it can demonstrate they are committed and will do a good job, we'll consider funding them.

PND: Can you give us an example of the kind of work you support outside Greece?

AD: Twenty percent -- around 50 percent, if the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center is excluded -- of our grantmaking is international, and one of the things we have focused on with those grant dollars is accessibility and inclusion in the arts, for artists as well as patrons. Over the past six years, for example, we've provided support for accessibility programs at the Museum of Modern Art. We also support the Theatre Development Fund in New York City and some of its national work on open captioning, and Lincoln Center's accessibility campaign. And just recently we awarded a grant to Second Stage Theatre to boost ADA compliance at its new theater on Forty-Third Street.

PND: What is the foundation's biggest program in the United States?

AB: We don't operate programs in the U.S., although we do fund programs run by others. Our largest commitments have been to institutions like Johns Hopkins and Weill Cornell Medical College for medical research, and we've also provided major support to the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Public Library, and Yale University.

PND: Let's talk about the situation in Greece. For the last two years, the country has been at the center of Europe's sovereign debt crisis. How did Greece get into the mess it finds itself in?

AD: It's complicated. But at the end of the day, it's a problem that affects all of Europe, so I think it's important for us to talk about it. Look at Ireland and Greece, two countries having trouble. In those countries, the problem of too much debt had completely different origins. In Ireland, it was basically banks and the private sector that caused the problem with too much leverage and risky lending. In Greece, in contrast, it was the actions of the public sector over the last thirty or forty years that is to blame. Loss of competitiveness, what I call an erosion of morality, not following the rules, not following regulations, not paying taxes, a big black-market economy, people becoming complacent and entitled. All these things added up over these years. While the music was playing, everybody was happy. Greece hosted the Summer Olympic Games in 2004, and there was this false sense we had made it. That was another problem, because once again I don't think the country did a good job preparing for the Games. We were lucky that in the end it all worked out, but it reinforced the false sense that we didn't need to work any harder, that when push came to shove we'd be able to pull it off. Of course, the budget for the Games went through the roof. And it was the public sector that was most responsible for that and for the terrible situation in which the country finds itself.

PND: Even for those who follow the news from Europe, the crisis in Greece can seem pretty far removed from their everyday concerns. What has the crisis meant for the average person in Greece?

AD: I live in the States, but of course we have families in Greece and an office there, so we hear a lot about what's going on. I think over the last five to six months months, especially since the summer, the country has entered a new stage of the crisis, a stage where you have real suffering, people not having money, leaving their kids in orphanages because they have nothing to feed them, committing suicide. It has become a real social crisis. It's like Greece is a dying animal. In some ways, it's similar to what happened with Lehman, except that Lehman could and did disappear. Greece cannot disappear. Which means the Greek people will continue to suffer.

PND: SNF made a $1.9 million grant in December to address some of the more negative effects of the crisis. That was followed in January by the announcement that you had decided to commit up to an additional $130 million over three years to address the effects of the crisis. Let's start with the first grant. What were your objectives in making it?

AD: The important thing about it was that it was made to fund a series of pilot programs. Unlike the States, where you have all these organizations that are part of a regulated, well-functioning system, in Greece you don't have that. We were working over there with two small NGOs that were pretty new to this kind of work, and we were trying to see whether it would work. If it did, we were prepared to do more.

PND: And how did you determine it was working?

AD: Because it was new for us, we did things a little differently. We had people from our office here traveling to Greece to talk to people there to see, first-hand, how things were going. In other words, we were much more actively involved in the implementation of the grant than we would have been if it had been made to an organization in the States; here, we do our due diligence, make the grant, and move on. It's different in Greece because everything is up in the air. We wanted to have more control in terms of the money; we wanted to know that programs were being implemented properly. And we wanted to follow some of the best practices we learned in this country through our work on issues like homelessness and hunger. Those were the areas we were focused on in Greece, even though both were relatively unknown in Greece until fairly recently. So, working with our grantees, we piloted a program that tries to help families stay in their homes. A second program aimed to create three day centers where people could drop in during the day, get a meal, rest, take a shower, wash their clothes -- the kind of stuff you and I take for granted. And because we were starting to see evidence of rising levels of hunger in the general population, a third program aimed to boost the capacity of an organization that was already providing free meals to people who needed them.

