241 posts categorized "Human/Civil Rights"

Shift power to Black-led change: A commentary by Chera Reid and Lulete Mola

September 10, 2022

Black_lives_matter_james-eades_unsplashThe uprising for racial justice that was ignited by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police still reverberates today. Notably, people with power and wealth seemingly took note, with institutions, companies, and organizations vowing to change and allocate more resources to advancing racial equity and justice. Many foundations made a two-part commitment: to direct more resources to racial equity and justice initiatives and to center Black voices in their efforts.

But Black Philanthropy Month and the 2022 theme of the “Fierce Equity of Now! From Dream to Action” is a higher calling of philanthropy and a sober reminder that philanthropy still has a long way to go. The sector as a whole has not yet made significant progress on these goals. To attain the stated aims of racial equity and justice, philanthropy must follow through on the second part of its commitment and shift power to Black-led change.

This path forward includes social, economic, and political change led by diverse groups of Black people centering the power, interests, and well-being of Black communities that often benefits all communities....

Read the full commentary by Chera Reid and Lulete Mola, co-executive director of the Center for Evaluation Innovation and co-founder and first president of the MN Black Collective Foundation, respectively.

(Photo credit: James Eades via unsplash)

Stop false narratives that sow division and bias: A commentary by Fred Blackwell

September 06, 2022

Diversity_GettyImages_gmast3rThe last few weeks, as monkeypox cases continue to rise, I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend start to resurface. The fearmongering we’ve seen targeted at the LGBTQIA+ community around this virus—I have to say, it feels like Groundhog Day. I’m back in the ’80s, when gay men were vilified during the AIDS crisis. I’m back in 2001, when Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian Americans were blamed for the attacks of September 11. I’m back in 2020, when the president called a global pandemic the “China virus,” and violence against Asian Americans skyrocketed.

We cannot—we will not—do this yet again. We’ve got to stop these false narratives that sow division and bias.

I wish everyone suffering from monkeypox a full and speedy recovery. Like many others, I’m angered by the slow public health response to this outbreak and disappointed that—in addition to a painful illness—many affected by this virus are also facing fearmongering and stigmatization...

Read the full commentary by Fred Blackwell, CEO of San Francisco Foundation.

(Photo credit: Getty Images/gmast3r)

Wage inequity is 'a dream deferred': A commentary by Kyra Kyles

August 29, 2022

Job_handshake_Black_man_GettyImages_DMEPhotographyOne of my favorite poems of all time is Langston Hughes’ “Harlem,” better known by the compelling question it posits: “What happens to a dream deferred?”

Far too many in the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) community can answer that question from personal experience due to a pipeline of privilege that favors white workers. People of color, particularly those from Black and Latine communities, are locked out of desired careers by a toxic mix of systemic racism and bias; comparative lack of generational wealth; and sparse access to corporate sponsors. This is certainly true in for-profit companies, especially in fields including finance, television and film, technology, music, and journalism. Sadly, it is also a pervasive issue for nonprofit organizations, even though social good and positive impact is at the very center of our missions.

I have no doubt that my colleagues in the nonprofit community want to improve, rather than echo hollow vows to increase diversity and retain BIPOC team members, but no anti-bias training, career fair, or positive intention can trump equitable payment for employees who hail from communities of color. This is critical at every level, from interns up, and it must be a competitive wage....

Read the full commentary by Kyra Kyles, CEO of YR Media.

(Photo credit: Getty Images/DMEPhotography)

Advancing racial and social justice is a core responsibility for Christians: A commentary by Emily Jones

July 29, 2022

Black_womens_lives_matter_max-bender_unsplashAs the executive for racial justice for United Women in Faith, I think regularly about how to inspire our hundreds of thousands of members to make the world a more just and equitable place. United Women in Faith is committed to putting faith, hope, and love into action to improve the lives of women, children, and youth. There is no shortage of work for our members to do. There is no shortage of issues competing for our time and attention. But we have decided to focus on pushing back against the criminalization of communities of color—especially children of color. Every year, we work hard to inspire our members to do their part to disrupt the “school-to-prison pipeline.” We do this by aligning with and supporting the campaigns of groups such as Dignity in Schools and others who have been doing this work far longer than us. We also support our members to engage in advocacy work at the local, state, and federal levels.

