Florida’s S.B. 988, Philanthropic Giving, and the Public Good

This post was written by Calixto Melero Jr. and Marco Portales, Texas A&M University

Florida’s S.B. 998 allows nonprofit tax-deductible foundations not to disclose race and gender information regarding their administrators, staff, and grant recipients. This law legalizes and encourages money and power to continue to flow largely to privileged people and to organizations with resources. Disguised as a post-racial “color blind” policy enhancement, further legislation legalizing such laws and policies will continue to dismantle and kill the Public Good.

Driven by Tea Party and neo-conservative minds, Florida’s S.B. 998 dismantles civil rights laws and policies that are in place to empower communities of color.

Unlike other public and private sectors that have embraced and benefited from minority perspectives, tax-deductible nonprofits in Florida today can continue to exclude non-whites from their boardrooms, funding mechanisms, and grant giving.

In 1982, CEOs and board diversity memberships nationally consisted of 1.6 and 4.3 percent, statistics that slightly improved in 2006 to 5.8 and 13 percent, according to a 2008 article, “Philanthropy in a Changing Society” by Chao, Parshall, Amador, Shah, and Yanez. That’s why a U.S. House 2007 committee found private foundations were “not doing as much as they could or should” to channel dollars and support to racial minorities. Nonprofits “were not growing in pace with overall charitable giving” and with society’s demographic changes.

9500 Liberty: Immigration Battle in Prince William County

A new documentary, “9500 Liberty,” offers a revealing look at the battle over immigration in the U.S. through the lens of one place, Prince William County, Virginia. The film has already won several film festival awards, and this is a trailer for the film (4:23) which gives you a sense of it:

Filmmakers Annabel Park and Eric Byler describe the film this way:

9500 Liberty reveals the startling vulnerability of a local government, targeted by national anti-immigration networks using the Internet to frighten and intimidate lawmakers and citizens. Alarmed by a climate of fear and racial division, residents form a resistance using YouTube videos and virtual townhalls, setting up a real-life showdown in the seat of county government. The devastating social and economic impact of the “Immigration Resolution” is felt in the lives of real people in homes and in local businesses. But the ferocious fight to adopt and then reverse this policy unfolds inside government chambers, on the streets, and on the Internet. 9500 Liberty provides a front row seat to all three battlegrounds.

You can find upcoming screenings and theatrical releases here.