America faces profound challenges in core areas of our society: education, housing and healthcare among them. While government and philanthropy can treat these issues, they often fail to make a lasting difference. What’s needed to truly cure these problems are investments that create market-driven, long-term, sustainable solutions.
Turner Impact Capital has one mission: to create innovative and durable solutions to today’s challenges by investing in community-enriching infrastructure in underserved communities.
Two of Turner’s partners include Magic Johnson and Andre Agassi. He’s in the profit business, $2 billion in private equity, focusing on education and health care, building 79 charters schools, with another 70 planned for construction in the next several years [Idaho Mountain Express, July 3, 2018]. “Overall, Turner said, his methods rely on profit generation–but place societal benefit as the top priority. I get to make money while I’m doing it.”
Confessions Of A (Former) White Savior
by, Janice Erlbaum
“The white savior complex is about assimilation. It’s about feeling superior to another culture. It’s about validating your own personal, individual experience through the lives and experiences of other marginalized peoples. It’s taking their struggle (even if it’s a sometimes imagined or exaggerated struggle) and making it about how much of a good person you are.” – Uncredited quote on Tumblr
“The White Savior Industrial Complex is not about justice. It is about having a big emotional experience that validates privilege.” – Teju Cole
“The 19th century saw the rise of a pious, middle-class feminism, devoted to the moral uplift of the poor. By ministering to prostitutes, middle-class women got both respectable jobs and the frisson of proximity to vice.” – Molly Crabapple
It’s an improvement, but there’s still a lot of work for me to do. I grew up under the pervasive influence of a culture that taught me that black-skinned people were lesser than me, and the years of brainwashing I accepted without question will take years to overcome. But I’m doing my best to drop the Benevolent White Savior act, and to relate to people as the individuals they are.
It also reinforces the pernicious assumption that brown-skinned people need white-skinned people to help them. It facilitates the fetishization and exotification of African people. It may bring people together physically, but it also fortifies the divide between them: One person is the have, the other is the have-not. Those roles are rigid and can’t be recast.
I don’t want to discount the motives of every white volunteer, and I certainly don’t want to cast aspersions on the people working for non-governmental aid organizations who do life-saving work under impossibly dangerous circumstances (though NGOs often come with their own imperialist agendas). I think it’s possible for a white person to be of service to people of color without automatically reinforcing their racist assumptions. I think it’s tricky, but I think it’s possible.