Thursday, March 17, 2016
NoVo and Arcus Foundations Noted for Taking A Stand In Social Movements
Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. Chinese student activists stand defiantly in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square. Pro-life advocates rally under the dome of the US Capitol. When we think of social movements, these are likely the kinds of images that come to mind—not those of well-heeled donors writing very big checks.
So, in late 2015, when Jon Stryker’s Arcus Foundation and Jennifer and Peter Buffett’s Novo Foundation announced a $20 million big bet on the Global Trans Initiative, which aims to improve the lives of transgender people worldwide, some might have wondered: is such an audacious goal achievable? Unlike donations that result in something tangible, like a new museum wing, this gift instead attempted to change pervasive attitudes toward one of society’s most marginalized groups.
Does philanthropy really have a useful role to play in transformative social movements? . . .