PND: Obviously, you were pleased with the way those funds were used and decided to make a much larger commitment. How was that decision made, and what do you hope to accomplish with those funds over the next three years?

AD: As the crisis deepened, impacting every level of Greek society, it became evident that the initial grant of $1.9 million was not enough. We felt we needed to do more. Our hope is that the infusion of new funds will help ease some of the effects of the crisis, while creating the necessary long-term infrastructure for nonprofit organizations to be able to address these issues in the future.

PND: Has the crisis undermined the Greek people's support for the Eurozone? Has it undermined their faith in democracy?

AD: The crisis has not undermined people's faith in democracy, but it has undermined their faith in politicians. There is no doubt about that. I mean nobody in Greece trusts politicians, because they have been a big part of the problem. Certain politicians have been among those who have been corrupt -- people know that and have lost faith in politicians and the political system as a result. But not in democracy.

In terms of the Eurozone? No. I mean, even now, at least two-thirds of the Greek people want to stay in Europe. And the reason is something else the media doesn't pay enough attention to. It's not just the benefits of a common currency. There's a lot more to it, in terms of history and security arrangements, and so on. So despite all the difficulties, I think the Eurozone will survive, and it will survive with Greece as a part of it. The political and economic costs of the alternative are just too great for it to be otherwise.

PND: Given the well-publicized reluctance of many Greeks to pay taxes, has the crisis affected the way the average person in Greece looks at those in society who are more fortunate?

AD: I think it’s worth noting that people here in the States have started talking about the 99 percent and the 1 percent. Even so, the situation here is very different from the situation in Greece. In the U.S. -- there are exceptions, of course -- rich people pay their taxes and do a lot of philanthropy that benefits society at large. But in Europe overall, and in Greece especially, people don't do that, they don't give back. It's like what John F. Kennedy said in his inaugural address: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." In Greece, they don't ask. Or they don't ask enough, in my view. Wealthy Greeks go out of their way to avoid taxes and they give almost nothing back, at a time when they should be doing more -- a lot more -- of both. The social fabric has to be maintained in order to have a functioning society, and in Greece wealthy people are not doing enough to help maintain it.

PND: Are you concerned that the crisis is doing permanent damage to the social fabric in Greece?

AD: It would be unrealistic for one not to be concerned about that possibility. On the other hand, we have witnessed extraordinary acts of kindness from people toward those most in need, as well as significant mobilization to provide the kind of support that didn't exist before. All of a sudden, we seem to be less introverted as a people, and that can only be a good thing.

PND: How long will SNF continue to make grants to help mitigate the effects of the crisis in Greece?

AD: As long as there is a crisis. In a way, given that our founder was Greek and our main focus is Greece, we don't have a choice. At the same time, we have to be careful. We cannot replace the Greek state. No one wants that, and we don't have the capacity to do it. But because nobody else is doing anything, we have to be careful we don't create false hopes or an expectation that we're going to step in and fix things. It's a fine line.

PND: What's your best guess as to how this all ends? Most of us have read about the rioting in Athens earlier in the month and the call for a general strike. There's an election coming up in April, and the mainstream parties backing the bailout are losing support. Will the Greek people continue to embrace the austerity being forced on them by the rest of Europe? Or will Greece exit the Eurozone, go back to the drachma, and try to devalue its way out of its debt problems?

AD: How can you embrace austerity? Will the Greek people accept what is being imposed? Yes, because, one, they don't have a choice; and two, because the majority of the Greek people agree that the whole situation has gone on for too long. What they will no longer accept is the fact that 15 percent of the people in Greece are largely to blame for the whole crisis in terms of corruption and tax avoidance and so on. These people have done a lot of damage, and they're not paying to fix it. That's the big problem, and it's affecting a lot of issues in Greece, including possible solutions.

PND: Do you think philanthropy in Greece will come out of the crisis stronger because of the response of foundations like SNF?

AD: Well, you have to ask whether such a thing as philanthropy even exists in Greece. I know, philanthropy is a Greek word -- philos and anthropos, meaning "friend of the people" -- but in practical terms, it doesn't really exist there, at least not in an institutional form. Individuals do what they can, but there are very few foundations in Greece, and philanthropy in an organized, institutional sense simply doesn't exist. You would think the situation would have improved somewhat over the last decade, but it hasn't; wealthy Greeks have not been giving back to society. But the time has come for those who have the means to step up and help.

