Decade: 1960s

“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.

New Research: Nutrition Science, a Foundation in Greece, Polish Social Scientists, and Animal Testing

Our first 2021 edition of the New Research series presents four recently published RAC Research Reports drawing on diverse archival material from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and Population Council.

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.

Early Experiments in Public Broadcasting

The American public broadcast system as it exists today came out of years of work by organized philanthropy.

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.

Programming for the People: Diversity in Early Public Television

How philanthropy helped carve out a public space for the expression of race, culture, and critical perspectives.

In Brief: James Baldwin’s Creative Writer’s Fellowship

How a foundation provided the final ingredient to an era-defining novel.

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.

Photo Essay: Mexico and the Launch of the Green Revolution

One foundation’s program in Mexico created the blueprint for ending hunger worldwide.

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.