Giving Compass’ Take:
• Darren Walker interviews Kenneth Frazier, Chairman and CEO of Merck & Co, Inc., about how his leadership role in business and philanthropy addresses justice issues.
• What is the role of philanthropy in addressing social justice?
• Learn more about social justice philanthropy.
Kenneth Frazier, Chairman, and CEO of Merck & Co, Inc. and one of three African American CEOs in the Fortune 500, discusses how we can all champion the cause of justice.
More in his excerpt From Generosity to Justice with Ford Foundation President Darren Walker:
DARREN: What would you say to emerging CEOs, C-suite folks, and philanthropists? What kernel of wisdom would you give them on their journey, as you look back on your own journey as a philanthropist, as a CEO, as a leader who has clearly exerted moral leadership?
KEN: Those of us who are in these positions—who are privileged to have resources and have control of these institutions—need to think deeply, dig for root causes, and be willing to upset the status quo. I think you have to be bold. I think you have to be courageous.
There needs to be a constant willingness to question the narrative about, for example, this country, and it being a place where everyone has an equal opportunity—well, we know that’s not true.
How do we tilt the scales toward justice? The challenge is, charity is admired. It is socially acceptable. Seeking justice is controversial. It is politically, socially, and economically a huge risk to push for justice.
That’s what I learned by saying what I said after Charlottesville. Some people thought I had no right to say that because they thought I was going against the president or not supporting what the president was doing. They were ignoring the underlying content, and I was actually surprised at how few business leaders wanted to step into the breach until they all felt like it was safe to go into the water together.
“To solve big problems, you need to think deeply, dig for root causes and be willing to upset the status quo.”
Read the full article about championing the cause of justice at Ford Foundation.
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