How Can Philanthropy Advance Martin Luther King’s Goals? 13 Leaders Weigh In

Sharon Alpert, CEO, Nathan Cummings Foundation:

“Dr. King is remembered as a beacon of unity for the civil-rights movement. But at the time, he was radical in thought and action, controversial, and, for some, dangerous because he challenged the deep-rooted systems that gave power to economic inequality. That’s what we should remember this day because we need more of it.

In his final book, Where Do We Go from Here?, Dr. King said that eradicating poverty would not come from playing by the rules or investing in piecemeal solutions. Today, the wealth gap between the richest and poorest has never been greater. Of the world’s top 100 economies, 69 are corporations with more wealth than the gross domestic product of the majority of nations, giving them extraordinary power and influence.

So where does philanthropy go from here?

At the Nathan Cummings Foundation, we use all of our resources to support bold partners who are willing to take risks and get to the heart of the racial wealth gap.

We use our own power as an investor to hold corporations and the government accountable for actions that lead to too few black CEOs, too few women on boards of directors, stagnant wages and eroding worker protections, and too much income in the hands of too few people.

We back leaders whose prophetic voices beckon us to hold true to the values of democracy and justice that will ensure equality for all.”

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