Equals Change Blog

Racial Justice

Altaf, Rahamatulla, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Associate, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

The War on Drugs has failed. What’s next?

Attitudes around drug use are changing and the "War on Drugs" has failed—especially in communities of color. Updated policy is needed to create a more humane drug policy. 

Crysta Jentile, New York 2016. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Crysta Jentile, Communications Associate

Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad on freedom, Muslim identity, and the drive to excel

US Olympic medalist and entrepreneur Ibtihaj Muhammad on her experience as a woman of color, a Muslim American, and a female athlete today

Crysta Jentile, New York 2016. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Crysta Jentile, Communications Associate

Why standing up for immigrant rights benefits everyone

We need an immigrant rights movement that decreases fear and expands opportunities for all.

Wilneida Negron. New York. 2017. Photo credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Technology Fellow, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

10 tech issues that will impact social justice in 2017

10 pressing tech issues that exist at the nexus of technology and social justice.

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

, Program Officer, Youth Opportunity and Learning

“Pushout” author Monique Morris on what’s driving the criminalization of black girls in America

Stereotypes and stigma make black female students vulnerable to mistreatment and criminalization in school.

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.

Gavin Silber Lwazi Mtshiyo Hopolang Selebalo

Gavin Silber, Research Consultant, Ndifuna Ukwazi

Lwazi Mtshiyo, Candidate Attorney, Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI)

Hopolang Selebalo, Head of Research, Ndifuna Ukwazi

Why urban policy alone won’t solve South Africa’s inequality problem

South African cities illustrate how urban policies can be effectively implemented but also destructive to the communities they should be serving.

Chi-Hui Yang. 2016. Photo credit: Simon Luethi

, Program Officer, JustFilms, Creativity and Free Expression

Criminalizing students of color, immigration reform, and the opioid epidemic: Recapping “America Divided,” episode 3

The Ford Foundation recaps episode 3 of America Divided, a docu-series about rising inequality in the United States.

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

, Manager, JustFilms

Segregation in housing and education, and moving forward in Flint: Recapping “America Divided,” episode 2

The Ford Foundation recaps episode 2 of America Divided, a docu-series about rising inequality in the United States.

, Director, JustFilms, Creativity and Free Expression

Criminal justice reform, the Flint water crisis, and NYC housing: A recap of “America Divided,” episode 1

The first episode of America Divided, a new documentary series from EPIX, explores three issues of American inequality: our nation's broken criminal justice system, the Flint water crisis, and housing issues in New York City. 

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.

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.

Crysta Jentile, New York 2016. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Michelle Lawrence

Crysta Jentile, Communications Associate

Michelle Lawrence, Communications Intern

How government use of big data can harm communities

Big data drives much of our daily lives, but without proper oversight, the use of data by government agencies can exacerbate existing inequality and harm communities. 

Tanya Coke, New York 2016. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Senior Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

What it will take to heal racial divisions and transform the US justice system

Real change will require hard work by every one of us who values fairness and safety. Activists must be willing to sit down with police and politicians to propose specific solutions. Police officials must listen and find the will to implement them.

Luna, Yasui, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

, Senior Program Officer, Youth Opportunity and Learning

Why black lives matter to philanthropy

The Movement for Black Lives has created an opportunity for philanthropy to see and learn from new and dynamic forms of social justice leadership and infrastructure.

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.

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

, Vice President, Education, Creativity, and Free Expression

Rethinking scholarships as a force for social justice

Unlike traditional scholarships based primarily on academic achievement, social justice fellowships use non-traditional ways to recruit talented individuals and extend higher education opportunities to leaders from marginalized communities.

Minna, Penttila. New York. 2016. Photo credit: Ford Foundation

Minna Penttila, Program Assistant, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

Is brown the new white? A conversation about race, politics, and elections in America

America’s racial demographics are changing and there are major implications for elections and the political process.

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

Felipe, Aguero, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Felipe Agüero, Former Program Officer

How more accurate census data can shape social justice in Colombia and Peru

Upcoming censuses in Colombia and Peru present opportunities for greater inclusion, for every person to count and be counted.

Eric, Ward, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

How can we fight Islamophobia in America?

With increasing xenophobic political rhetoric and brazen incidents of violence against American Muslim, South Asian, and Arab communities, the Ford Foundation hosted a dialogue with leaders to strategize ways to advance inclusion. Here are the highlights from the discussion.

