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Fred Blackwell of the San Francisco Foundation Talks About Equity, Optimism, and Trying to Pass his Grandmother’s “Smirk Test.”

By July 31, 2019 August 1st, 2022 No Comments

In five years as CEO of the San Francisco Foundation, Fred Blackwell has emerged as one of philanthropy’s foremost leaders dedicated to advancing racial and economic equity.

As a community foundation, the San Francisco Foundation is able to raise money, make grants, and do the kind of political advocacy that private foundations cannot. Fred and his colleagues have used these many tools to focus on housing, jobs, protecting communities, and a host of related issues.

If all that responsibility seems intimidating, you’d never know it from talking with Fred, who never seems to break a sweat. With one of the easiest laughs in the business, Fred sits down with Eric to discuss his work, his hopes for the future, and how he has drawn upon generations of family wisdom to guide his decisions. It’s a terrific conversation in which Fred shares his optimism about how he thinks the country can emerge from these proverbial “challenging times” stronger and more connected.