How Americans Can Avoid Funding Antisemitism and Pursue Reforms on Campus

How Americans Can Avoid Funding Antisemitism and Pursue Reforms on Campus

In an op-ed published by Philanthropy Daily, Patrice Onwuka, Philanthropy Roundtable’s adjunct senior fellow, examines the lack of outrage from diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) advocates in higher education related to condemning the dramatic rise in antisemitism activity on campuses nationwide. While many donors are threatening to pull funding from higher education institutions, Onwuka says there are still ways to give to higher ed that can return these institutions to what they were built for, including fostering intellectual pluralism, academic excellence, workforce preparedness and research.

Below are excerpts from the article “How Americans Can Avoid Funding Antisemitism and Pursue Reforms on Campus”:

“Universities have spent millions on so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) resources and staff and made numerous public statements in support of racial equity and justice. And yet, in December, three presidents of the most elite universities in America–Harvard, MIT, and University of Pennsylvania–could not unequivocally say that calling for the genocide of Jews violates their campus rules.”

“It’s no secret philanthropy has been a strong proponent of the social justice movement and DEI efforts in higher education and beyond. According to the philanthropy research organization Candid, donors have committed nearly $17 billion to support racial equity since 2020. But racial justice statements and monetary commitments made by high-profile individuals, organizations, and corporations in the past ring hollow if they do not condemn antisemitism and calls for violence today.

Donors and philanthropic organizations would be wise not to support institutions that fuel or remain silent about racial hate against Jews. Americans should also consider how their charitable dollars may indirectly advance antisemitism in America, especially in academia, through blind support for alma maters and higher education institutions that fail to protect Jewish students from harassment now.”

“However, donors need not abandon academia entirely. With thousands of higher education institutions, donors should direct their dollars toward colleges and universities that share their values. Big donors have outsized influence on academia: gifts of $1 million or more made up less than 1% of donors but 57% of total donations in 2022. But don’t underestimate the generosity of other alumni and smaller donors in telegraphing their disapproval of an administration’s actions.

Through charitable giving, Americans can support reforms, extract accountability and demand change in higher education. Allying with academic institutions and issues-based think tanks that share their values and goals, donors can do the legwork with fundraising staff, administrators, faculty, and researchers, leading to lasting relationships.”

To read the complete article, please visit Philanthropy Daily.

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