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Moyers, LaMarche, Bhargava: Towards Progressive Reform

Resource type: Video

Bill Moyers Interviews Gara LaMarche and Deepak Bhargava: Working Towards Progressive Reform and Social Justice 

19 October 2010 

Nearly twenty-one months after the inauguration of Barack Obama, the social justice movement – and its funders – are at a crossroads. Is there still momentum for progressive reform, and what are the prospects for further movement on critical issues like immigration reform, financial reform and health care? 

In an event held 13 October 2010 at The Atlantic Philanthropies event space in New York, award winning journalist and commentator Bill Moyers moderated a discussion between Atlantic’s President Gara LaMarche and Deepak Bhargava, the Executive Director of the Campaign for Community Change – an Atlantic grantee involved in a range of campaigns for social justice. The event was organised by Philanthropy New York, as part of an ongoing event series

The interview drew heavily on history, with Moyers recounting the struggle to pass the Civil Rights Act. The conversation also drew on a recent piece in The Nation by LaMarche and Bhargava, “The Road Ahead for Progressives: Back to Basics.” Moyers pressed both LaMarche and Bhargava on their view of the current political moment: Is this a dark age for progressives? And has the Obama administration disappointed social justice advocates? 

Progressives, LaMarche argued, need to embrace the historic accomplishments of the past two years. “Together, social justice advocates have won a series of significant, systemic, movement-based victories.” Both panelists described the strategic challenges and opportunities  ahead on issues like immigration reform. 

Ultimately what unfolded was a compelling discussion about social justice and philanthropy, and if funders should invest in advocacy. Both Bhargava and LaMarche argued yes, but with  caveats – that advocacy funding seize on significant, “game-changing” opportunities; that it lay the groundwork for lasting, systemic change; and that funders remember the critical role played by grassroots and community-based organising. 

You can watch the full discussion here, courtesy of Fora.TV. We will post shorter video highlights soon. We’re also inviting discussion on our Facebook page


Philanthropy New York 
Campaign for Community Change