The Working Group on Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace came together in 2007. It has since been committed to improving and growing the impact of philanthropy on social justice and peace building work. It has done so through dialogue amongst the members; through meetings and even entire conferences devoted to peace and social justice philanthropy; through surveys and mapping of relevant fields; through comedy and drama at conference workshops; by developing tools to help practitioners; through articles in philanthropy journals and magazines; through blog posts and reports...through an endless array of platforms available to philanthropy. Therefore it came as no surprise when recently a member of the group said to us that she needed help to unpack the question “What could social justice funding in education look like?”
When does bad practice cross the line and become corruption?
Strictly speaking, corruption refers to the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It includes the obvious: Stealing public funds through accounting fraud or bribery to live a luxury life. But when the abuse isn’t “abuse” so much as it is “flexibility” or when private gain isn’t “private” so much as it is a non-transparent preference that does have some public benefit, is that corruption?
Almost 23 years ago, Brazilians invented a new word. The reason? A story of conversion of two apparently opposing concepts. Here is the story:
The world is at a point and time in its evolution, when a shift – and a very rapid one at that – is inevitable. In fact it is already happening. To take a broad sweep – rapid environmental degradation, hazards, and disasters; increasing conflicts; weakening - or in countries like mine, failing States; and widening disproportionate economic gaps between people, are only a few of the markers. Like never before, with the help of technology and communications we are more connected as people. Despite colour, taste, size, location, interests, we are increasingly realizing that as humans we are basically the same. Essentially we are not happy when we do something wrong e.g.
We are grieved and outraged to see, in just a week’s time, two grand juries fail to indict police officers who killed unarmed black men: Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY. In just the past few weeks alone, more black men and children have been killed or harmed by police. In response, hundreds of thousands of people in cities across the country, and across the world, are rising up, walking out, boycotting, dying in, and shutting down cities to say that Black lives matter.
By Jenny Brotchie
There is an opportunity for philanthropic organisations to work with governments and the influential OECD to explore fresh ideas to some of the big social justice issues of our times. Jenny Brotchie, Policy Officer at the Carnegie UK Trust argues that it is critical that progressive foundations are at the table.
What is the role of foundations in nurturing positive change and tackling some of the complex social, economic and environmental challenges? Last month the Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace Network met in Brussels to discuss how foundations could Promote Solidarity in Europe at a time of Austerity. The big challenges: widening inequalities, dwindling opportunities for young people and growing disengagement with politics were discussed and network members shared their approaches ranging from community grant making, to commissioned programmes. A small number of us were are also working to influence policy and practice at the strategic level.