As the nation reckons with long-standing issues of race and inequality, some of America’s most powerful philanthropic organizations are shifting their missions to focus on social justice. Elizabeth Alexander, president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, joined Washington Post Live on Monday, Oct. 5 at 11:00 a.m. ET to discuss a new multi-million dollar investment as part of the strategic transformation of the arts and humanities foundation. Alexander will also share her overall vision for harnessing philanthropy for social justice in conversation with Washington Post opinions writer Jonathan Capehart.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation announced Monday a new multi-million project that will help contextualize monuments around the country. When asked what she thinks about the removal of Confederate statues, Elizabeth Alexander, president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, said she thinks it's important that the people who cling to those monuments understand the reasons they were erected. "I think that, that which masquerades as history must be understood as a reinstantiation of values after the war was lost, decades after the war was lost." (Washington Post Live)
When asked how museums in the U.S. are changing to combat racism, Elizabeth Alexander, president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, said some museums are beginning to realize that they need a more diverse staff and acquire work from a variety of artists to have a better range of perspectives. “The whole question of who’s at the table, and who’s on the walls...I think that what we're seeing is more of a deep understanding that they have civic responsibilities, that they are public spaces.” (Washington Post Live)

Elizabeth Alexander, president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Elizabeth Alexander is a decorated poet, playwright, essayist, and educator. She is the president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as well as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board. She has also held distinguished professorships at Columbia and at Yale, where she served as the chair of the African American Studies Department. Her books include the poetry collection “American Sublime” and the memoir “The Light of the World,” both of which were Pulitzer finalists.