As a 23-year-old graduate student studying philanthropy, I am drawn to philanthropy that is authentic, boots on the ground, grassroots, advocacy and impact for communities.
In a fast-paced society where 24/7 news and social media cater to our desire for instant gratification, helping people in need isn’t glamorous or timely. It takes getting to know the population, the community, their resources (and lack thereof), legislature, the organizations already involved and many other factors to understand the overall picture.
Philanthropic “help” is no longer simply about charity and giving to the less fortunate; it’s now about providing opportunities, affecting entrenched systems of oppression and education. When millennials talk about the necessity of a revolution, that is what we are talking about.
Millions of people throughout the United States face poverty, discrimination, environmental hazards and violence. The families of slain African-Americans, the native people of Standing Rock, the entire community of Flint Michigan — these populations and hot-button news topics are not just news; they are real people who need our help to right the wrongs of a broken system that ignores the pleas of the disenfranchised. Their voices shouldn’t be disregarded any longer.