Behind the scenes of disruptive social movements

We live in a political era defined by crisis, but also great promise. The effects of climate change, economic inequality, and racial injustice threaten our future. Yet in the face of these challenges, there’s a vibrant, visible resurgence of popular movements, of communities rising up against entrenched economic and political power.

And it’s working. Four years after the start of the Occupy movement, heightened attention to inequality has laid the groundwork for winning the Fight for $15 in cities across the country. The Movement for Black Lives, escalated by residents of Ferguson, Missouri, has led to criminal justice reforms at the local, state, and federal levels. And after years of activism against the Keystone pipeline, President Obama has finally shut down the project.

But will this grassroots activism generate the long-term support and infrastructure necessary to sustain lasting change? Are these 21st-century social movements as impactful as their predecessors of the ’50s and ’60s? How are successful movements structured, and how can donors catalyze their growth? On February 26, From Prom Protest to Power convened the Ford Foundation and the Solidaire donor community, along with activists, funders, and movement insiders, explored these questions through a series of lively and participatory presentations.

Why Movements Matter, and How They Work

Leah Hunt-Hendrix Solidaire

Taj James Movement Strategy Center

Jackie Mahendra Citizen Engagement Lab

Thenjiwe McHarris Blackbird

Carlos Saavedra Ayni Institute

Tamara Shapiro Movement Netlab


Lunch Plenary: Moments, Movements, and Permanent Power

May Boeve                                                             

Alicia Garza National Domestic Workers Alliance

Rashad Robinson

Moderator Jee Kim Ford Foundation

What's the Role of Money in Movements?

Chloe Cockburn Open Philanthropy Project        

Gara LaMarche Democracy Alliance

Jessie Spector Resource Generation

Nat Chioke Williams Hill-Snowdon Foundation

Moderator Chris Cardona Ford Foundation

Closing Remarks

Darren Walker Ford Foundation