“Social justice grantmakers aim to go one step beyond teaching a man to fish, to borrow an old saying. They ask why so few people in this man’s community can afford to own a fishing pole; why the county incinerator is being sited in his neighborhood, befouling his pond rather than that of his wealthier townsmen; and why he’s being taught to fish when he’s more likely to earn a living wage as an accountant or engineer.” So wrote Albert Ruesga, President and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, in an effort to answer the question: what is social justice philanthropy? He notes that it draws on a number of traditions: the effort to combat structural injustice, to enforce universal human rights, to insure equal distribution of resources, to empower disenfranchised individuals and communities, and several others.
We asked a panel of experts to tackle this question, taking their bearings from Ruesga’s reflections on the question in the articles below.
Social Justice Philanthropy: An Initial Framework for Positioning This Work by Albert Ruesga and Deborah Puntenney
What is Social Justice? by Albert Ruesga