Ford Foundation Says It’s Coming to an End and Has Reawakened the Fellowship for Racial Equality

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The Ford Foundation, the charitable arm of the Ford Motor Company, announced it was closing its Racial Equity Scholarship program which is designed to create opportunities for minorities in academic leadership positions, in a new statement.

The foundation said it was moving money into “movement building work,” but did not provide details.

The organization’s president, Darren Walker, said in a statement Sept. 16 that the charity has made the decision to close the Ford Fellowships at the National Academies program by 2028.

Walker said there was too much money in racial equity programs and the group was looking to expand into other areas. He noted that philanthropic support for education is the second highest funding category for philanthropy in the United States today.

Ford Foundation President Darren Walker Walker said there was too much money in racial equity programs and the group was looking to expand into other areas. Walker was one of eight recipients of the 2017 WEB DuBois Medal at Harvard in 2017

Ford Foundation President Darren Walker (2nd from left) noted that philanthropic support for education is the second highest category of funding for philanthropy in the United States today.  Walker pictured posing for a photo with Indigenous people around the world at the Forests For Climate Panel event at the Ford Foundation on April 21, 2016 in New York City.

Ford Foundation President Darren Walker (2nd from left) noted that philanthropic support for education is the second highest category of funding for philanthropy in the United States today. Walker pictured posing for a photo with Indigenous people around the world at the Forests For Climate Panel event at the Ford Foundation on April 21, 2016 in New York City.

Elton John, Darren Walker (middle) and David Furnish (right) pose with the award on stage at the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 17th Annual An Enduring Vision Benefit in 2018

Elton John, Darren Walker (middle) and David Furnish (right) pose with the award on stage at the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s 17th Annual An Enduring Vision Benefit in 2018

The program was launched in November 2015 with the aim of helping to create diversity in higher education leadership positions, as well as investing in academic research.

According to the program’s website, the scholarships aim to “increase the diversity of college and university faculties nationwide by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity.”

Walker cited a litany of accomplishments in his statement, including spending nearly $1 billion on the project, where he also said, “It was a painful, but necessary sacrifice.”

He added, “To be clear, no one is claiming a victory for diversity and equity in higher education, not in the United States, not around the world.”

Walker also said, “We must hold higher education institutions accountable for the persistent lack of diversity in tenured and leadership positions, despite a strong pipeline of diverse and talented scholars.”

When launching the race-sensitive initiative in 2015, Walker said the foundation felt the need to move away from other areas of academic philanthropy because other charities, such as the Gates Foundation, were so strongly invested in education promotion programs.

Walker goes on to refer to 2020 and the “backdrop of America’s historical reckoning with racial inequality,” a likely reference to the Black Lives Matter protests that engulfed the nation following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. .

The Ford Foundation, the charitable arm of the Ford Motor Company, was established in 1936. Its headquarters, shown here, are located in Midtown Manhattan.

Walker became chairman of the Ford Foundation, one of the largest foundations in the United States, in 2013

The Ford Foundation, the charitable arm of the Ford Motor Company, was established in 1936. Its headquarters, shown here, are located in Midtown Manhattan.

Just this week, the foundation announced plans to provide $1 million to fight disability discrimination in higher education.

Just this week, the foundation announced plans to provide $1 million to fight disability discrimination in higher education.

He said these protests and riots have led the foundation to seek “to further increase our funding for racial justice advocacy across all of our program areas.” Again, no details were provided on which programs the money will be diverted to.

The scholarships will continue normally until 2023 and will welcome fewer and fewer applications until 2028 under its sunsetting plan.

This week, the foundation announced plans to provide $1 million to fight discrimination against people with disabilities in higher education, Forbes reports.

The grant was awarded to the American Association of the Disabled.

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit granting organization with assets currently valued at $16 billion.

Since 1936, she has worked with people in the fields of social change around the world, “guided by her mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation and advance the achievements human,” the organization says on its website.

Its headquarters are in New York and the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Walker became chairman of the Ford Foundation, one of the largest foundations in the United States, in 2013. He came with a vision to shape the organization in part by funding the arts.

To symbolize this mission, Walker arranged to sell the foundation’s collection of artwork almost exclusively by white male artists.

As of 2017, the collection on display in the foundation’s buildings has been rebuilt with some 350 works by newer artists, many of whom are people of color, women, and queer people.

Controversially in October 2021, Walker was behind the foundation’s decision to divest from fossil fuels.

He said that “going forward, the foundation says it will invest its energy portfolio in alternative and renewable energy, and in funds that “address the threat of climate change and support the transition to a green economy. “.

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