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

, Manager, JustFilms

, Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

A story of southern black women and families living with HIV/AIDS: Q&A with the filmmaker of Wilhemina’s War

An interview with the filmmaker of Wilhemina's War, the story of an African American grandmother living in the rural south and fighting to help her granddaughter survive the health risks and social stigma of living with HIV.

Hank Willis Thomas. 2015-2016. New York. Photo Credit: Peter Hutchens. (c) Ford Foundation LaShawn, Jefferson, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Hank Willis Thomas, Visual artist

LaShawn R. Jefferson, Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

, Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

What does Black History Month mean in the era of #BlackLivesMatter?

To mark Black History Month, we asked three racial justice advocates to reflect on what it means to commemorate and celebrate black history in a moment when racial justice is at the center of the national conversation.

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.

Chi-Hui Yang. 2016. Photo credit: Simon Luethi

, Program Officer, JustFilms, Creativity and Free Expression

Why the Black Panthers still matter today: Q&A with filmmaker Stanley Nelson

Interview with filmmaker Stanley Nelson on his Black Panthers documentary and its relevance to #BlackLivesMatter and racial tensions today.

Lori, McGlinchey, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Vivek, Malhorta, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Eric, Ward, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Senior Program Officer, Internet Freedom

Vivek Malhotra, Director, Civil and Human Rights

, Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

Our top social justice moments at Sundance

Ford staff recount their most memorable social justice moments from the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

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

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

Eryn Loeb, Editor

Michelle Alexander on racial justice, mass incarceration and Black Lives Matter

Michelle Alexander speaks candidly to Ford Foundation staff about the state of racial justice in America.

Heather McGhee, President, Demos

Toward a new understanding of “we the people”

Demos President Heather McGhee asks whether it is enough to bend the arc of justice, or if it needs to break.

Farhana Khera, President and Executive Director, Muslim Advocates

Together, we'll bend the arc of justice

Farhana Khera, President of Muslim Advocates, discusses the need to build coalitions with other movements to bend the arc of justice.

Celebrating global diversity

Author and activist Cida Bento has been named one of the top "diversity figures in public life" by The Economist.

Kirsten, Levingston, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Kirsten D. Levingston, Former Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

History was his story: A remembrance of Julian Bond

Program officer Kirsten Levingston remembers Julian Bond as a professor and mentor, on a mission seeking racial justice in America.

Jerry, Maldonado, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Senior Program Officer, Equitable Development

10 years after Katrina, rebuilding the promise of New Orleans

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, Ford Foundation reflects on the progress and philanthropy's investment in New Orleans and the work ahead.

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

, President

A tribute to Julian Bond

Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, pays tribute to civil rights leader Julian Bond.

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

Eryn Loeb, Editor

Connecting the dots on voting rights and education

Education and voting are fundamental rights, and they’re also essential opportunities. So when a federal appeals panel ruled against a strict voter ID law in Texas this week—deeming it discriminatory and in violation of the Voting Rights Act—it was an encouraging sign. It was also evidence that there’s still a serious need for our 50-year-old civil rights law. And that disenfranchisement doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

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

, Program Officer, Youth Opportunity and Learning

Opportunity and dignity for incarcerated Americans

People incarcerated in federal and state prisons will be eligible to receive federal aid to take the college courses that will prepare them to be thoughtful, responsible, engaged members of their communities—and help keep them from returning to prison.

Holly Fetter. Photo Credit: Stanford University Haas Center for Public Service.

Holly Fetter, Stanford University Tom Ford Fellow in Philanthropy

The new student power

Our support for the student power model and its movements is an investment in the future of social change.

Altaf, Rahamatulla, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Associate, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

A rare opportunity for criminal justice

There is genuine momentum to examine justice issues and bipartisan interest in reassessing corrections at both the state and federal level.

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.

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

, President

Let's match our reverence with resolve

Darren Walker shares his reflections from the celebration in Selma.

Altaf, Rahamatulla, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Charlene Caronan, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Associate, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

Charlene Caronan, Events Producer

What we saw in Selma

A group from Ford traveled to Selma to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

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

, President

A new testament of hope

Darren Walker offers his reflections: in light of the 2014 shootings of young black men, there is still hope.

Eric, Ward, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

A pivotal moment for racial justice

Program office Eric Ward explains why now is a pivotal moment for racial justice.

Kirsten, Levingston, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Kirsten D. Levingston, Former Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

Rethinking safety, crime, and victimization

How can we rethink safety, crime, and victimization so resources can be redirected to structures that support individuals, families, and communities instead of trapping them?

Eric, Ward, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

Following Ferguson

Program Officer Eric Ward shares articles and resources from the Ferguson protests.