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I see the philanthropic sector as one of the few sectors in the economy that should have the freedom to engage in calculated risk taking. I include the arts in that equation as well. When thinking about the arts, most people might envision a dancer or a painter or a writer. And of course, artists working in traditional forms are an important part of the arts landscape. But now there are also artists working at the juncture of a number of contemporary fields, including arts and technology, arts and biology, arts and ecology, etc. These pioneers are taking us to new places, not only by often creating wondrous projects, but by encouraging us to think critically about the technologies we take for granted, and how important it is to understand their limits and consequences.
Immigration provides one of the greatest sources of opportunity for people around the world. Families seeking better, safer futures can come to the United States to rebuild their lives. But between global conflicts, new policies, challenging labor markets, and limited access to higher education, hard-working immigrant families are struggling. I believe everyday philanthropists can create life-changing ladders of opportunity through smart investments in the best nonprofits around the country. I’ve selected five that you can trust with your support.
This is a movement moment in Puerto Rico. In the midst of devastating disaster, Puerto Ricans are coming together with a vision toward a Just Recovery, a rebuilding effort centered on justice, community engagement and climate resiliency.
Even before the destructive hurricane, Puerto Rico was suffering from debt, austerity, extraction and loss of economic control. The philanthropy sector could fund rebuilding the old, or we could support a Just Recovery, where groups can rebuild community-controlled renewable energy system, sustainable agriculture with food sovereignty, kick out corporations looking to profit off the disaster and stop the vicious cycle of debt, austerity and poverty. The portfolio of 4 grassroots groups that Grassroots International funds, are working toward that vision of Just Recovery, with active grassroots community engagement.
Billions of animals in the US and abroad endure lives of misery and deprivation every year. Their suffering is unnecessary: it's the result of human cruelty, greed, and indifference -- especially on factory farms, where animals are abused and neglected simply to boost profits. Thankfully, it's also preventable: compassionate advocates have developed strategies that have spared hundreds of millions of animals from suffering. All they need now is funds -- I estimate that the most effective interventions can spare over 10 animals a year of suffering for just one dollar in donations. This is an exciting opportunity to make a major difference in the world for a small amount of money.
"Two-generation strategy" has become an overused catchphrase in the early childhood space, but the studies still point to the impact that aiding low-income mothers has on both women and their children. This additive effect makes strong performers in the maternal and child mental health space an attractive investment from a poverty-fighting perspective.
This portfolio focuses on promoting access to the arts.
Issues involving racial, social, gender and human rights are critical to me. I believe in small "d" democracy and think the U.S. Constitution is a really good idea. We just still have not completely implemented it. So human rights and equal access to justice and opportunity are keys for me. Reproductive rights and health, and anti-racism have been the largest areas of my work.
Arts organizations around the country are increasingly struggling to prove their local impact and relevance. With pockets of success being identified within certain regions, it's important to open channels of communication so leaders and organizations can learn from one another. The sharing of best practices and advocacy tools is imperative.
This portfolio contains organizations that help build a green, sustainable economy while providing global justice.
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