Equals Change Blog

Economic Justice

Hilary, Pennington, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Vice President, Education, Creativity, and Free Expression

What happened to the American Dream? Q&A with "Happiness for All" author Carol Graham

The “American Dream”—one of the country’s most foundational principles—has long made a simple promise: Hard work leads to success. But what happens when large swaths of American society don’t buy into it?

Atila Roque

, Director, Brazil

On privilege: Why discomfort is a sign of progress

Privilege is very comfortable. But fighting the kind of inequality that leads to great suffering for so many will require disrupting that privilege, and breaking down some of the barriers that enable and preserve it.

Ghada, Abdel Tawab, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Officer

Informal is the new normal: Why informal employment is here to stay

There are millions of workers around the world who are working and living at the periphery of the formal economy. We call these workers informal workers.

Kamilah Duggins William, Kelley, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Kamilah Duggins, Talent Acquisition Manager

, Talent Acquisition Director

Why the Ford Foundation launched a program for formerly incarcerated people—and how we did it

In 2015, the Ford Foundation decided to "walk our talk" and start a professional development program for formerly incarcerated people. Our HR department explains what the process was like. 

Kamilah Duggins William, Kelley, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Kamilah Duggins, Talent Acquisition Manager

, Talent Acquisition Director

How to create a re-entry program in your organization

Ford Foundation shares some lessons for organizations considering starting a hiring program for formally incarcerated people.

Lavar Gibson

Lavar Gibson, Associate

Joi Ito and Jeff Howe’s new rules for our faster, tech-driven world

In their new book, Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future, MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito and journalist and MIT visiting scholar Jeff Howe lay out new “rules” for surviving and advancing in this age of rapid technological change.

Noha, El-Mikawy, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Director, Middle East and North Africa

An influx of refugees brings not only challenges, but opportunities

The global refugee crisis poses a range of challenges to host countries but also economic and cultural opportunities. Policy solutions that ensure refugees’ dignity and help build their skills, talents, and assets will ensure that migrants can live full lives and contribute to their new communities.

Jocelyn Harmon, Chief Philanthropy Officer, CFED Jeremie Greer, Vice President of Policy and Research, CFED

Jocelyn Harmon, Chief Philanthropy Officer, CFED

Jeremie Greer, Vice President of Policy and Research, CFED

How the US tax code drives inequality—and what we can do to fix it

The US tax code is upside down—spending on tax benefits for wealthy Americans is significantly higher than on federal agency programs that benefit Americans who need help the most. A commonsense tax code would benefit all Americans and minimize wealth inequality.

Eryn, Loeb, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Eryn Loeb, Editor

Shaping a digital marketplace that puts consumers first

Consumer Reports launches open-source consumer privacy effort called the Digital Standard, supported by the Ford Foundation.

Timothy Flacke

Timothy Flacke, Executive Director, Commonwealth

Prize Savings: Marrying a social sector idea with private sector scale

Each week, nearly one-third of the US population visits a Walmart store. As is the case with nearly half of all Americans, many of these shoppers have $400 or less in savings. In fact, one in six Americans says he or she is unprepared for a financial emergency, and only half feel financially secure. A third say they have no savings at all, according to a recent Pew survey.

David, Kaimowitz, New York, 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Graham Macmillian, New York 2016. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Penny, Davies, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Director, Natural Resources and Climate Change

, Senior Program Officer, Inclusive Economies

, Program Officer, Equitable Development

Reflecting on the Paris climate agreement, one year later

Ford Foundation program officers reflect on the progress made in the past year since the Paris Climate Agreement was adopted, the roles of business and indigenous land rights in combating climate change, and how countries are moving from planning to implementation.

David, Kaimowitz, New York, 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Graham Macmillian, New York 2016. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Penny, Davies, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Director, Natural Resources and Climate Change

, Senior Program Officer, Inclusive Economies

, Program Officer, Equitable Development

Darren, Walker, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, President

Our duty is to find hope in darkness

Darren Walker writes about finding hope amid the global challenges of 2016.

Eryn, Loeb, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Eryn Loeb, Editor

"America Divided": Putting a spotlight on inequality

America Divided, a new documentary series from EPIX, explores narratives around inequality in education, housing, healthcare, labor, criminal justice and the political system.

Andrew, Catauro, New York. 2015. Photo credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Libby, Wann. New York. 2015. Photo credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Manager, JustFilms

Elizabeth Wann, Program Assistant, Inclusive Economies

Domestic workers’ rights and voter suppression: Recapping “America Divided,” episode 5

Ford Foundation staff recap Episode 5 of America Divided and discuss domestic workers' rights and voter suppression

John Irons. 2016. Photo credit: Simon Luethi

, Director, Inclusive Economies

New data from the US Census Bureau shows progress on income, poverty, and health coverage

For the first time since 1999, we have seen improvements in incomes, poverty reduction, and health coverage all in one year.

