‘A Life Lived on the Edge: An Account of the First Ten Years of the Foundation of Social Transformation’ is a new resource produced the Global Fund for Community Foundations. It tells the story of a community foundation in the North-east of India, of the conditions that necessitated its birth, its vision, its struggles, how it came to almost close doors and its slow recovery and renewed direction.
A new phenomenon is unfolding in Brazilain civil society – a new breed of indegenous grassroots grant makers is emerging that supports the movemnet for human rights and social justice in the country. Ten of these foundations are united in the Network of Independent Funds for Social Justice (NIFSJ)- Brazil or Rede de Fundos Independentes para a Justiça Social. Their aim is to increase funding for social justice, gender and racial equity, socio-environmental and community rights.
We spoke to Cindy Lessa, coordinator of NIFSJ, about the aspirations of the network for building a new philanthropic culture in Brazil.
PSJP: How is the philanthropy practiced by members of your network different from the dominat philanthropic trends in Brazil?
It was inspiring to listen to Professor Benjamin Barbar. With reference to his book "If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities", he spoke convincingly why the shift is happening from Nation-States to cities, towns, and metros. In relation to this, since the launch of the book in 2013, the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM) has been convening since 2014 to address issues affecting inter-cities and how these can be addressed and tackled as well as how cities can best serve its people.
This is not what I want to talk about – but there are two things here that may be noteworthy even in our field of work.
1. The notion that people can take charge to transform any given situation for the better despite the dysfunctionality of the nation-state/s across geographic/economic divides, and
2. Citizenry at large (even as they shift to increasingly grow more cosmopolitan) or the civil society can be that most amazing vehicle to do the right thing right.
A blog post about an evening with Albert Ruesga by Patrice Relerford: "Quiet leaders are more inclined toward action than talking. These men and women also take the time to assess a situation and map out the best way to proceed. I’m sure the fact that Ruesga seems inclined to think before he speaks has served him well since he moved to Louisiana in 2009."
Find Ms. Relerford's full blog post here: http://blog.mcf.org/2015/02/05/quiet-leaders-and-philanthropy-a-good-fit/
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?