Foreword – Critical Issues Vol. 1

Gara LaMarche, a long-time human and civil rights advocate, is president and CEO of The Atlantic Philanthropies. Before joining Atlantic, LaMarche served as vice president and director of U.S. Programs for the Open Society Institute.

The debate inside and outside California about AB 624, the state bill that would mandate the collection and posting by foundations of data about their grantmaking to communities of color, presents a clash between well intentioned but misdirected intervention by government and defensive reactions from the philanthropic sector. The net result, whatever happens to the legislation – which seems unlikely to pass in its current form, anyway – is that mistrust between the two sectors could widen. There is danger that the debate will distract attention from the most profound issues of race and power that the bill is trying to address.

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