On Philanthropy and Social Movements, we examine the history and future of philanthropy’s relationship with radical social movements. We meet the funders and activists interrogating power, transforming philanthropic institutions, and imagining a new future. We hope that you listen to the podcast and share it widely!
Funding Indigenous Resistance
Indigenous organizers are at the forefront of revolutionary movements for sovereignty, environmental justice and land rights, movements that confront our largely ignored history of Native genocide and broken treaty promises. Yet, foundations, many who claim to support marginalized and underrepresented communities, spend just 0.4% of their annual funding on Native communities. Native causes are overlooked and underfunded by philanthropy.
In this podcast, we hear from Indigenous organizer and tribal attorney, Tara Houska, and two social justice funders, Edgar Villanueva and Jason Franklin. We explore the tensions that arise when Indigenous activists seek grants to support their radical work and encounter funders that are hesitant to fund direct action, largely uneducated about Indigenous history, disconnected from struggles at the frontline, and financially linked to the industries that profit on the devastation of Native lands.
About This Episode
What happens when social movement activists receive leadership fellowships? In this podcast, three Harvard Kennedy School graduate fellows discuss philanthropic scholarships and fellowships given to “change agents.” They review the major foundations who are funding fellowships, examine the history of how this type of giving came about, think aloud some critiques and alternatives, then chat about their personal connections to this topic.
Becky Meris a Center for Public Leadership Fellow and Master in Public Policy candidate at Harvard Kennedy School, and she has previously worked in criminal justice reform in the United States and abroad.
Inayat Sabhikhiis a Center for Public Leadership Fellow and Master in Public Administration candidate at Harvard Kennedy School. She is associated with the Right to Information and Right to Food movements in India. Talk to her about gully rap and Zadie Smith.
Samer Hjoujis a Center for Public Leadership Fellow and Master in Public Policy candidate at Harvard Kennedy School, and he has previously worked in education in Palestine.
Rockefeller Fellowship on Social Innovation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5t6JyGoDnzQ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5t6JyGoDnzQ)
Open Society Foundation for South Africa Commemorative Scholarship and Fellowship Awards 2018: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCyTHhShfjA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCyTHhShfjA)
Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=43andv=qqH3Cib-Y5Qandfeature=emb_logo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=43andv=qqH3Cib-Y5Qandfeature=emb_logo)
2019 Obama Foundation Fellows:
Emerson Collective Dial Fellows:
Harvard Lecture by Condoleeza Rice:
Professor Randall Westbrook on W.E.B. Du Bois’ Talented Tenth:
Capitalism: A Ghost Story by Arundhati Roy (2014)
International Scholarships in Higher Education: Pathways to Social Change edited by Joan Dassin, Robin Marsh, and Matt Mawer (2017)
The Lucky Few and the Worthy Many: Scholarship Competitions and the World’s Future Leaders edited by Warren F. Ilchman, Alice S. Ilchman, and Mary H. Tolar (2004)
The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex by INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence (2007)
Top Down: The Ford Foundation, Black Power, and the Reinvention of Racial Liberalism by Karen Ferguson (2013)
Beilke, Jayne R. (1997) “The Changing Emphasis of the Rosenwald Fellowship Program, 1928-1948.” The Journal of Negro Education, vol. 66, no. 1.
Du Bois, W.E.B. “The Talented Tenth,” from The Negro Problem: A Series of Articles by Representative Negroes of To-day (New York, 1903).
Peterson, Richard H. (1984) “The Spirit of Giving: The Educational Philanthropy of Western Mining Leaders, 1870-1900.” Pacific Historical Review, vol. 53, no. 3.
Pietsch, T. (2011) “Many Rhodes: Travelling scholarships and imperial citizenship in the British academic world, 1880-1940.” History of Education: Journal of the History of Education Society, 40(6).
https://givingusa.org/ (Giving USA 2019: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2018)
http://factfindingjan2020.mit.edu/files/MIT-report.pdf?200117 (Report Concerning Jeffrey Epstein’s Interactions With MIT) (2020)
https://twitter.com/AOC/status/1217850678770532352 (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter)...