Juliet Mureriwa

Juliet Mureriwa, Learning Officer, Strategy and Learning

#ThisFlag: Zimbabwe’s online revolution

Evan Mawarire's Facebook video lamenting the worsening economic crisis and political repression in Zimbabwe sparked an online revolution, #ThisFlag. Mawarire urged Zimbabweans to reclaim their aspirations and reminded them that the power to change the status quo is in the hands of citizens. 

Javier Ciurlizza, New York. 2016. ©Ford Foundation.

, Director, Andean Region

Ford’s new office in Bogotá: Q&A with director Javier Ciurlizza

Javier Ciurlizza, the Ford Foundation’s Andean Region representative, discusses the strategy behind the opening of a new regional headquarters in Bogotá, Colombia, inequality in Colombia, the historic peace agreement, and what’s ahead for the region.

Anna, Wadia, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Senior Program Officer, Inclusive Economies

Celebrating the Fight for $15: How raising the minimum wage helps build an economy that works for all

Raising the minimum wage positively impacts all Americans and the broader economy. Workers are making gains in raising the minimum wage, guaranteeing paid sick days and paid family leave, and cracking down on wage theft, but there is still progress to be made. 

Javier Ciurlizza, New York. 2016. ©Ford Foundation.

, Director, Andean Region

Nueva oficina de la Fundación Ford en Bogotá: Entrevista con el director Javier Ciurlizza

El 5 de septiembre de 2016, la Fundación Ford abrirá una nueva oficina regional en Bogotá (Colombia), la cual se convertirá en la sede central de nuestras labores en la Región Andina. Javier Ciurlizza, director de la fundación para esta región, habla sobre la estrategia que motivó el traslado, así como la desigualdad en Colombia, el histórico acuerdo de paz y lo que le espera a la región en el futuro.

Amy, Kenyon, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Officer, Equitable Development

Inequality is a choice: Rewriting the rules of the American economy

A Q&A with Roosevelt Institute President Felicia Wong on how to create a  US economic system that supports strong growth and shared prosperity for all.

Michael Clemens

Michael Clemens, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development

Why today’s migration crisis is an issue of global economic inequality

The global inequality of opportunity is what's driving the current migration crisis.

Natasha Sharma

Natasha Sharma, Intern, Ford Foundation

Why paid internships are important for first generation students

In a world where building connections is everything, paid internships offer young people of all different economic and social classes the opportunity to prepare for the future without having to sacrifice financial stability.

Emily Akpan, Ford Foundation summer 2016 intern

Emily Akpan, Intern, Ford Foundation

Ford Foundation interns weigh in

Ford Foundation interns weigh in on President Darren Walker's New York Times op-ed "Why Internships Are Not a Privilege."

Victor Tavarez, Ford Foundation intern

Victor Tavarez, Intern, Ford Foundation

Getting unstuck: Why internships matter

Internships help disadvantaged students tap into the advantages that so many of their peers already have.

Stefan Norgaard

Stefan Norgaard, Stanford University Tom Ford Fellow in Philanthropy

Why we need to build just and inclusive cities

Just and inclusive cities put people first, and put equity and social justice at the center of policy and design.

Deborah Wright, Senior Fellow, Ford Foundation

Google’s ban on payday loan ads is important. Here’s what else we need to do

Google’s ban eliminates a major way for payday lenders to entice consumers, but industry and government leaders need to address the underlying reasons why people turn to payday loans in the first place.

Nicole Okai, Communications Associate

What caused the Flint water crisis and what cities everywhere can learn from it

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha and Lee-Anne Walters, key players in exposing the Flint water crisis, discuss the root causes of the crisis and implications for other cities across America.

Marla Blow

Marla Blow, Founder and CEO, FS Card Inc.

When financial institutions and tech startups collaborate, low-income consumers win

Tech startups can take risks with new technology, while large incumbent financial institutions have the resources to go to scale, the result can be increased financial inclusion.

Deborah Wright, Senior Fellow, Ford Foundation

Let’s start treating our financial health like our physical health

Taking lessons from public health, five ideas that can help Americans improve their financial literacy and wellbeing. 

Steve Phillips, Author, Brown is the New White

Tackling racial wealth inequality in America

Author Steve Phillips offers some bold ideas to address inequality and close America's racial wealth gap

David Reiling, CEO, Sunrise Banks

A revolution in small dollar lending

Davis Reiland, CEO of Sunrise Banks on the importance of access to small-dollar lending.

