LAFF Society


Profile of Darren Walker In The New York Times


The Ford Foundation’s new emphasis on giving to combat inequality is explored in a profile of the foundation’s president, Darren Walker, in the July 12 issue of The New York Times.
The article, titled “The Man With the $13 Billion Checkbook”, quotes one source that “It’s hard to overemphasize how little inequality had been a philanthropic concern over the last half-century. He took on a great challenge. There’s been no figure with greater influence in the sector than Darren Walker.”
“In place of charity,” notes the article, “he promised a push for justice.”
One source observes that Walker “is an amazing politician of straddling the world of old money and directing it for causes that speak to the current moment of inequality, while attempting at the same time to speak the language of social justice. It’s a high-level carnival juggling act that he’s attempting to pull off. It’s pretty hard to imagine anyone doing it with 100 percent success.” 
The article notes that lack of full achievement. “The contradictions in his work are still there,” it states. “Reform is slow; capitalism has its own oceanic momentum….Ford’s endowment still includes stocks that work against the foundation’s mission….” 
“It’s a journey,” says Walker. “I hope I’ve brought a sense to the organization that we have to walk more humbly, that we actually don’t have the answers, the answers are with communities and with the people we are investing in. They are the key to unlocking solutions.”


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