Vanity Fair

Thanks to Professor Anita Bernstein for sharing Walter Kimbrough’s impassioned cry for justice.  Kimbrough, president of Philander Smith, an historically black college, points out that many gifts to higher education are simply transfers of wealth from one group of rich people to another, and that true philanthropy requires more attention to the needs of poor and nonwhite students, increasingly shut out of elite public and private colleges alike.

As someone who’s just stopped giving to her alma mater (because of its stance on investment in Darfur), the Nonprofiteer finds it easier to acknowledge that many gifts to elite higher education–with rare exceptions like the recent $100 million debt-eradication gift to the University of Chicago–are to philanthropy what vanity press is to literature. 

Let’s share the wealth a bit, shall we?


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