The Coming of Hope: A Vision for Philanthropy in the New Year

Image thanks to The Southern Coalition for Social Justice

Image thanks to The Southern Coalition for Social Justice

A thoughtful piece by Ford Foundation President Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation.

…As we begin 2019—a year that already portends to be among the most tumultuous in memory—I certainly welcome “the coming of hope.” After all, at the Ford Foundation we are in the business of hope. Our hopes for our grantees, our communities, and our world inform the work we do each and every day.

At the same time, we must set our hope in relief against the realities of a world that feels on edge and off kilter, more precarious and less predictable. The reason for all of this, in my view, should not come as a surprise: Our political and economic system continues to produce and perpetuate staggering inequalities of all kinds.

Millions of people feel frustrated with, and excluded by, an out-of-balance global economic system they are decreasingly willing to tolerate. In the United States and globally, we see the evidence and urgency mounting: Grassroots movements objecting to fundamental inequalities in our society are mobilizing, calling out for fairness and justice. They are naming causes of our current plight—among them, global capitalism that produces outsize wealth for owners and increased insecurity for workers; authoritarian leaders who foment division, discord, and dysfunction; fast-moving technological innovation, with consequences citizens are only now beginning to understand; and the long-standing evils of racism, classism, ableism, homophobia, and patriarchy. And although this is our society’s truth, it—like all truth—is under constant assault as the fidelity of facts, and our faith in them, is undermined. Continue Reading