We believe that advancing racial and social justice is a core responsibility for Christians. It is not enough to be engaged in our churches if we are not also working to dismantle systems of oppression in our communities. United Women in Faith’s board of directors recently voted to grant $500,000 in funding to mission-aligned groups led by Indigenous and Black women: $250,000 to Brittany K. Barnett’s Girls Embracing Mothers and $250,000 to Tia Oros Peters’ Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples. Girls Embracing Mothers helps girls with incarcerated mothers to fulfill their unique calling and break the cycle of incarceration. The Seventh Generation Fund is the oldest organization of its kind and is dedicated to Indigenous peoples’ self-determination and Native nations’ sovereignty....

Read the full commentary by Emily Jones, executive for racial justice for United Women in Faith.

(Photo credit: max bender via unsplash)

Immigrant justice is intersectional: A commentary by Birdie Soti

July 22, 2022

Immigration_law_lawyer_simpson33_GettyImages-850905664Every year, from all across the globe, tens of thousands of children migrate to the United States in search of safety. Their reasons for leaving home span all issues—from climate change to gender-based violence to racial injustice and religious persecution. Yet, far too often, their stories and experiences are reduced to their immigration journey and separated from all other aspects of their identities—which are affected by the same social issues that impact all of us.

Immigrant justice, like any social cause, is intersectional. For a child fleeing climate catastrophes, immigrant justice is also climate justice. For a pregnant teen held in immigration custody and in need of reproductive care, immigrant justice is also reproductive justice. For a trans migrant facing persecution for their identity, immigrant justice is also LGBTQ justice. And at the heart of each of these issues is also the fight for racial justice, as Black and brown communities remain disproportionately threatened by systemic racism, institutional barriers, and restrictive government policies our society is grappling with today.

For decades, the culture of fundraising and philanthropy has encouraged donors to select a well-defined cause and support it through ongoing monetary investments. Without question, these investments have been critical in deepening the work of nonprofits all over the world, and the impact of this financial support cannot be overstated. Yet, fundraising and philanthropy, like everything else, must adapt to meet the moment. The reality is that our safety and our rights are at stake. We must recognize ourselves as part of a global community and understand that whatever social cause we care about does not exist in isolation....

Read the full commentary by Birdie Soti, the philanthropy director for the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights.

Ensuring movements are thriving and abundantly resourced: A commentary by Meenakshi Menon

July 06, 2022

Pride_flag_LGBTQ_CristinaMoliner_GettyImages-1313349355I began this Pride month in mourning for one of my most beloved movement idols. Against a backdrop of emboldened white supremacy, continued gun violence, attacks on bodily autonomy, rising inflation, and economic inequity, Urvashi Vaid passed away last month. Urvashi was many things: lawyer, activist, LGBTQ+ advocate, philanthropic organizer, and advisor. In her more than 40 years of activism, she worked tirelessly on behalf of racial, gender, and economic justice, centering collective liberation and intersectional organizing in all her efforts....

This year, Pride has felt particularly important, as communities of color, queer, trans, and gender-expansive communities, and our country faces some of the toughest attacks we’ve ever seen on trans youth, bodily autonomy, abortion access, and voting rights. As Pride has become adopted in more mainstream settings, it’s important to remember that no amount of corporate “rainbow washing” can obfuscate the legacy or importance of this month. The first Pride was a riot, led by trans and queer women of color like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Their courage and bravery during the Stonewall riots fundamentally shifted and transformed the fight for queer and trans liberation in our country, and cemented the struggle of LGBTQ+ people as one of the most important intersectional fights of our time.

Throughout this Pride month, I’ve often thought about Urvashi’s wisdom. In reflecting on her powerful legacy and those of so many other queer and trans leaders, given everything at stake, I’ve wondered about what else we can be doing. What can we do to better support our movement leaders and organizations who put their bodies on the line every day so that we can be more free? How can we ensure our movements are not just surviving, but thriving and abundantly resourced?...

Read the full commentary by Meenakshi Menon, interim co-executive director of Groundswell Fund and Groundswell Action Fund.

(Photo credit: Getty Images/Cristina Moliner)

Philanthropic funders’ role in addressing the refugee crisis: A commentary by John Canady

June 22, 2022

Syrian_refugee_girl_studying_PlanBørneFondenThe UK government recently announced plans to deport undocumented refugees to Rwanda as part of a controversial plan to tackle immigration. The United Kingdom’s hardline approach to the refugee crisis points to a polarized debate many countries are grappling with: What are the costs of immigration and asylum seeking on host communities? Do we, as a public and as individuals, have a moral duty to welcome refugees into our societies?