PND: And if they don't?

AD: Then the crisis will persist and affect a significant number of Greek people, shattering social cohesion in the process and quite probably inciting class warfare.

PND: Well, we hope it doesn't come to that. Thank you for your time this morning, Andreas.

AD: Thank you.

-- Mitch Nauffts

(Photo credit: Ioannis Vastardis)

Weekend Link Roundup (March 3-4, 2012)

March 04, 2012

Lion_lambOur weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....

African Americans

In a followup to her post last week on NCRP's Keeping a Close Eye blog, Niki Jagpal reminds of us how Black History Month came to be and, with an eye to this year's theme, asks others to share their stories "about the innumerable contributions that our African American sisters have made to our culture and society and the role that they play today in philanthropy in the continuing struggle for equity and justice."


On her Getting Attention blog, Nancy Schwartz makes the case for marketing as the key driver of "how your organization builds and strengthens [its] relationships with the people whose help you need to move your mission forward." If your organization isn't paying attention to how it markets itself, adds Schwartz, it's "losing out on the potential to develop more and stronger relationships."


On his Open Book blog, David Roodman shares a couple of charts illustrating the rise and decline of Indian microfinance.

Nonprofit Management

Over at the Nonprofit Quarterly, Kate Barr and Ruth McCambridge take issue with the findings of a recent report from the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University which surveyed 526 nonprofit financial managers at midsize charities -- those with revenues between $1 million and $5 million -- and concluded that many of those professionals have gaps in their financial knowledge. Write Barr and McCambridge:

The report is heralded by a press release entitled "Gaps in Financial Knowledge Challenge Mid-Size Nonprofits" but there is no information in the survey results or even in the report that supports the claim that the nonprofits represented have any particular or acute challenges that could not be explained by a bad economy. In fact, about half have more than four months of operating funds in the bank and about a quarter have more than seven months' worth....

In the Spring issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Peter Kim and Jeffrey Bradach look at a few themes that provide insight into what has shaped, and will continue to shape, the growth of a new class of super-sized, $50 million-plus nonprofits.

Social Good

Using examples from the recent Give to the Max Day: Greater Washington, Geoff Livingston, vice president of strategic partnerships at Razoo, offers sixteen tips on the Case Foundation blog for nonprofit organizations and funders looking to participate in a giving day or other online social good contest.

Elsewhere, the Acumen Fund's Sasha Dichter shares an interview at Say100 Media in which he explains why Generosity Day, a day-long event in February that sought to inspire generous acts nationwide, was a success.

Social Media

Facebook is now making its Timeline format available to organizations with a brand page. To help nonprofits get started, social media guru Beth Kanter offers a list of tips in a post on her blog.


In a guest post on the Communications Network blog, Philanthomedia's Susan Herr shares a video in which Foundation Center president Brad Smith explains why foundations have a responsibility to communicate their role in driving social change.

That's it for now. What did we miss? Drop us a line at rnm@foundationcenter.org. And have a great week!

-- The Editors

[Video] The Importance of Messaging: An Interview With Foundation Center President Brad Smith

March 02, 2012

Foundation Center President Brad Smith recently was interviewed by PhilanthroMedia's Susan Herr for the Communications Network about the responsibility of foundations to communicate what they do and why they do it. In an ever-more crowded media environment, Smith says, it is vital for foundations to repeat their messages -- and to do so not out of fear, but out of a desire to share their aspirations to build a better world.

(Running time: 5:40)

What do you think? Have foundations learned how to communicate effectively in the digital age? What do they need to do differently or better? In a noisy, always-on world, do we need to rethink the idea of humility?

-- Daniel Matz

Breaking the Cycle: Toward a More Holistic Treatment of Sexuality

March 01, 2012

(Colleen Hoff is director of the Center for Research & Education on Gender and Sexuality at San Francisco State University. Her ongoing HIV prevention study on gay couples is the largest ever in the U.S. Justin Keller is the center's development director.)

Icon_gender_logoSexuality remains a largely taboo topic in the world of philanthropy. Culturally speaking, it tends to make us uncomfortable, and controversy is not something foundations tend to seek out. To avoid potential conflicts, private funders interested in the subject tend to narrow their focus to specific needs-based issues: reproductive rights and health, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), intimate partner violence, women's rights and social justice, and marriage equality. Unfortunately, these needs-based labels can restrict our thinking about sexuality and its connection to health and well-being.

