Equals Change Blog

Human Rights

Noorain Khan, New York 2016. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Officer, Office of the President

Why disability rights are central to social justice work—and what we’re doing about it

It quickly became clear that our focus on inequality demands that we think seriously about disability issues.

Darren, Walker, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, President

My American Dream Score is 67. What’s yours?

Earlier this summer, the Ford Foundation launched an interactive tool called Your American Dream Score, which aims to help each of us examine the factors that have helped us succeed or held us back, and to start conversations about the role of inequality and opportunity in our lives.

Anna, Wadia, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Laine, Romero-Alston, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Senior Program Officer, Inclusive Economies

, Program Officer, Inclusive Economies

How we’re neglecting our elders and the workers that care for them: Q&A with the filmmakers of "Care"

The people responsible for the safety and health of our loved ones are paid less than parking lot attendants, and rarely receive health insurance or other benefits. According to PHI, home care workers in the US, like Vilma, are 89% female and make a median annual income of $13,300.

Atila Roque

, Director, Brazil

On privilege: Why discomfort is a sign of progress

Privilege is very comfortable. But fighting the kind of inequality that leads to great suffering for so many will require disrupting that privilege, and breaking down some of the barriers that enable and preserve it.

Darren, Walker, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, President

My message to graduates: With freedom comes responsibility

Darren Walker reflects on four of his commencement speeches, addressing how around the world, democracy and democratic values are under siege, and our responsibilities to protect democracy. 

Martin, Abregu, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Vice President, Democracy, Rights, and Justice

What strengthening human rights has to do with challenging inequality

The Ford Foundation will continue to be a major funder in this field, supporting human rights actors and practices within all our efforts to overcome inequality.

Kamilah Duggins William, Kelley, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Kamilah Duggins, Talent Acquisition Manager

, Talent Acquisition Director

How to create a re-entry program in your organization

Ford Foundation shares some lessons for organizations considering starting a hiring program for formally incarcerated people.

Amy, Brown, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Sanjiv, Rao, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Wilneida Negron. New York. 2017. Photo credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Noorain Khan, New York 2016. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Senior Program Officer, Civic Engagement and Government

, Senior Program Officer, Youth Opportunity and Learning

, Technology Fellow, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

, Program Officer, Office of the President

What’s your American Dream Score?

Your American Dream Score aims to help us examine the many experiences, systems, and institutions that have helped—or hindered—our path to where we are today, and to jump-start honest discussions about the role of inequality and opportunity in our lives.

Noha, El-Mikawy, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Director, Middle East and North Africa

An influx of refugees brings not only challenges, but opportunities

The global refugee crisis poses a range of challenges to host countries but also economic and cultural opportunities. Policy solutions that ensure refugees’ dignity and help build their skills, talents, and assets will ensure that migrants can live full lives and contribute to their new communities.

Keaton Allen-Gessesse, SERI litigation volunteer and Harvard Public Service Venture Fellow

Keaton Allen-Gessesse, SERI litigation volunteer and Harvard Public Service Venture Fellow

Who owns the story of South Africa’s Marikana massacre?

Bringing the Truth Home tells the story of the 34 miners shot down in Marikana during their strike for a living wage in 2012, attempting to right the prevailing narrative. 

David, Kaimowitz, New York, 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Director, Natural Resources and Climate Change

One year after her death, Berta Cáceres's voice lives on

It has now been a year since the courageous environmental activist and indigenous leader Berta Cáceres was murdered in Honduras, and those responsible still have not been brought to justice.

Hannah Meropol

Hannah Meropol, Tom Ford Fellow

After the global women’s marches, how do we turn a moment into a movement?

The power of the Women’s March can't be sustained without people coming together to resist the sources not only of their own oppression but also of each other’s.

Cara Mertes

, Director, JustFilms, Creativity and Free Expression

How documentary storytelling can forge connection and create change

How can creative and documentary work help build a fairer and more just society?

Crysta Jentile, New York 2016. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Crysta Jentile, Communications Associate

Why standing up for immigrant rights benefits everyone

We need an immigrant rights movement that decreases fear and expands opportunities for all.

Wilneida Negron. New York. 2017. Photo credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Technology Fellow, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

10 tech issues that will impact social justice in 2017

10 pressing tech issues that exist at the nexus of technology and social justice.

Darren, Walker, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, President

Let America be America again: A New Year’s reflection

In a New Year's message, Darren Walker reminds us that we share a human aspiration to live in dignity.

Margaret, Morton, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Officer, Creativity and Free Expression

Fighting hate and inequality by advancing cultural equality

Today’s divisive climate makes it more urgent than ever to lift up vibrant art and creative expression that unifies and humanizes people through stories, art, and cultural practice.

Rebeca Sandoval Helena, Hofbauer, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Associate

, Director, Mexico and Central America

Recognizing human rights defenders in Mexico and Central America

The Ford Foundation recognizes four grantees that recently received special awards for their outstanding work and dedication to advancing human rights in Mexico and Central America.