The Ukrainian refugee crisis is just the latest in a series to hit the headlines. Last year, the mass exodus of Afghans made headlines after Western forces’ botched withdrawal from the country. In its 12th year, the Syrian refugee crisis remains the world’s largest such crisis of this century, with roughly 6.8 million Syrians now refugees and asylum-seekers.

Significant funding is urgently needed to address these conflicts as well as other less widely reported humanitarian crises. Philanthropists are uniquely positioned to help in these times of crisis. They provide much-needed support to NGOs and a sector still reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. They also have the agility, motivation, resources, and, crucially, the financial means to play an important connecting role between governments and the third sector....

Read the full commentary by John Canady, CEO of the National Philanthropic Trust UK.

(Photo credit: PlanBørneFonden)

The path forward in the face of COVID-19 and anti-Asian hate: commentary by Jiny Kim

June 10, 2022

Asian_Americans_Advancing_Justice_AAJCIn bringing another Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month to a close, I am reminded that this is the third one we have celebrated amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Twenty-nine months ago, when the first reports of a new highly transmissible virus were emerging from China, the Asian American community held our breaths, fearing not only the virus itself but also the racialized scapegoating it could bring.

Twenty-eight months ago, we started seeing the first reports of COVID-related harassment of Asian Americans, and soon thereafter, Asian American businesses began shuttering, victims of racialized fearmongering, a full month prior to the declaration of a pandemic and mandated shut downs. 

And twenty-seven months ago, alongside nationwide shutdowns came reports of hate-fueled violence targeting our communities. Concurrently, resource-strapped local organizations serving the Asian American community faced capacity constraints to meet growing needs in the face of the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and anti-Asian hate....

Read the full commentary by Jiny Kim, Vice President, Policy and Programs, at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC.

(Photo credit: Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC)

Fighting hate and racism, uplifiting our stories: A commentary by Anisha Singh

June 03, 2022

Sikh_family_GettyImages_kadmy-155656880As our nation continues to grieve for the victims of the May 14 terrorist attack in Buffalo, New York, we once again find ourselves painfully reminded of the ever-present threat that white supremacy poses to marginalized communities in the United States.

Our first responsibility is to center the pain the Black community is experiencing in this moment. At the same time, we must also recognize that the horrific ideology that underpinned this violence stems from a more expansive racism and anti-Semitism—the same toxic hate behind numerous deadly assaults in recent years, from Pittsburgh to Charlottesville and Oak Creek to El Paso. And as Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month draws to a close, the recognition of this far-reaching threat comes with a challenge to all communities of color: How do we balance the urgent need to fight against the hate that plagues our communities and the need to take the time and space to uplift and celebrate our unique stories, identities, and contributions to our country?

This question is at the forefront of my mind as I join the Sikh Coalition, the nation’s largest Sikh civil rights organization, as its new executive director. The Sikh Coalition was founded in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, when Sikhs and other religious minorities found themselves facing unprecedented levels of hate violence in the wake of that national tragedy. Many Sikhs—members of the fifth largest organized faith tradition in the world—keep visible articles of faith, including turbans and unshorn beards, which some Americans began conflating with images of the Taliban. In the days, weeks, and months that followed, the Sikh Coalition emerged as a network of attorneys, advocates, and experts who stepped up to provide free aid to community members who had been subjected to hate crimes or workplace discrimination....

Read the full commentary by Anisha Singh, executive director of the Sikh Coalition

(Photo credit: Getty Images/kadmy)

An interview with Manjusha P. Kulkarni, Executive Director, AAPI Equity Alliance

May 31, 2022

Headshot_Manjusha Kulkarni_AAPI_Equity_Alliance_by Myleen HolleroManjusha P. Kulkarni has served since 2017 as executive director of the Los Angeles-based AAPI Equity Alliance (formerly the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, A3PCON), a coalition of more than 40 community-based organizations working to improve the lives of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Los Angeles County. In March 2020, Kulkarni, together with Chinese for Affirmative Action co-executive director Cynthia Choi and San Francisco State University Asian American Studies Department professor Russell Jeung, co-founded Stop AAPI Hate, which aggregates COVID-19-related hate incidents against AAPIs. Stop AAPI Hate was awarded the 2021 Webby Social Movement of the Year, and the co-founders were included among TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential Individuals of 2021.

