Philanthropy on Trial!

Greetings from Philadelphia, PA. Justin and I are in town attending a slate of conferences and just presented to a very engaged audience at the Dream Deferred Conference about the College Bound Brotherhood.  I just raced back downtown to attend a committee meeting at the Council on Foundations, whose national conference is happening right now as well.

You might want to check out what should be a very interesting discussion/presentation/piece of political theater.  True to Philadelphia’s key role in the development of American democracy and due process, the Council on Foundations is hosting a trial on philanthropy’s effectiveness! From the Council:

This week, in the spirit of transparency and candor, philanthropy will testify to its own effectiveness, and you should tune in!  Tomorrow, April 12, noon–1:30 p.m., “Philanthropy on Trial, will be streamed live at www.cof.org/annualconf. Watch the prosecution and defense approach the bench to answer a critical question: Is philanthropy advancing its mission to fulfill the common good?

The Honorable Jane Cutler Greenspan (retired) will preside over the trial, and Gara LaMarche (acting as prosecution) and Ralph Smith (acting as defense) will argue their cases. Then selected members of the audience (acting as jury) will deliberate and ultimately deliver a verdict. While the jury is out wrangling with its own decision-making, we urge you to weigh in through the court of public opinion in-person, on Facebook, or via Twitter. What questions do you have for the prosecution? For the defense? Hear the evidence, and reach your own verdict.

Sounds like must-see TV, particularly with a thinker as provocative as I understand Gara LaMarche (President and CEO of Atlantic Philanthropies) to be. Check it out! What’s *your* verdict?

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