Khalil Muhammad Photo

Khalil Muhammad

Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy, HKS; Suzanne Young Murray Professor, Radcliffe
Office Address
79 John F. Kennedy St. Taubman Bldg 466

This course offers students a better understanding of the relationship of economic inequality to the philanthropic industry and the public sector.  Public sector work in government and among non-profits depends increasingly on the generosity of individual donors and, in many instances, foundations. For civic-minded leaders and public servants interested in achieving solutions to economic inequality, how does their own fundraising help or hinder their work? How is democratic governance affected? In other words, does philanthropy put the levers of democracy in the hands of fewer people? The emergence of modern philanthropy during the Gilded Age of the late 19th century when great individual wealth helped build public institutions, such as schools, libraries and museums, offers some insight into how to measure and consider current trends. Some in the philanthropic sector have compared big money in politics (Citizens United) to big money in philanthropy as two sides of the same coin. What practical steps are such leaders taking to address these issues?