Earlier today at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, I participated in the annual meeting of North Carolina Network of Grantmakers (NCNG). Joining me on the panel were CIN members Tim McIntosh and Darryl Lester. Our session on bold and unconventional philanthropy drew an audience of over 80 people, who listened intently and posed thoughtful questions.
Over lunch, Martin Eakes, founder of Self-Help, delivered a stirring and, at times, eyebrow-raising keynote message about moving people from “poverty to justice” and the possibilities and responsibilities of philanthropy, today and into the future. His speech punctuated the words and philanthropic deeds of the panelists in my session. In wrapping up, Martin shared a passage from one of his favorite quotes (and mine, too), which is featured in Giving Back. If only more work in philanthropy were threaded with this exquisite truth.
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” ― Frederick Douglass