Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Foundations and nonprofits need democracy. "Democracy" doesn't need them

 Here's the 5th article in the series I've written for the Chronicle of Philanthropy:

"What Now: The Philanthropic Future our Democracy Needs"


Foundations and nonprofits exist within a set of norms and laws unique to democracy. If democracy falls, if a vengeful, authoritarian government grows, those norms and rules will be under ever more threat. We see this around the world. We can see it coming in the US in laws and actions against protest and assembly, in the gutting of oversight bodies like the FEC and the IRS, and in the words and actions of the current administration.

Any nonprofit or foundation that looks at the upcoming election and doesn't see the current administration's very public attacks on journalism and protest as clear warning shots against civil society - against the nonprofit and philanthropic sector as the U.S. has known it - is blinding itself to the threats. 

Foundations and nonprofits need democracy in order for them to exist (at least as we've known them in the U.S). Protecting the rule of law and the right of existence of a nonprofit/foundation sector should be top of mind for these organizations. The legal and normative space for them will cease to exist if the current administration is given the opportunity to do so. 

Think I'm raising false flags?  Ask yourself this: Would Attorney General Barr and the Trump administration find a way to get rid of the ACLU if given the chance?



Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Toxic Tax Policies

 Toxic tax policies - part three of the five part series

Also read this

I've written a five-part series for the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Parts 1 -3 are posted as of today and can be found here:

Part One: Confronting Uncomfortable Truths

Part Two: Current Economic Crisis

Part Three: Dismantle toxic tax policies

Four and Five are coming in next few weeks. On October 1 there will be a video call you can join to discuss the ideas discussed. Information on that is available from the Chronicle.

You should also read, watch, and follow

This series draws from (and, I hope, builds on) the work of many activists, writers, filmmakers, and scholars. Many sources are hyperlinked in the series. Because there are no footnotes, I’ve created this list to help you find some of the people whose work goes before me.  Check my Twitter feed to see who I follow. I use the like button as a bookmark for people/things to learn about (though not always – no guarantees). 



Civic Hall’s First Post newsletter

Crystal Hayling, On the Precipice. Get In and Stay In. @CHayling

The Equitable Evaluation Framework from the Equitable Evaluation Initiative, @jdeancoffey and her work at Musings and Machinations.

HistPhil Blog, @HistPhil

Vu Le, NonprofitAF  @nonprofitaf

Public Books’ Newsletter @PublicBooks

Ethan Zuckerman, The Case For Digital Public Infrastructure, @ethanz


Movies/videos/podcasts, etc.

African American Policy Forum, Under the Blacklight series

Crip Camp, movie and resources. @CripCamp 

Intersectionality Matters with Kimberlé Crenshaw (podcast, includes video interviews from AAPF Under the Blacklight Series) @sandylocks

Hear to Slay, Roxanne Gay and Tressie McMillan Cottom, podcast, @rgay and @tressiemcphd

Philanthropy and Social Movements Podcast, class taught by Megan Ming Francis

Through The Night Film, by Loira Limbal, @DJLaylo


Recent Scholarship

Ruha Benjamin, Race after Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code, @ruha9

Andre Brock, Jr: Distributed Blackness: African American Cybercultures, @DocDre

Sasha Constanza-Chock, Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need @schock

Nick Estes, Our History is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance, @nickwestes 

Lina Khan, Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox, (not new, but critical), @linamkhan

Tressie McMillan Cottom,  LowerEd: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy (not new, but critical), @tressiemcphd

Alondra Nelson, Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination, (not new, but critical), @alondra

Victor Ray, “Why So Many Organizations Stay White,” Harvard Business Review (Paywall temporarily removed) https://hbr.org/2019/11/why-so-many-organizations-stay-white, @victorerikray

Dorothy Roberts, Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics and Big Business Re-Create Race in the Twenty-first Century (2012, not new, but critical) @DorothyERoberts

Caroline Shenaz Hossein, Mutual aid and physical distancing are not new for Black and racialized minorities in the Americas, @carolinehossein

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership, @KeeangaYamahtta

Edgar Villenuava, Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance, @VillanuevaEdgar


Bibliographies and syllabi

Digital Civil Society Lab, Bibliography

HistPhil’s Bibliography, https://histphil.org/2020/06/12/updating-histphils-reading-list/

Critical Race and Digital Studies Syllabus, https://criticalracedigitalstudies.com/syllabus/

Philanthropy and Social Movements Syllabus (Megan Ming Francis)@meganfrancis

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Resetting philanthropy

Part two of my 5 part series in the Chronicle of Philanthropy is out - find it here


Part one ran last week - it's here