By Steve Smith
But that’s what’s great about American philanthropy – that it continues to evolve. So states Darren Walker, the uber-connected president of the Ford Foundation, in a recent NY Times article that demonstrates what I find generally fascinating about philanthropy.
The piece by John Leland profiles Walker, a gay black man from Texas in a realm created by white old-money elites, who is working to intertwine support for the arts with grants for social justice.
Leland exposes the contradictory nature of American philanthropy – the fact that charities like the Ford Foundation owe their very existence to social inequality, extending rich people’s influence and actually taking money away from the public tax rolls.