It’s not every day you get to meet with the CEO of an influential nonprofit, but for the Council’s interns, we had the extraordinary pleasure to sit down with Mary McClymont, the President and CEO of the Public Welfare Foundation.
I know I can speak on the behalf of my fellow interns when I say it was a very special and rewarding experience to sit down and be a part of a discussion with Mary McClymont, who has served as an executive on many organizations and foundations including the Ford Foundation and an international human rights capacity-building organization called Global Rights.
As someone who had never visited a foundation before, or let alone sat down with a CEO, I was in awe of how personable and welcoming she was towards her guests. The passion she exuded when talking about the Public Welfare Foundation was inspiring. I felt like a sponge absorbing all the information she shared about her experiences in philanthropy and the Public Welfare Foundation with our group.
The Public Welfare Foundation seeks to advance justice and opportunity for people in need, specifically in areas such as criminal justice, youth justice, and workers’ rights. It was truly fascinating and eye-opening as Mary McClymont informed us about the incarceration rates in the United States, as well as, the disproportionate amount of racial and ethnic minorities making up the majority of people in prison. It was also shocking learning about the lack of civil liberties and resources many workers in America have today.
During our time at the Public Welfare Foundation, it was evident that Mrs. McClymont and her team were working hard to battle and prevent these injustices. Through the Public Welfare Foundation, they seek to change policy in these areas and find ways to protect and defend those who are at a disadvantage in society. They also focus on making grants nationwide in areas of social justice that are often forgotten, in order to fight against racial disparity.
It was motivating to see how Mrs. McClymont, a courageous and energetic woman, was helping to lead the fight against inequality and promote the core values of the Public Welfare Foundation, which are racial equity, economic well-being, and fairness for all.
It was even more inspiring to get a closer glimpse at yet another way philanthropy is promoting the common good throughout our society. This was another enlightening experience concerning philanthropy that the Council has given us through the internship program.
Leaving this meeting made me feel hopeful and encouraged. I want to personally say thank you to Mary McClymont for giving away her time and knowledge to hopeful interns who are just beginning their careers in philanthropy. It was a truly an inspiring time.