Libby, Wann. New York. 2015. Photo credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Elizabeth Wann, Program Assistant, Inclusive Economies

American tipping is rooted in slavery—and it still hurts workers today

While tipping remains a favored practice in the United States, it has created a system of unfair pay that disproportionately affects women and people of color—a system that has roots in America’s ugly history of slavery and racial discrimination.

Eryn, Loeb, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Eryn Loeb, Editor

Three business leaders on how capitalism and the 1% can help fight inequality

Paul Polman, Rajiv Joshi, and Martin Whittaker on how capitalism and the 1% can help fight inequality.

Xavier, Briggs, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Vice President, Economic Opportunity and Markets

At Davos, let’s not have yesterday’s conversation about inequality

As world leaders, CEOs, and intellectuals make their way to Davos for the World Economic Forum, let’s not have yesterday’s conversation about inequality.

Martin Whittaker. 2015-2016. New York. Photo Credit: Peter Hutchens. (c) Ford Foundation

Martin Whittaker, CEO, JUST Capital

How capitalism can be a force for greater good

JUST Capital CEO Martin Whittaker answered five questions about the agenda at Davos and the role of business in building a more fair and equitable world.

Penny, Davies, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Altaf, Rahamatulla, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Laine, Romero-Alston, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Eric, Ward, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Officer, Equitable Development

, Program Associate, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

, Program Officer, Inclusive Economies

, Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

A social justice State of the Union

Foundation staff weigh in on Obama's final State of the Union, and  his takes on criminal justice reform, raising the minimum wage, climate change, discrimination, and inequality

Douglas, Wood, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Officer, Youth Opportunity and Learning

Financial aid just got easier for millions of students

President Obama announced a major improvement to the federal student aid application process, making it easier for students to tap into needed Pell Grants and other college aid. 

Eryn, Loeb, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Eryn Loeb, Editor

Five lessons for July 4

As we celebrate Independence Day, we reflect on the lessons about working for freedom and justice over the past months.

Aurelio, Vianna, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Senior Program Officer

Major Breakthrough for the Babasu Coconut Breakers

State Secretary for Family Farmers created in Maranhão to support and invest in rural communities, especially babassu coconut breakers

Frank, DeGiovanni, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Frank DeGiovanni, Senior Advisor

Creating lasting progress for the poorest of the poor

Through concerted, sustained, and multi-pronged programs that empower individuals and open opportunity, it is possible to significantly improve the lives of the poorest people in a number of meaningful ways.

Darren, Walker, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, President

How women's self-help groups are transforming rural India

An example of true leadership development and community building.

Amy, Brown, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Senior Program Officer, Civic Engagement and Government

One bank, two customers, two very different stories

Program officer Amy Brown offers her reflections on a form of financial injustice faced by so many Americans.

Anna, Wadia, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Senior Program Officer, Inclusive Economies

How paid leave policies can help break the cycle of inequality

Read program officer Anna Shireen Wadia's reflections on how paid leave policies can help break the cycle of inequality.

Jean, Ross, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Former Program Officer, Civic Engagement and Government

The State Priorities Partnership: Celebrating 20 years of impact

Program officer Jean Ross celebrates 20 years of impact made by the State Priorities Partnership (SPP).

Darren, Walker, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, President

Work in Detroit doesn't end with Grand Bargain

Learn about Ford's commitment to Detroit.

Frank, DeGiovanni, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Frank DeGiovanni, Senior Advisor

Good business in a global world

Frank DeGiovanni, Director at the foundation discusses how we do good business in a global world.

Darren, Walker, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, President

Introducing the Ford Forum

The Ford Forum presents conversations with change makers about their ideas for reshaping our fundamental systems for greater good.

Amy, Brown, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Senior Program Officer, Civic Engagement and Government

Student debt and social justice: Five things you should know

Program officer Amy Brown shares five things you should know about student debt and social justice.

Anna, Wadia, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Senior Program Officer, Inclusive Economies

At the White House summit, a commitment to working families

The federal government recognizes the importance of workplace flexibility, decent wage, and improved policies for working families.

Barbara, Raab, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Officer, Creativity and Free Expression

Poverty in America: Telling the story

Contrary to popular belief, telling personal stories about living in poverty can be captivating, and Talkpoverty.org is doing just that. Read about Amy's story.

Frank, DeGiovanni, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Frank DeGiovanni, Senior Advisor

Reaching very poor families: A promising approach

Learn about the Graduation approach, planned interventions that lift people from extreme poverty to sustainable livelihoods.

Amy, Brown, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Senior Program Officer, Civic Engagement and Government

From refund to savings

A recent experiment led by Refund to Savings (R2S) showed that savings prompts on tax prep software helped increase the number of people who saved money and the amount they saved.