Among other things, this narrow view forces researchers and educators in the field to frame their work in the context of disease or other negative consequences of sex, such as unintended pregnancy. Without question, these issues need to be addressed. But by defining sexuality in terms of the negative outcomes associated with it, we are painting an incomplete picture. More devastatingly, it prevents important research questions from even being asked.

Both the White House and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have recently started to recognize the importance of sexuality as a vital component of the human experience. As early as 2001, former United States Surgeon General David Satcher stated "that sexuality encompasses more than sexual behavior, that the many aspects of sexuality include not only the physical, but the mental and the spiritual as well...." Despite this acknowledgment, federal funds dedicated to this area of research are almost completely devoted to HIV/AIDS and STIs. What little research has been done on the positive impact of sex clearly indicates that healthy sexuality contributes greatly to overall health and well-being. Framing adverse sexual health outcomes within the larger context of sexuality may allow for the development of more holistic, effective programmatic approaches to these issues.

Here is a small sample of areas that have been virtually ignored:

Gay and Lesbian Parents

According to a 2011 report by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, over 50 percent of lesbian and gay parents adopted children from the welfare system, while 60 percent adopted trans-racially (i.e., a child of a different race). Fourteen thousand of the one hundred thousand foster children in the U.S. currently live in homes headed by gay or lesbian parents. And approximately 57 percent of children adopted by gay and lesbian parents have one or more special needs (e.g., developmental disabilities, complex medical issues, and emotional/behavioral disturbances). Despite these figures, little is known about this important and growing population of caregivers, and some literature suggests that gay and lesbian parents and their families receive disparate treatment from schools, healthcare providers, and federal and state entitlement programs. Clearly, there is an immediate need to better understand these experiences so that policies and service providers are able to adapt to this unique and growing population and provide these families with the resources they need.

Sexuality and Disability

As noted above, sexuality tends to be a taboo subject, and discussing it in the context of disability complicates things further. Sexuality can be very confusing for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are developing physically at the same rate as their peers without disabilities. Everyone involved in their lives -- parents, schools, community -- wants to include these youth in conversations about sexuality but also wants to protect them from abuse and exploitation. Research in this area can be critical to informing best practices, programs, and policies that acknowledge that youth with disabilities often are just as curious and confused about sexuality as their peers without disabilities.


Despite the increased visibility of LGBT people in society over the last several decades, gay and non-gender conforming teens are still often bullied, with some driven to suicide. The tragic and highly publicized deaths of gay teens such as Jamey Rodemeyer, Jamie Hubley, and Kameron Jacobsen have created a national discourse on the plight of LGBT teens in public school. In 2010, a Mississippi high school canceled its senior prom when a lesbian teen expressed her intention to bring her girlfriend. Such actions demonstrate to LGBT teens that they are less valued than their straight peers. With foundations and popular celebrities such as Lady Gaga engaging in advocacy related to this important social issue, it is critical that we spend the time and resources to understand the unique social environment of schools and the support needed by marginalized teens from a social science perspective.

Diversity in Research

Research is an increasingly difficult market for young researchers of color. A recent study published in Science magazine showed that African Americans are significantly less likely to receive National Institutes of Health grants than white researchers. Mentorship and professional opportunities are critical for students of color currently in the academic pipeline. Diversity of experience plays an important role in the formation of scientific hypotheses. The lack of diversity in the field of sexual health is especially disturbing in light of significant disparities in communities of color with respect to HIV/AIDS, STIs, and unintended pregnancy. Research is needed to examine why these barriers and disparities exist for both researchers of color and communities at risk.

In sum, as our understanding of sexuality grows in the academic realm, we believe the controversy and negative associations tied to it will diminish. The private philanthropic sector's participation is critical if this is to happen sooner rather than later. It would be wonderful, in the near future, to see funders treat sexuality holistically, the way they do other important social and cultural issues such as the arts, education, and economic development. This work will not only improve and save lives, it also will provide an opportunity to promote wellness and acceptance in society. That is something we can all embrace.

(Image: Selina Anttinen)

-- Colleen Hoff and Justin Keller

Quote of the Week

  • "[L]et me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance...."

    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States

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