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Grant Oliphant - What Does Courageous Philanthropy Look Like?

Publication date: 
August, 2018

The 2018 Forum Annual Meeting featured an inspiring keynote presentation by Grant Oliphant (@go_grant), President & CEO of The Heinz Endowments. He is a vocal and outspoken philanthropy leader who stresses the importance of foundations speaking out against government policies and decisions that are at odds with their work, denouncing racist language and policies of government leaders, and separating fact from fiction in the public discourse. In his address, Oliphant shared his perspectives on courageous philanthropy, which is a key element of the Forum’s new vision. What does courageous philanthropy look like? What is the role of PSOs to lead and encourage a courageous philanthropic sector that, as the Forum’s vision states, “catalyzes a just and equitable society where all can participate and prosper”?

Courageous philanthropy knows that we are not owed hope and we are guaranteed no destiny other than the one we work to create, and so makes that its fight. It acknowledges the deep roots of suffering, the enduring wounds of inequity clinging like so much litter to our collective souls. It feigns no impartiality when it comes to defending the people, planet, ideas and values that are the core of its mission. And it holds itself accountable above all for ending the injustice that hatred has forged.