Day Three of #GPF17

While media has been under attack recently, it holds great potential for driving change by tackling human and civil rights abuses. At the same time, technology has made it possible for everyday citizens experiencing and witnessing abuses to share their stories, building grassroots social movements. How do we foster accountability and trust in our sources of information? Day Three of the 2017 Global Philanthropy Forum focused on how we can harness the power of voice for the greater good.

Adam Foss, president of Prosecutor Impact, urged the audience not to turn a blind eye to the systemic problems of mass incarceration and racial injustice in the US. Foss then sat down with Carroll Bogert, president of The Marshall Project, and Glenn E. Martin, founder and president of JusticeLeadershipUSA, to discuss how advocacy and media can drive criminal justice reform. Martin shared his own experience of being incarcerated, and spoke on how critical media is in bringing attention to these issues. The panel agreed that young black men also need more supportive and nurturing interventions early on to keep them from ending up in jail, and that fundamental transformations to our systems are necessary.

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Uzodinma Iweala, CEO and editor-in-chief of Ventures Africa, moderated a closing plenary with Ben Rattray, founder and CEO of Change.org, Abdalaziz Alhamza, co-founder of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, and Malika Saada Saar, senior counsel on civil and human rights at Google, on the emerging role of social media and online platforms in shedding light on underreported global issues and garnering support to stop them. Rattray explained how media can act as a mechanism to advance transparency and truth, adding new voices to the conversation — often those closest to the problems — to mobilize change. Alhambra shared his personal testimony of rallying the local community to expose the atrocities in Syria to the rest of the world. Saar believes that the more connected we are, the less possible it is for massive human rights abuses to take place. All agreed that working together, while empowering individuals, is key to rebuilding society’s most valuable resource — trust in each other.

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The 2017 Global Philanthropy Forum Conference, April 18 to 20, 2017 in Washington, DC, brings together cross-sector leaders to explore the theme of “Trust.” Learn more about the Conference and see all videos by visiting philanthropyforum.org.

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