On the heels of Inauguration Day in the United States (2021), I decided to start a weekly (or at least somewhat regular) post that includes the most notable articles I’ve been reading as part of the nonpprofit / philanthropy world. As a grants manager for an anti-poverty agency, they often have an anti-racism / anti-poverty / philanthropic lens. I hope you find the topics as fascinating and thought-provoking as I do, whether you work in the sector or not. Please feel free to comment or contact me if you have any articles to add to the mix. Here’s what I’ve been reading since I posted last week. There’s a bit of a global health / democracy theme this week.
2021 Could Be The Year Women Get Full Constitutional Rights by Emily Peck (Huffpost, January 22, 2021)
With Donald Trump out of the White House and Sen. Mitch McConnell no longer controlling the Senate, two substantial roadblocks for the Equal Rights Amendment are gone. And now, nearly 100 years after it was first pitched, the ERA’s chances of making it into the Constitution are greater than ever before, according to advocates.
Gates Foundation gives millions to help persuade ultra-wealthy donors to give more of their billions by Mark Harris (GeekWire, January 23, 3021)
In all, the Gates Foundation has given nearly $18 million to programs aimed at encouraging greater giving by high- and ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNIs) in the last five years alone.
Scowling Bernie Sanders Happy His Mittened Meme May Raise Millions for Charity by Reuters (US News & World Report, January 24, 2021)
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, the famed curmudgeon photographed at President Joe Biden’s inauguration wearing mittens and a scowl behind his facemask in an image that instantly became a meme, said on Sunday he was happy it may help raise millions for charity.
Unpack “This Land is Your Land” by Nicole Cardoza (Anti-Racism Daily, January 25, 2021)
The inauguration was heralded as one of the most inclusive yet, centering not diverse political leaders, but nods to various cultures and identities. But Indigenous communities were disheartened to hear “This Land is Your Land” performed during the ceremony, a song that celebrates the land this nation “owns” without acknowledging how it was acquired – by the genocide, oppression, and forced removal of Indigenous communities that initially call it home.
Biden ends the trans military ban that forced 13,700 to choose between their jobs and transitioning by Kate Sosin (the 19th, January 25, 2021)
The military is the largest employer in the United States. Transgender people are twice as likely to serve as the general population, according to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. That same survey found that transgender Americans are three times more likely to be unemployed than their cisgender peers. The Human Rights Campaign says the pandemic has only exacerbated that reality. LGBTQ+ people disproportionately make up workers in the service sector, where they are more likely to face exposure to COVID-19, and 29 percent of transgender adults live in poverty.
A vision for US global leadership in 2021 by Sean Simons (ONE, January 25 2021)
As the Biden administration faces these remarkable global challenges, global development experts remain optimistic that a renewed American commitment to global leadership and effective COVID-19 vaccines can make measurable and impactful progress in combating extreme poverty and preventable disease.
Billionaires thriving as poor suffer in widening COVID-19 divide – Oxfam by Sonia Elks (Thomson Reuters Foundation, January 25, 2021)
The pandemic marks a “pivotal” point which has exposed economic disparities and built support for “transformative” policies, Oxfam said, calling for higher taxes on wealth and corporations alongside stronger protections for workers.
Survivor’s guilt and other ways the collective trauma we’ve endured may show up by Vu Le (Nonprofit AF, January 25, 2021)
Let’s all acknowledge that we went through a harrowing nightmare that we’re just starting to maybe wake up from, and we’re all rattled by various degrees, and we need to support one another through it.
Budweiser’s Super Bowl 2021 Ad Money Is Being Used to Raise COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness by Justin Kirkland (Esquire, Jan 25, 2021)
Budweiser announced Monday it will take a percentage of the money that would have gone to Super Bowl airtime and donate it to Ad Council and COVID Collaborative’s Vaccine Education Initiative. But, a portion of that Super Bowl budget has already gone into another ad, of sorts—a short film highlighting the frontline and healthcare workers of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the FDA-approved vaccine they received. It will run digitally.
The year global health went local by Melinda and Bill Gates (GatesNotes, January 27, 2021)
We hope the experience we’ve all lived through over the last year will lead to a long-term change in the way people think about global health—and help people in rich countries see that investments in global health benefit not only low-income countries but everyone. We were thrilled to see the United States include $4 billion for Gavi in its latest COVID-19 relief package. Investments like these will put all of us in a better position to defeat the next set of global challenges.
Foundations Focus Their Attentions on Saving Democracy by Glenn Gamboa (Chronicle of Philanthropy, January 28, 2021)
Funding for protecting American democracy began to pick up after the 2013 Supreme Court ruling that invalidated a section of the Voting Rights Act and allowed states to make changes to the voting process without federal approval. Then, in the run-up to the 2020 elections, financial support accelerated as concerns about social injustice, potential voter suppression, and public disinformation erupted into public view.