Can Counting Really Make the Difference?

Makani Themba is former executive director of The Praxis Project, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization supporting community-based policy and media advocacy nationwide. She is a member of the PRE advisory board.

Every organized interest has a love-hate relationship with government regulation. We want clear public monitoring and benchmarks for the other guy. For ourselves, well, we urge more measured approaches like support for self-governance, expansion of voluntary guidelines and the perennial favorite – autonomy – because after all, us good people with good intentions don’t need sticks. We are carrot folk who can be good for, er, goodness sake.

The unfortunate truth is that those interests with the most power tend to live more of a carrot life in the world of government intervention and regulation. And those with much less power live firmly under the stick. In fact, it was partially these policy inequities that catalyzed a study and then legislation that sought to connect the dots between the lack of diversity in philanthropy and the limited capacity of traditional marginalized communities (communities of color, sexual minorities and women) to affect change in their interests.


Download Full Text

Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity © All rights reserved