Ford Foundation shuts down 'racial equity' fellowship, cites 'too much money' in other programs

Darren Walker, Ford Foundation president said 'support for education is the second highest funding category for philanthropy in the US today'

Ford Foundation shuts down 'racial equity' fellowship, cites 'too much money' in other programs
Darren Walker further mentioned the program will continue as normal through 2023 and will welcome fewer and fewer applications until 2028 (Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Housing Works)
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NEW YORK: The Ford Foundation, the Philanthropic arm of the Ford Motor Company has announced it is trimming down its racial equity fellowship program. The Ford Foundation's president Darren Walker said in a statement on September 16 that "the charity had come to the decision to shut down the Ford Fellowships at the National Academies program by 2028."

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The racial equity program launched in 2015 was designed to create opportunities for minorities in academic leadership positions which will be now diverted towards "movement-building work." Walker remarked that there is too much money in racial equity programs and that the group is looking to expand in other areas, but did not specify the other means. "To be clear, no one is declaring victory for diversity and equity in higher education," Walker added in the statement.

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President of the Ford Foundation Darren Walker speaks during the
Darren Walker became president of the Ford Foundation in 2013 (Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization with assets currently valued at $16 billion. Walker noted with regards to the termination of the project said that philanthropic support for education is the second highest funding category for philanthropy in the US today. Walker announced that the foundation which helped in finding ways to help to create diversity in leadership positions in higher academies, as well as putting money towards academic research has now felt the need to move away and expand from other areas of academic philanthropy because other charities, such as the Gates Foundation, were so heavily invested in schemes promoting education. 

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Darren Walker became president of the Ford Foundation in 2013, one of the largest foundations in the U.S. that came into existence in 1903. Walker cited records of achievements by the company in his statement, including spending nearly $1 billion on the project, where he also stated, "This was a painful sacrifice, but a necessary one," reports Daily Mail. He added, "To be clear, no one is declaring victory for diversity and equity in higher education not in the United States, not around the world." The foundation also announced its plan to provide $1 million to 'American Association of People with Disabilities' in order to fight disability discrimination in higher education, reports Forbes. Walker further mentioned the program will continue as normal through 2023 and will welcome fewer and fewer applications until 2028 as part of its new plans to fund other areas of philanthropy. 

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