Prior to joining the AAPI Equity Alliance, Kulkarni led the South Asian Network, which provides culturally and linguistically specific services to and advocates on behalf of South Asians in the areas of healthcare access, gender-based violence, and civil rights and civic engagement. She previously worked as an attorney at the National Health Law Program, which advocates, educates, and litigates at the federal and state levels to advance health and civil rights of low-income and underserved individuals and families.

PND asked Kulkarni about her organization’s priorities, the launch of Stop AAPI Hate to track hate incidents, the challenges the AAPI community has faced not only since the pandemic began but long term, her outlook on narrative change, and the role philanthropy can play in addressing racism and advancing racial equity for all communities of color.

Philanthropy News Digest: The AAPI Equity Alliance’s mission is focused on civic engagement, capacity building, and policy advocacy. Have your priorities shifted over the last two years?

Manjusha P. Kulkarni: I do think that there’s been a bit of a shift in terms of civic engagement. We’ve been focused for many years, if not decades, on ensuring a robust AAPI vote and representation. You can’t solve what you don’t measure, so with the census, we wanted to ensure a robust count—to know where our communities are, who they are—and with that data, to help ensure that they have a voice in our political system. And that is important now more than ever, given the rise in anti-Asian hate, as well as COVID-19 related impacts around poverty, health, and lack of access to health care. So this continues to be a very significant priority for us, and we’re working with our member organizations to see how we can ensure that representation. We’ve found too often that political parties don’t spend much time or effort in seeking AAPI voters, but now, it’s clear across the country—New Jersey and Virginia in 2017, Georgia in 2020, all sorts of races in California—that AAPIs can make up that margin of victory and shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Policy advocacy and capacity building, too, have always been important. In fact, that’s been our role since we were founded in 1975 as the Asian Pacific Planning Council, a group of executive directors who met to discuss their communities’ challenges. At that time there was a burgeoning Asian-American movement coming out of the civil rights movement and the Chicano movement, and the executive directors were seeing trends and patterns in terms of the challenges their clients and community members faced. So A3PCON was there as a policy advocacy organization to advocate for systemic change and as a capacity-building coalition to help strengthen the capacity of member organizations to do the work they needed to do. And during the pandemic, we’ve seen how important our member organizations are in ensuring vaccine distribution, the disbursement of COVID-19-related funds, and state and local moratoria on rent....

Read the full interview with Manjusha P. Kulkarni, executive director of AAPI Equity Alliance.

(Photo credit: Myleen Hollero)

Remembering Urvashi

May 17, 2022

Headshot_Urvashi_Vaid_The_Laura_Flanders_Show_2014_CCOn Monday, May 16, I woke up to the devastating news that Urvashi Vaid had died. A pioneering LGBTQ+ civil rights activist, she leaves behind organizations, books, networks, movements, and ideas that will continue to inspire for decades to come. At a time when so many of the things Urvashi fought for are under attack it seems unfair that she should be taken from us. Instead, I choose to be grateful for how difficult she has made it for those would seek to walk back all the hard-won rights she dedicated her life to defending.

I knew Urvashi first as a colleague and then a friend. She served as deputy director of the Governance and Civil Society unit of the Ford Foundation from 2001 to 2005, during my tenure there as vice president for peace and social justice. By that time, she had already served as staff attorney at the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, led the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (now National LGBTQ Task Force) and authored Virtual Equality. At that moment in her life, coming to Ford was a choice to step back, if only a bit, from the front lines of activism and multiply herself, her values, and aspirations through the work of others. Urvashi fully appreciated the centrality of power and somehow managed to make space, outside of her more-than-full-time job at Ford, to study political philosopher Hannah Arendt at The New School. Her own life experience and activism had taught her that power concedes nothing without struggle, and she used her time at Ford to support nonprofits, movements, and researchers working to achieve human rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, and how they intersect to create identity.

Following her time at Ford, Urvashi went on to become the first executive director of the Arcus Foundation, devoted to LGBTQ+ social justice around the world, launched LPAC (the first lesbian super PAC), and co-founded the Donors of Color Network, the National LGBTQ Anti-Poverty Action Network, the National LGBT/HIV Criminal Justice Working Group, and the Equality, Federation, the National Religious Leadership Roundtable. Any one of these accomplishments would be the crowning achievement of a single lifetime, but for Urvashi they were building blocks for a vision of equality stronger than a single person or organization. Somehow, in the midst of it all, she managed to find abundant time for friends, for the family she dearly loved, and her wife and soulmate Kate Clinton. Even her long struggle with cancer was something Urvashi turned into an organizing opportunity, creating a support group for female cancer survivors, affectionately nicknamed “The Breasties,” of which my wife was a loyal participant through the years.

Urvashi is the only person I have ever known who was radical to the very core of her being. Everything she did, said, and lived for was informed by her values and ideals. But she was also a mensch in the most expansive sense of the word. Her undying commitment to equality was blended with kindness, generosity, and unfailing good humor (it is no accident that Urvashi is caught smiling in so many photos). Though as part of the Ford Foundation hierarchy, I was technically Urvashi’s supervisor, she went out of her way to reach out, listen, and talk at a time when the foundation was being heavily criticized from all sides for its work in Israel and Palestine. She did so out of friendship, solidarity, and a desire to ensure that we would all end up on the right side of history by realizing the long-term implications of decisions made under pressure.

Urvashi’s life and work lives on through everyone she touched.  She taught us that social justice is something for which struggle is necessary, day in, day out, 365 days a year. Changing the world takes power, resources, vision, organizing, even humor, but above all, and this was Urvashi’s true superpower, it takes unlimited love.

(Photo credit: The Laura Flanders Show, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Headshot_brad_smith_for_PhilanTopicBradford K. Smith is former president of Candid.

Belonging and prosperity: A Q&A with Norman Chen, CEO, The Asian American Foundation

Headshot_Norman Chen_TAAFThe Asian American Foundation (TAAF) was launched in May 2021—amid a rise in anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) hate and violence—to help solve for the longstanding lack of investment provided to AAPI communities and to build the infrastructure needed to improve AAPI advocacy, power, and representation. That month, TAAF announced that through its AAPI Giving Challenge and donations from its board, it secured nearly $1.1 billion in donations and in-kind commitments from partners—the largest philanthropic commitment in history fully focused on supporting AAPI communities—including $125 million from board members to support AAPI organizations and causes over the next five years. TAAF’s work focuses on several priority areas: anti-hate, data and research, education, narrative change, unlocking resources, and racial solidarity.

Norman Chen has served as CEO of TAAF since November 2021. Before joining TAAF, Chen co-founded Leading Asian Americans to Unite for Change (LAAUNCH) in September 2020 and created the Social Tracking of Asian Americans in the U.S. (STAATUS) Index, a landmark study of American attitudes toward Asian Americans. Prior to his leadership in AAPI advocacy and philanthropy, Chen spent his career as an entrepreneur, investor, and community leader building innovative life sciences companies and supporting nonprofit organizations in both the United States and Asia. 

PND asked Chen about TAAF’s mission to address the historic lack of philanthropic investment in AAPI communities through key initiatives such as the AAPI Giving Challenge, the factors behind the historic underinvestment in AAPI communities, TAAF’s Anti-Hate National Network and AAPI Action Centers, and key findings from the 2022 STAATUS Index.

Philanthropy News Digest: TAAF’s mission is “to serve the community in their pursuit of belonging and prosperity that is free from discrimination, slander, and violence.” The AAPI community is often seen by other Americans as quickly attaining prosperity—i.e., the model minority myth—while continuing to be perceived as foreign, as other, generation after generation. How does the foundation work to address the tension between those two components of its mission?

Norman Chen: Prosperity is a core piece of TAAF’s mission because we are addressing often overlooked social and economic challenges in AAPI communities—one being that we are the most economically divided racial group in the U.S., with the highest median household income and the highest intra-racial group income disparity. Contrary to the model minority myth, which perpetuates a misguided perception about AAPI socioeconomic success, prosperity is not equally accessible across AAPI communities or to AAPI immigrants who come to the U.S. in pursuit of a better life for their families.

Belonging is part and parcel of our work because AAPIs continue to face other harmful stereotypes such as being seen as perpetual foreigners. For example, according to the 2021 STAATUS Index, one in five Americans agreed with the statement that Asian Americans as a group are “more loyal to their countries of origin than to the U.S.”

For these reasons, TAAF has sought to close critical gaps in support and make strategic investments in our communities. We are committed to accelerating prosperity and creating a greater sense of belonging for all AAPIs by bringing to bear more cross-sector support from partners who are also committed to these efforts....

Read the full Q&A with Norman Chen, CEO of the The Asian American Foundation.

