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Henry Ford Never Imagined That a Black Gay Man Would Become the Leader of His Foundation

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. 

Read the full story here.

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