White people, mostly.

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The board of directors of Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies oversees more than $7 billion in assets

The Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, which consists of two foundations with assets of more than $7 billion, is based in Eden Prairie, MN, a well-to-do suburb of Minneapolis. When Minneapolis was shaken by protests after George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died at the hands of police, the Cargill Philanthropies, like so many others, felt a need to respond.

“The senseless killing of George Floyd is evidence of the underlying inequities and racism that continue to exist in our community and our country more broadly,” the philanthropies said.

Margaret Cargill Philanthropies promised to look at “equity and inclusion” in its grant-making and later directed more than $2 million to communities of color in the Twin Cities. …


Drug trips, under controlled conditions, break down the barriers between people and bring users closer to nature

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Photo: jhillphotography/Getty Images

This is a remarkable moment for psychedelics. Elite universities, including Johns Hopkins and Imperial College in London, have opened centers to research the medical benefits of drugs such as psilocybin, a hallucinogen found in certain mushrooms.

The nonprofit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is recruiting people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to participate in FDA-approved clinical trials using MDMA, better known as molly or ecstasy. CBS News’ 60 Minutes last fall reported on life-changing psychedelic journeys.

So far, the psychedelic renaissance has focused on the potential of these drugs to address mental illness and rightly so. A growing body of research suggests they can alleviate the suffering caused by a broad array of ailments: depression, addiction, and anxiety among others. …


The dispute is not about money, but about social justice and workplace culture at the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

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The Animal Legal Defense Fund can say, with little fear of contradiction, that all its clients are innocent. It has sued a California dairy farm, alleging that Dick Van Dam Dairy treated cows and calves cruelly. It has sued the owner of an eight-year-old horse named Justice, accusing her of neglecting the animal. It has served notice that it intends to sue a Pennsylvania roadside zoo that is confining wild animals, including a ring-tailed lemur, black leopard and gray wolves,. …


They aren’t the names you know

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Photo by John Englart (Takver) is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

This fall, just in time for the giving season, two groups of independent researchers set out to identify the most effective nonprofits that are working to curb climate change. Their findings may surprise you.

Giving Green recommends five organizations: the Clean Air Task Force, the Sunrise Education Fund, which is the 501(c)(3) arm of the Sunrise Movement, Climeworks, Burn and Tradewater. Top charities selected by researchers at the Founders Pledge are the Clean Air Task Force (again), Carbon 180 and Terra Praxis.

You’ll immediately notice one thing about these recommendations, which reflects thousands of hours of careful research. With the exception of the Sunrise Movement, these are small, underfunded and not especially well known groups. There are other common themes here, too. Several recommended groups work on removing carbon emissions from the air, which is a crucial but neglected climate solution. These recommendations also reflect a recognition of the vexing problem of energy poverty — that is, the fact that more than a billion of the world’s people lack access to modern energy and deserve to get it; any climate solution that asks people around the world to use less energy is going to fail. Finally, Clean Air Task Force, the only nonprofit to make both lists, supports advanced nuclear power and the capture of carbon emissions from fossil fuel plants — technologies that fall outside the conventional wisdom held by climate activists that solar and wind energy can provide all of the reliable, affordable, low-carbon power that the world needs. …


At least there’s no evidence that he did.

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Here we go again.

Showtime just released My Psychedelic Love Story, an engaging documentary about Joanna Harcourt-Smith, the rich and beautiful young girlfriend of Timothy Leary, who tripped around the world with the irrepressible Leary after he was smuggled out of a a minimum-security prison in California in 1970.

For those of you too young to remember, Leary was a Harvard psychology professor who became a hero of the 1960s counterculture and an evangelist for LSD who exhorted his followers to “turn on, tune in and drop out.”


Jonathan Lubecky says MDMA-assisted therapy helped him overcome PTSD. Now he wants to help others.

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Jonathan Lubecky, at The Citadel with U.S. Sen. Rand Paul

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a progressive champion. Matt Gaetz is a conservative firebrand. They don’t agree on much — except psychedelics.

Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, and Gaetz, a Florida Republican, have joined forces in Congress to try to make it easier for scientists to research marijuana and psychedelic drugs, including MDMA and psilocybin.

Such bipartisan cooperation will be needed to support the growth of psychedelic medicines and end the drug war, says Jonathan Lubecky, a retired Army sergeant and Iraq war veteran who now lobbies on behalf of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, or MAPS.

“This isn’t a party line issue,” Lubecky says. “The polar opposites in the House came together on psychedelics.” …


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Led by voters in Oregon, Americans from coast to coast voted by decisive margins to take steps to end the war against drugs. We’re moving closer to making this a country where people are no longer punished for what they put into their bodies.

Oregon voters approved two historic ballot measures. One will decriminalize the possession of all drugs, from marijuana and ecstasy to LSD and heroin — a model pioneered, mostly with good results, in Portugal, which treats drug addiction as a disease, not a crime.

Oregonians also approved a measure that will allow the medical use of psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. This creates an opportunity to show that psychedelic drugs can help treat mental disorders. …


eBay employees harassed journalists. They were arrested. The man who encouraged them now leads a Silicon Valley charity.

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Steve Wymer, chief exec of the Boys & Girls Club of Silicon Valley

Last year, staff members who worked in “corporate security” at eBay set out to harass a husband-and-wife team who publish a newsletter that criticized the company. Things got ugly in a hurry.

The security staff sent them boxes of live cockroaches, a bloody Halloween mask, a funeral wreath and a book on how to survive the death of a spouse. They spied on the pair, had pizzas delivered to them in the middle of the night and tried to discredit them with neighbors. …


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Cancer patients will be given psilocybin in rooms designed for drug trips. Photo credit: Halkin Mason

As medical director of the Aquilino Cancer Center, Dr. Manish Agrawal has seen the progress made possible by cancer research.

Death rates from cancer have declined steadily among men and women, and for most common cancers, including lung, breast, and prostate cancers.

“The longer you’re in practice. you realize that we do a really good job with cancer-directed treatment,” Dr. Agrawal says.

But Dr. Agrawal has also seen patients struggle with depression and anxiety. Some cannot get the help they need.

“There’s so much emotional and psychological suffering that cancer patients and their families go through,” he says, “We never fully address that.” …


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The Obamas volunteered at Martha’s Table on Thanksgiving in 2010 (White House photo)

Martha’s Table, a widely-respected charity in Washington, D.C., provides healthy food to families and operates preschool and after-school programs for kids. It serves all comers, but many, if not most, are Black people. After all, more than 60% of Washington, D.C.’s poor people are Black people.

Yet a new report from the National Committee on Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) does not consider donations to groups like Martha’s Table to be investments in Black communities. The report is thus able to make a startling claim: That just 3.3% …

About

Marc Gunther

Reporting on philanthropy, psychedelics, animal welfare, global poverty, etc. Ex-Fortune. Baseball fan. Runner. Seen in Gen, Marker, Elemental, OneZero.

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