RE:source is a publication of the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC), where a team of archivists, educators, and historians share stories, photo essays, timelines, educational resources, and updates on new research in RAC collections.

Subscribe to our email newsletter to learn about new content.


New in our RAC Research Reports Series

New Research

New Research: Iran Rural Health, Philanthropic Timeliness, Graciela Olivarez, and Chilean Agriculture

In this round-up, researchers report their findings from RAC holdings including the Rockefeller Foundation records, the personal papers of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. and his advisor, Frederick T. Gates, and those of David Lelewer, advisor to John D. Rockefeller, 3rd.


In Case You Missed It

Two white men in suits and ties address a room full of mostly male journalists at the United Nations Population Conference in Bucharest in 1974.
Medicine & Public Health

“A very small number of men control all the money and the ideas”: Women Revolutionize Population Programs in the 1970s

Women and technocratic elites clashed at the 1974 World Population Conference. At stake was women’s control over their own bodies.

Black History is Philanthropy History

Race & Social Justice

Ted Watkins and the Rockefeller Foundation: An Unlikely Partnership

How a charismatic community activist from Watts challenged a foundation’s civil rights strategy through a jobs training program.

Black African American Boy Scout Leaders (Scoutmasters) pose for a photograph, sitting in rows with an American flag
Race & Social Justice

Who Belongs in the Boy Scouts? Philanthropy’s Support for Black Scouting

A foundation struggled to make one of America’s oldest youth organizations more racially inclusive. But it only got so far under Jim Crow.

Issues in Philanthropy

Funding a Social Movement: The Ford Foundation and Civil Rights, 1965-1970

A story recounting many accusations, from rigged elections to the meddling of big private money in grassroots organizing.

Race & Social Justice

Photo Essay: Supporting Minority Enterprise in the late 1960s

In 1968, the Ford Foundation began to make social investments using a new tool borrowed from the for-profit world, the Program-Related Investment.

Race & Social Justice

Black Education and Rockefeller Philanthropy from the Jim Crow South to the Civil Rights Era

Applying a vast fortune to the American race problem, but with decades of false assumptions and well-intended approaches that fell short.

Race & Social Justice

“Highest Standards”: Elite Philanthropy and Literary Black Voices during the Civil Rights Era

Against a backdrop of white, establishment concepts of literary excellence, one foundation struggled to appreciate Black voices.

Elementary children of diverse ethnic backgrounds get ready to go inside their school, two hold hands
Race & Social Justice

Can Data Drive Social Change? Tackling School Segregation with Numbers

In the years before Brown v. Board, a philanthropic fund hoped research and data would turn the tide on attitudes toward segregation.