About This Episode
Lowell, MA; Hershey, PA, and… the Bay Area? Company towns don’t look like they used to, and tech hot spots are the company towns for today’s digital age. Heavyweights in philanthropy look a little different these days, too: tech phenoms unafraid of risk and hungry to problem solve, at times to a fault. Taking a historical lens to American company towns, we consider whether tech philanthropists can adopt and scale the blueprint a foundation used to innovatively revitalize a rural company town. From urban housing shortages to COVID-19, philanthropy’s human stakes have never been higher. In this podcast, we examine how the tech industry can get better at doing good.
Amaya Bravo-France, MUP2020is an urban planner focusing on housing and neighborhood development, and has worked on environmental and housing issues at nonprofit organizations in California.
Evita Chavez, MUP2 2020comes to Harvard after working as a Legislative Assistant in the California State Senate, where she staffed the state’s groundbreaking accessory dwelling unit law in 2016 and advised on various housing legislation for Senator Bob Wieckowski.
Sophie Dover, MPA 2020split her early career between both U.S. coasts in roles which spanned technology, communications, government, and the arts. She is a concurrent Dartmouth MBA.
John Joanino, MPP 2021began his career in tech philanthropy managing charitable crowdfunding partnerships with celebrities at Omaze.com and most recently led digital communications at a racial equity policy advocacy organization in Los Angeles, California.
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/americas-company-towns-then-and-now-180956382/ (America’s Company Towns-Smithsonian Magazine)
https://www.blueskycenter.org/ (Blue Sky Center) (New Cuyama, CA)
https://www.baysfuture.org/ (Partnership for the Bay’s Future) (San Francisco Bay Area, CA)
http://www.picocalifornia.org/ (PICO California)
Hundreds of years of racist federal and institutional policies have denied wealth to Black, Indigenous and communities of color. Two organizations in Boston are shifting the narrative around local funding and reimagining equitable community-driven change. In this episode of Untying Knots, we look at the ongoing process to transform financial inequity through anti racist funding. We speak with key leaders at the Boston Ujima Project and Haymarket People’s Fund to grasp how they envision and work to sustain internal and external accountable social change.
About This Episode
Our guest, Dr. Irvin Leon Scott is a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Scott served as the deputy director for K-12 education at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he led the investment of $300 million in initiatives focused on transforming recruitment and development of teachers.
Scott, an experienced educator takes us through his 20+ year journey as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, chief academic officer and deputy director at the Gates Foundation.
HostsHassan Brownis a Doctor of Education Leadership Candidate at Harvard Graduate School of Education
Jamaji Nwanaji-Enwerem, PhDis an MD/MPP candidate at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Onyema Nwanaji-Enweremis an MD/ MPP candidate at Duke University School of Medicine and Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. SCOTT:
FOR MORE STORIES ON BLACK GIVING:
Finding the Third Way
In late 2017, Mississippi’s capital school district, Jackson Public Schools (JPS), was at risk of being taken over by the state. As the second largest school district in the state, the prospect of JPS being absorbed into the state’s Achievement School District was concerning for the community, City, and State, especially considering Jackson’s fraught racial history with education. All sides sought alternatives, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation helped to find a third way, by advocating for and allocating $3 million to form the Better Together Commission (BTC) – a community centric approach to school improvement. This podcast examines how JPS was almost taken over, what that meant in the context of JPS’s past, and highlights the role of the community, W.K. Kellogg and the other stakeholders in the BTC.
Incredibly relevant, and inspiring!
I work at the de Young and Legion of Honor museum, and am radically inspired, motivated by and grateful for this in depth educational dive into what equitable fundraising could and does look like/ thank you for such a thoughtful series!!! 5 stars can’t wait for more content.