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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Privilege Genie and Subversive Philanthropy | Simone Joyaux, Nonprofit Quarterly

I’m more and more convinced that one of the obligations—and glories—of philanthropy is questioning privilege and its resulting power. I’m convinced that philanthropy can and should be—more often—a subversive act.
I like the way Joyaux begins this blog!

He then tells a short story about a genie and setting the rules, prompting this question: "What does privilege look like."

Joyaux then raises questions about what would happen if that genie arrived before he was born. What rules would he set then? He says he'd set rules of "equity and social justice for all. Marriage equality. Civil rights. Women’s rights and choice. Strong labor unions and living wages."

Joyaux concludes [emphasis added]:
I know that to create this world requires social change. And progressive philanthropy—not traditional mainstream philanthropy—can help make social change. I know that the genie’s offer means transformation, more probably revolution. I think it’s time for more subversive acts. Examining our own privilege and our complicity in maintaining the status quo. Exploring morality and speaking out. Increasing philanthropy for social change.
Revolution is hard. But I have hope.
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