Spring 2021 - 60770 - PA 388L - Advanced Topics in Management

Social Justice Philanthropy-Wb

Philanthropy is fast becoming a vibrant topic of interdisciplinary scholarship across several disciplines and fields that include political science, sociology (social movement studies), third sector studies, and public affairs. This course focuses on a specialized area within the broader field of philanthropic studies that seeks to address what Rittel and Webberbe (1973) referred to as wicked problems: intractable, vexing social problems that are “unstructured, cross-cutting, and relentless” (Weber and Khademiam, 2008).  Examples are plentiful in the U.S. and around the world: homelessness, poverty, public health, food insecurity, urban renewal, educational equity, environmental protection, and systemic/structural racism and sexism.

Guided by the principle of “change, not charity”, and often hidden from view for a number of reasons, the area of philanthropic theory and practice that is the focus of this course has a transformational agenda. It supports a more equitable distribution of power in society, thus eliminating the need for ongoing charity focused on the consequences but not necessarily the root causes of many wicked problems. The seminar exposes students to the theory and practice of social change philanthropy from three points of view: 1) scholarship, 2) policy advocacy, and 3) grantmaking practices. Through weekly reading responses, seminar discussions, conversations with guest visitors, two take home exams, and a final project, students will work toward the following learning outcomes:

Be able to identify and analyze local examples of social injustice and oppression in systemic/structural terms.

Be able to explain how social change philanthropy differs in both theory and practice from other forms of philanthropic activity.

Be able to apply learning by joining a scholarly, public, or professional conversation related to a local social justice issue of concern to the student.

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