How to support human rights, health, and well-being in Ukraine: A commentary by Christian De Vos

May 12, 2022

Migration crisis on the border with Belarus_GettyImages_NzpnIn its violent and unlawful invasion of Ukraine, Russia has launched indiscriminate attacks against civilians and the places where they gather, including hospitals, schools, and humanitarian corridors. Thousands of civilians, including children, have been killed and many more injured. Thousands more are in danger of dying in besieged areas cut off from water, food, and electricity. Almost five million refugees have already fled the country, while nearly eight million are internally displaced within Ukraine. Millions more remain at grave risk.

The global spotlight on and solidarity with Ukrainians have been inspiring, with governments, organizations, and individuals rallying in support of Ukraine and its vast humanitarian needs. Still, philanthropic funders can do more and do better to alleviate suffering in Ukraine, meet humanitarian imperatives, and support justice and accountability in several key areas of need.

Here we offer six approaches that should guide where and how philanthropic organizations can support human rights, health, and well-being in Ukraine....

Read the full commentary by Christian De Vos, director of research and investigations at Physicians for Human Rights.

(Photo credit: Getty Images/Nzpn)

Review: 'Private Virtues, Public Vices: Philanthropy and Democratic Equality'

April 30, 2022

Book_cover_Public_Virtues_Private_VicesIt is lamented that large-scale philanthropy (like everything else) has become politicized and polarizing, subject to conspiracy theories and accusations of whitewashing and being too “woke.” In Private Virtues, Public Vices: Philanthropy and Democratic Equality, Emma Saunders-Hastings reminds us that contributing private wealth for the public good—by definition—has always been a political act.

An assistant professor of political science at Ohio State University, Saunders-Hastings writes like the academic she is, giving careful consideration to historical and contemporary theorists and practitioners—including Alexis de Tocqueville, John Rawls, Peter Singer, Rob Reich, and Erica Kohl-Arenas—and scrupulously qualifying her statements, devoting almost as much space to what she is not arguing as to what she is. She does not deny the merits of philanthropy itself, as Machiavelli did, but seeks “a theory of philanthropy that is political, not just ethical; that applies across multiple levels of idealization; and that is oriented to relational equality”—that is, relations of social and political (not distributive) equality.

“Democratic equality demands of philanthropy and philanthropic regulation not (or not only) better outcomes but changes in the ways that power is distributed and exercised within philanthropic relationships,” she writes.

The book focuses on two objections to philanthropy with regard to democracy: “philanthropy can be an exercise of plutocratic power, and it can be objectionably paternalistic.” The title’s “public vices” are “relational vices—usurpation, subordination, failures of reciprocity, and paternalism,” which can create or reinforce unequal political relationships, even when based on consent. Despite calls for reform, elite philanthropy continues to enjoy both social deference, which limits comparative evaluations of philanthropic donations, and institutional and legal deference, in the form of tax benefits, facilitation of foundation creation, weak oversight, and protection of donor intent....

Read the full review by Kyoko Uchida, features editor at Philanthropy News Digest.

Review: 'George Soros: A Life in Full'

April 26, 2022

Book_cover_George_Soros_A_Life_in_FullIt feels like our idea of an “open society” is in retreat. Wherever we look—be it the United States, where anti-democratic forces are rolling back voting rights; or Russia, where opposition leaders are imprisoned and restrictive press freedoms make it nearly impossible to report the news; or Hungary, where its nationalist, authoritarian president has been elected to a fourth term; or Ukraine, where the very existence of a free and democratic country is being challenged with military force—our notions of justice, rights, and political freedom are under threat. What we are learning in these precipitous times is that the truths we hold to be self-evident are in fact won—and lost—by our own willingness to nurture and defend them. And that is something George Soros understands very well.

The day before the publication of George Soros: A Life in Full, edited by longtime Soros publisher Peter L.W. Osnos, the Open Society Foundations (OSF) announced a $25 million pledge to launch the $100 million Ukraine Democracy Fund in response to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of its neighbor. This timing could not have been more appropriate, reflecting the urgency of the moment to support Ukrainian civil society and bolster relief efforts, while opening a window on the life and work of one of the last half-century’s more remarkable philanthropists. Soros, at the age of 91, is where he has always been: outspoken on his values and out front in his support of a world that embraces universal justice, human rights, political freedom, education, public health, and a free press....

Read the full commentary by Daniel X. Matz, contributing editor at Philanthropy News Digest.

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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