• Dec 5, 2017

Paid in Full

By Dorian O. Burton and Brian C.B. Barnes,
Stanford Social Innovation Review
December 5, 2017

Sub titled, “How to reorient philanthropic investments for justice-oriented collective action and impact,” the article is directed toward the world of philanthropy. It begins by asking readers to “Close your eyes and think about why you chose to serve at a nonprofit or a philanthropic institution.” The authors suggest that most will realize a persistent shortcoming in their ability to “make the world a better place through…efforts to eradicate poverty.” They trace this “gap”to “the routine of our privilege, and our lack of empathy and authentic understanding toward those we’re serving.”

This article extends on earlier work by the authors and calls for “justice-oriented giving and service” and a “paid-in-full” strategy that:

…aims to dismantle the forces perpetuating poverty and has the potential to create ecosystemic-level changes—changes that engage networks of private and public institutions, and shift the policies and narratives that sustain their functioning toward an American landscape that is on course to fulfill its ideals.

Their argument echoes what we at the institute understand as Community Justice: “We must focus on investments that increase the capacity of individuals to become the heroes and heroines that lead change in their own communities.”



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