Spring 2016 - 60420 - PA388L - Advanced Topics in Management

Social Justice Philanthropy: Theory, Practice & Critique

This course considers the challenges and opportunities that arise when social justice aspirations meet philanthropic practice.  According to the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy in the US, social justice philanthropy has a transformational agenda; its aim is to reform institutions in order to create a more equitable distribution of power, thus eliminating the need for ongoing charity. This tall order is the entry point for this 3-part seminar that considers theories of social justice as they pertain to philanthropy in the US and elsewhere, case studies of practices in social justice philanthropy that include guest visits with practitioners, and critiques of social justice philanthropy theory and practice. Students will be asked to write three short papers during the course and a final synthetic essay at its completion as a way to position students as more informed researchers, practitioners, or policymakers.

Becky Lentz is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at McGill University in Montreal. Prior to McGill, Prof Lentz served as the first program officer for media and technology policy at the Ford Foundation in New York City between 2001-2007. There she designed and directed an annual multi-million dollar domestic and international field-building initiative advancing freedom of expression and social justice through community organizing, legal advocacy, collaborative scholar/activist research, and philanthropic investment in the media policy field. Prior to Ford, Lentz worked in the information technology services sector as a software developer and analyst, as a policy analyst in state and local government, and as a strategic communications consultant in the nonprofit sector.