THE ICON: Linetta Gilbert
THE LEGACY: Linetta Gilbert is rewriting the rules of philanthropy, showing us that it isn’t restricted to people with fat checkbooks who donate to already-flush organizations. Through her years of experience, including nearly a decade with the Ford Foundation, Gilbert — whose areas of concern including housing, violence prevention, health and education policies, and child-welfare services — has worked to strengthen community-based philanthropic organizations, such as the Greater New Orleans Foundation, to build community strength and enhance the overall quality of life. In addition to getting money to organizations that need it, Gilbert also works to strengthen the boards that run these enterprises, to enhance the diversity of board membership and to make New Orleans a better, strong and more resilient city.
THE ARTIST: Jessica Strahan
THE INSPIRATION: “She talked about how philanthropy is re-tooling — that issues around social justice are again up for conversation and that we have more assets and resources than in the past. … She told us to always look at an issue from the standpoint of the local level, stretch yourself, recognize that our jobs are to be talent scouts (and to) err on the side of the person who has a good idea.” — Jennifer Shanks, writing about Linetta Gilbert on www.epip.org, the website of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy