Grassroots Responses to Big Philanthropy: Grand Rapids Activism in the Shadow of Amway, ArtPrize and DeVos

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

Last week, I was asked to be part of a panel discussion for a conference being held in downtown Grand Rapids and organized by the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA).

The organization itself doesn’t seem to be focused on systems of oppression and collective liberation, but the panel I was asked to participate in was headed in the right direction.

The title of the panel session was, Grassroots Responses to Big Philanthropy: Grand Rapids Activism in the Shadow of Amway, ArtPrize and DeVos. The title was reflective of something that I have spent a great deal of energy on, both monitoring the DeVos family, providing analysis of their type of philanthropy and how we need to counteract the insidious nature of the millions this family distributes in order to serve their own interests.

As I write this, it is Giving Tuesday, which seems appropriate, considering…

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