Published in The New York Times

By Darren Walker

Let’s be honest about the painful reality: America has functioned as a full democracy — guaranteeing the franchise to all — for less than one human lifetime. In practice, our democracy is younger than me.

I was born in 1959, into an America rived by apartheid. When I was a child, the adults in my life were technically eligible to vote. However, in the Louisiana and Texas towns where I grew up, they were prevented from doing so by the social and cultural norms of the American South.

The Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent organization working to address inequality and build a future grounded in justice. For more than 85 years, it has supported visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Today, with an endowment of $16 billion, the foundation has headquarters in New York and 10 regional offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

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