Carmen Rojas


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This week's Revolutionary is Dr. Carmen Rojas, President and CEO of the Marguerite Casey Foundation. She's also the Co-Founder and former CEO of The Workers Lab, where she dedicated herself to improving the living conditions of low-wage workers. Her mission to level the playing field and create opportunities for those who wouldn't otherwise have them is informed by decades of lived experience as a first-generation Latina American witnessing how opportunities for impoverished people and people of color have changed over the years.

Our discussion covers a wide array of topics, including her plans for the future of Marguerite Casey, how the philanthropy industry has begun to imitate the private sector, where myths around homelessness originate, and why creating enduring social change is a long-term investment without a set dollar amount return.

Some Questions I Ask:

  • How are you reimagining philanthropy? (1:14)
  • Where does your passion for change come from? (9:08)
  • What is the connection between workers' rights, building wealth, and housing? (16:18)
  • Why don't Americans see homeless people as a part of their community? (22:56)
  • What sparked the idea for the Workers Lab? (25:09)
  • What is your vision of the future for the Marguerite Casey Foundation? (34:06)

In The Episode, You Will Learn:

  • How philanthropy in the 21st century resembles the private sector—and why this is a problem (3:50)
  • How companies can make a difference by investing in their employees (10:52)
  • How the myths around homelessness began to take root (19:42)
  • How we sacrifice social values for the sake of the already-wealthy (28:09)
  • How society gaslights the poor into believing they deserve poverty (31:41)
  • Carmen's thoughts on being part of the first Latina-to-Latina leadership transition in the history of US philanthropic organizations (33:27)
  • Why social change is a long-term investment (38:54)


Carmen's Twitter

Marguerite Casey Foundation

The Workers Lab

"The Problems With Philanthropy, and What We Can Do to Fix Them" by Carmen Rojas, PhD.

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