Category: News & Notes

Al Smith Dinner No Laughing Matter

American elections have a certain sort of rhythm to them, with recognizable locales and set pieces. There’s the early February trips to icy New Hampshire leading into the long and bloody schedule of summer primaries.… MORE >>

Appealing to Our Better Angels

The anti-polarization movement in American politics is by now a well-established lobby. Since at least 2010, when centrist Republicans and Democrats created the group No Labels, there’s been a specific space, however cramped, for self-professed post-partisans to express their dissatisfaction with the ugly state of affairs.… MORE >>

Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize and Civil Society

Some shocking news out today that American folk legend Bob Dylan has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Dylan, born Robert Zimmerman, becomes the first songwriter to ever earn the distinction and the first American since Toni Morrison won in 1993. … MORE >>

Rising from destruction

A new exhibit in Rome’s Colosseum brings back to life cultural treasures of the Middle East bulldozed by the Islamic State. “Rising from Destruction: Ebla, Nimrud, Palmyra,” which will run through December 16th of this year, features both reproductions and originals of statues, busts, and architectural artifacts that have been damaged or completely destroyed in the past couple of years.… MORE >>

YMCA and Comcast unite for digital literacy campaign

News out this month of a $15 million partnership between the Comcast Corporation and the YMCA aimed at improving digital literacy among low-income families.  “We are proud to elevate the impact of the Y,” Comcast Senior Executive Vice President David Cohen said when announcing the program, “and help connect even more people to the resources they need to achieve their dreams.” This current program—which includes some modest grants to big-city Ys but mostly comes in the form of free air-time for YMCA PSAs—folds itself under Comcast’s broader efforts at expanding internet access.… MORE >>

This presidential election has cheapened American philanthropy

Perhaps never before has philanthropy played such a prominent role in an American presidential election. For many months now, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has had to fend off charges that her foundation sold access to the then-Secretary of State.… MORE >>

Behind Trump’s philanthropy, or lack thereof

Like most newspapers, the Washington Post does not have any reporter whose beat is philanthropy—until this year, when David A. Fahrenthold became the Donald Trump philanthropy reporter.… MORE >>

“Putting ourselves out of business:” philanthropic longevity and radical change

Recently The Nation hosted a symposium on “The Future of Philanthropy,” featuring contributions from top non-profit leaders and innovators. The collection of short essays is worth reading, if only for the snapshot insight it provides into the minds of some of philanthropy’s top players.  … MORE >>

Feminist icon defends old friend Roger Ailes

Susan Estrich is the odd sort of political player that could only exist in America. A feminist trailblazer since her days at Harvard Law School, where she beat out a young Merrick Garland to become the first woman to head the Harvard Law Review, Estrich went on to become one of the bright lights of legal academia.… MORE >>

Rich-to-rich giving and why tech billionaires won’t cure disease

Tech titan Mark Zuckerberg and wife Pricilla Chan pledged over $3 billion to cure, prevent, or manage all diseases by 2100. But as Linsey McGoey at The Guardian points out, there are all too many good reasons to temper the hype around Zuckerberg and Chan’s gift.… MORE >>

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