Rebeca Sandoval Helena, Hofbauer, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Associate

, Director, Mexico and Central America

Defensoras de los derechos humanos en México y Centroamérica: ejemplos que nos inspiran

The Ford Foundation recognizes four grantees that recently received special awards for their work and dedication to advancing human rights

Eryn, Loeb, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Eryn Loeb, Editor

"America Divided": Putting a spotlight on inequality

America Divided, a new documentary series from EPIX, explores narratives around inequality in education, housing, healthcare, labor, criminal justice and the political system.

Andrew, Catauro, New York. 2015. Photo credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Libby, Wann. New York. 2015. Photo credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Manager, JustFilms

Elizabeth Wann, Program Assistant, Inclusive Economies

Domestic workers’ rights and voter suppression: Recapping “America Divided,” episode 5

Ford Foundation staff recap Episode 5 of America Divided and discuss domestic workers' rights and voter suppression

Cara Mertes Mayra, Peters-Quintero, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Ethan, Fray, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Director, JustFilms, Creativity and Free Expression

, Senior Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

, Program Associate, Civic Engagement and Government

Money in politics, immigrant rights, and the opioid crisis: Recapping “America Divided,” episode 4

Ford Foundation staff recap episode 4 of America Divided and discuss the influence of big money in politics and protecting the rights of undocumented immigrants. 

Chi-Hui Yang. 2016. Photo credit: Simon Luethi

, Program Officer, JustFilms, Creativity and Free Expression

Criminalizing students of color, immigration reform, and the opioid epidemic: Recapping “America Divided,” episode 3

The Ford Foundation recaps episode 3 of America Divided, a docu-series about rising inequality in the United States.

“The web belongs to all of us”: Q&A with the web’s inventor, Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, discusses why he created the web, why access to the Internet is a human right, and what it really means for the Internet to be open “for everyone" following a screening of Foreveryone.net, a documentary by Jessica Yu about his great invention. 

Javier Ciurlizza, New York. 2016. ©Ford Foundation.

, Director, Andean Region

Ford’s new office in Bogotá: Q&A with director Javier Ciurlizza

Javier Ciurlizza, the Ford Foundation’s Andean Region representative, discusses the strategy behind the opening of a new regional headquarters in Bogotá, Colombia, inequality in Colombia, the historic peace agreement, and what’s ahead for the region.

Javier Ciurlizza, New York. 2016. ©Ford Foundation.

, Director, Andean Region

Nueva oficina de la Fundación Ford en Bogotá: Entrevista con el director Javier Ciurlizza

El 5 de septiembre de 2016, la Fundación Ford abrirá una nueva oficina regional en Bogotá (Colombia), la cual se convertirá en la sede central de nuestras labores en la Región Andina. Javier Ciurlizza, director de la fundación para esta región, habla sobre la estrategia que motivó el traslado, así como la desigualdad en Colombia, el histórico acuerdo de paz y lo que le espera a la región en el futuro.

Alberto, Cerda Silva, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Officer, Internet Freedom

Giving megaphones to the disenfranchised: Why Internet rights are human rights

Access to the Internet is critical for freedom of expression in modern societies and for enjoying cultural, social, and economic rights. Government's role in protecting this human right includes not blocking free speech, but also providing the disenfranchised with a voice.

Tanya Coke, New York 2016. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Senior Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

What it will take to heal racial divisions and transform the US justice system

Real change will require hard work by every one of us who values fairness and safety. Activists must be willing to sit down with police and politicians to propose specific solutions. Police officials must listen and find the will to implement them.

Stefan Norgaard

Stefan Norgaard, Stanford University Tom Ford Fellow in Philanthropy

Why the Olympics and other major sporting events usually increase inequality in the host city

If we change the approach to development, large sporting events like the Olympics can reduce, rather than drive, inequality.

Michael Clemens

Michael Clemens, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development

Why today’s migration crisis is an issue of global economic inequality

The global inequality of opportunity is what's driving the current migration crisis.

Brook Kelly-Green Luna, Yasui, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

, Senior Program Officer, Youth Opportunity and Learning

Why black lives matter to philanthropy

The Movement for Black Lives has created an opportunity for philanthropy to see and learn from new and dynamic forms of social justice leadership and infrastructure.

Ekanem, Williams, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Officer

How child marriage exacerbates Africa’s HIV/AIDS epidemic

There is a close link between child marriage and the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa. Yet the interventions designed to respond to these two issues are often not integrated. 

Hilary, Pennington, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Vice President, Education, Creativity, and Free Expression

Rethinking scholarships as a force for social justice

Unlike traditional scholarships based primarily on academic achievement, social justice fellowships use non-traditional ways to recruit talented individuals and extend higher education opportunities to leaders from marginalized communities.

Marc Climaco, New York 2016. ©Ford Foundation

Marc Climaco, Social Media Engagement Strategist

Acclaimed film “Dry” takes on child marriage in Nigeria

Twitter conversation with Nigerian actress and award-winning filmmaker Stephanie Okereke Linus about her film, Dry.

