The social justice movement is a global movement that advocates for equality and justice for all people. It is a diverse movement that includes people from all walks of life, and it works to address a wide range of issues, including poverty, racism, sexism, LGBTQ+ rights, and environmental protection.
The movement has a long history, dating back to the early days of the labor movement and the civil rights movement. However, in recent years, the movement has become increasingly globalized, thanks in part to the rise of social media and the internet.
Today, social justice activists around the world are using a variety of tactics to promote change. Some groups organize protests and rallies, while others work to lobby governments or educate the public about important issues. Still others work to build community and provide support to marginalized groups.
Examples of social justice movements from around the world include:
- Black Lives Matter: The Black Lives Matter movement is a decentralized movement that advocates for non-violent civil disobedience in protest incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against black people.
- Me Too: The Me Too movement is an international movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault. It started in October 2017 when actress Alyssa Milano encouraged women to use the hashtag #MeToo to share their stories of sexual harassment and assault.
- Climate Strike: The Climate Strike is a youth-led movement that demands action on climate change. It was inspired by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who began protesting outside the Swedish Parliament in 2018.
- Indigenous land rights movement: The Indigenous land rights movement is a global movement that advocates for the rights of Indigenous peoples to their traditional lands and territories. It is a diverse movement that includes a wide range of groups and organizations.
- Women’s rights to education: The women’s rights to education movement is a global movement that advocates for the right of all girls to a quality education. It is a diverse movement that includes a wide range of groups and organizations.
These are just a few examples of the many social justice movements that are active around the world. These movements are working to create a more just and equitable
world for all people.
The global social justice movement is facing strong headwinds. Repression from governments and corporations is significant. Governments and corporations often try to suppress social justice movements. They may do this through laws that restrict freedom of assembly and expression, or through violence and intimidation.
As well, social justice movements often lack the resources they need to be successful. This can include financial resources, as well as access to media and other platforms to amplify their voices. They often also confront divisions within the movementbecause of its diversity. There are often divisions between different groups making it difficult to coordinate and build a united front.
Despite these challenges, the global social justice movement is a powerful force for change. Activists around the world are working to create a more just and equitable world for all people. We sat down recently on The Caring Economy with one of its greatest champions.
Darren Walker is the tenth president of the Ford Foundation, a $16 billion international social justice philanthropy with offices in the United States and ten regions around the globe. Walker is a leading advocate for social justice and has used his platform at the Ford Foundation to support a wide range of causes, including economic justice, racial justice, climate justice, and LGBTQ+ rights.
Darren Walker was born in a charity hospital in Lafayette, Louisiana, and raised by a single mother in Ames and later Goose Creek, Texas. He was one of the country’s first children to benefit from the Head Start Program. Walker’s background gave him “an understanding of the need for investment in human capital and the centrality of private philanthropy making a difference in human lives.”
With financial support from a Pell Grant, Walker was admitted to the University of Texas at Austin, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Government and a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication. He then went on to earn a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law.
After law school, Walker began his career at the international law firm Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. In 1988, he joined Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) and spent seven years in its capital markets division.
In 1995, Walker left the corporate world to spend a year volunteering at a school in Harlem. He went on to become the chief operating officer at Abyssinian Development Corporation, a community development organization also located in Harlem. There, he was able to draw on his private sector experience to advance redevelopment in Harlem, including the opening of a Pathmark supermarket in 1999 at 125th Street and Lexington Avenue.
From 2002 to 2010, Walker was Vice President for Foundation Initiatives at the Rockefeller Foundation, where he oversaw a wide range of programs in the United States and internationally. He also led the Rockefeller Foundation’s recovery program in the South of the US after Hurricane Katrina.
In 2010, Walker joined the Ford Foundation as vice president for Education, Creativity and Free Expression, one of the foundation’s three major program areas. He also oversaw the Ford Foundation’s regional programming in four offices based in Africa and the Middle East.
As the Ford Foundation’s vice president for Education, Creativity and Free Expression, Walker was a creative and servant leadership driving force behind initiatives such as JustFilms – one of the largest documentary film funds in the world – with the goal of advancing “social justice worldwide through the talent of emerging and established filmmakers”; as well as championing public-private collaborations such as ArtPlace, which supports cultural development in cities and rural areas in the United States. Walker was also instrumental to saving American Folk Art Museum from going under because of the museum’s dire financial straits, declaring that the museum is “a powerful showcase of the American spirit and an important public treasure for the people of our city.”
In 2013, Walker was named president of the Ford Foundation. He is the first African American and the first openly gay man to lead the foundation.
Under Walker’s leadership, the Ford Foundation has become a leading voice in the fight for social justice. The foundation has supported a wide range of causes, including racial justice, economic justice, LGBTQ rights, and environmental protection.
Walker’s vision for the Ford Foundation is one of a “justice philanthropy.” He believes that the Ford Foundation should use its resources to address the root causes of inequality and injustice. He has also argued that the Ford Foundation should be more transparent and accountable to the communities it serves.
Walker’s leadership of the Ford Foundation has been marked by several significant achievements. For example, under Walker’s leadership, the Ford Foundation became the first non-profit in US history to issue a $1 billion designated social bond in US capital markets for proceeds to strengthen and stabilize non-profit organizations in the wake of COVID-19.
Walker has also used his platform at the Ford Foundation to promote several innovative ideas. For example, he has called for a “new philanthropy” that is more collaborative, equitable, and inclusive. He has also argued for the need for a “people’s democracy” that is more responsive to the needs of the people.
Walker’s work at the Ford Foundation has made a significant impact on the field of philanthropy. He has helped to shift the focus of philanthropy from individual acts of charity to systemic change. He has also challenged the traditional power dynamics in philanthropy, arguing that donors should be more accountable to the communities they serve.
In addition to his work at the Ford Foundation, Walker is also a public intellectual and author. He has written extensively on social justice and philanthropy. His most recent book, From Generosity to Justice: A New Gospel of Wealth, is a call for a new approach to philanthropy that is more focused on achieving social justice.
As with all guests on The Caring Economy, Darren Walker of the Ford Foundation shows us how leaders with purpose-driven lives and careers are shaping our contemporary lives for the better.