Milano Professor Erica Kohl-Arenas Launches New Book: The Self-Help Myth

Picture1 Milano was proud to host a series of events to celebrate the publication of Management Professor Erica Kohl-Arenas’ dedicated, robust and timely research on the evolution and future of philanthropy. Her book, The Self-Help Myth: How Philanthropy Fails to Alleviate Poverty  was showcased in a sneak preview at Milano’s Alumni Networking Event on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015 as well as a formal launch on Thursday December 10th. Professor Kohl-Arenas’ is the first book published in the University of California Press public scholarship series, “Poverty, Interrupted.” She asks, can philanthropy alleviate inequality? Do anti-poverty programs work on the ground? Kohl-Arenas’ eye-opening analysis reveals how philanthropy maintains systems of inequality by focusing on the “behavior” of poor people and ignoring the structural inequities that produce poverty. These strategies rely on American ideals of individualism and hard work, but when used in partnership with limits around what foundations will fund, these ideals become ill-defined concepts that leave poverty and inequality untouched. Kohl-Arenas bores deeply into how this plays out in California’s Central Valley, one of the wealthiest agricultural regions in the world and home to the poorest people in the United States.


The sneak preview was a great chance for alumni now dedicating themselves to such issues to connect with each other’s work. The formal book launch on the 10th included panel discussants Michael Edwards, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Demos; and Rachel Sherman, Associate Professor of Sociology at The New School for Social Research, and more opportunity for dialogue and networking.



Check out Erica Kohl Arenas’ website and media features:
Major Foundations, Eager for Big Change, Aim HighThe New York Times

Can philanthropy ever reduce inequality?Open Democracy

Can Social Movements Tackle Inequality With Foundation Funding? The Case Of The Farmworker MovementHistPhil

Kohl-Arenas comments on the “new era of giving in Silicon Valley” in the L.A. Times.

#Management #Milano #SocialJustice #Philanthropy


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