Felipe, Aguero, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Felipe Agüero, Former Program Officer

How more accurate census data can shape social justice in Colombia and Peru

Upcoming censuses in Colombia and Peru present opportunities for greater inclusion, for every person to count and be counted.

Eric, Ward, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

How can we fight Islamophobia in America?

With increasing xenophobic political rhetoric and brazen incidents of violence against American Muslim, South Asian, and Arab communities, the Ford Foundation hosted a dialogue with leaders to strategize ways to advance inclusion. Here are the highlights from the discussion.

Andrew, Catauro, New York. 2015. Photo credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Brook Kelly-Green

, Manager, JustFilms

, Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

A story of southern black women and families living with HIV/AIDS: Q&A with the filmmaker of Wilhemina’s War

An interview with the filmmaker of Wilhemina's War, the story of an African American grandmother living in the rural south and fighting to help her granddaughter survive the health risks and social stigma of living with HIV.

Hank Willis Thomas. 2015-2016. New York. Photo Credit: Peter Hutchens. (c) Ford Foundation LaShawn, Jefferson, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Brook Kelly-Green

Hank Willis Thomas, Visual artist

LaShawn R. Jefferson, Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

, Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

What does Black History Month mean in the era of #BlackLivesMatter?

To mark Black History Month, we asked three racial justice advocates to reflect on what it means to commemorate and celebrate black history in a moment when racial justice is at the center of the national conversation.

Libby, Wann. New York. 2015. Photo credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Elizabeth Wann, Program Assistant, Inclusive Economies

American tipping is rooted in slavery—and it still hurts workers today

While tipping remains a favored practice in the United States, it has created a system of unfair pay that disproportionately affects women and people of color—a system that has roots in America’s ugly history of slavery and racial discrimination.

Jean, Ross, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Former Program Officer, Civic Engagement and Government

The crisis in Flint is about more than poisoned water

What Flint can learn from a new generation of civic activism and engagement among diverse Detroit communities.

Lori, McGlinchey, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Vivek, Malhorta, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Eric, Ward, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Senior Program Officer, Internet Freedom

Vivek Malhotra, Director, Civil and Human Rights

, Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

Our top social justice moments at Sundance

Ford staff recount their most memorable social justice moments from the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

Lourdes, Rivera, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Former Senior Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

43 years after Roe v. Wade, why we (still) need reproductive justice

43 years after Roe v. Wade, reproductive justice is as important as ever, and goes beyond the right to abortion and contraception.

Penny, Davies, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Altaf, Rahamatulla, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Laine, Romero-Alston, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation. Eric, Ward, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Officer, Equitable Development

Altaf Rahamatulla, Program Associate, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

, Program Officer, Inclusive Economies

, Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

A social justice State of the Union

Foundation staff weigh in on Obama's final State of the Union, and  his takes on criminal justice reform, raising the minimum wage, climate change, discrimination, and inequality

Eryn, Loeb, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Eryn Loeb, Editor

Michelle Alexander on racial justice, mass incarceration and Black Lives Matter

Michelle Alexander speaks candidly to Ford Foundation staff about the state of racial justice in America.

Farhana Khera, President and Executive Director, Muslim Advocates

Together, we'll bend the arc of justice

Farhana Khera, President of Muslim Advocates, discusses the need to build coalitions with other movements to bend the arc of justice.

Margaret, Rugadya, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Officer

Landesa wins 2015 Hilton Humanitarian Prize

Landesa honored with Hilton Humanitarian Prize for "extraordinary contributions to alleviating human suffering"

Kirsten, Levingston, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Kirsten D. Levingston, Former Program Officer, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

Mass contrition, not incarceration

The pope’s visit to a Philadelphia prison puts a spotlight on the immorality of our justice system and the urgent need for reform.

Louis, Bickford, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Officer, Civic Engagement and Government

Where global meets local: Realizing human rights on the ground

Supporting INGOs that are based in the Global South, the Ford Foundation can contribute further to the realization of rights.

David, Kaimowitz, New York, 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Director, Natural Resources and Climate Change

"They fear us because we are fearless"

The best thing about Berta Cáceres receiving the Goldman Environmental Prize, and being recognized internationally for her grassroots efforts to protect the environment, is that it means she is still alive.

Mario, Bronfman, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Mario Bronfman, Former Regional Representative

Cuba's next generation of progress

Mario Bronfman, former representative of the Mexico and Central America office, reflects on the foundation's commitment to Cuba.

Louis, Bickford, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

, Program Officer, Civic Engagement and Government

An emerging architecture for the international human rights movement

Program officer Louis Bickford deliberates the complex nature of the international human rights movement.

Myriam, Montalvo-Mendez, New York 2014-2015. Photo Credit: Simon Luethi ©Ford Foundation.

Myriam Méndez-Montalvo, Former Regional Representative

Consulta previa: A defining issue for Latin America

Consulta previa--the right of indigenous groups to be consulted on matters that affect them is a very important issue for Latin America.