Change agents

By Todd Cohen

Anyone can be a philanthropist.

Jim Bernstein, Deborah Greenblatt and Anne Queen, three North Carolinians who died this month, showed the impact that individuals can have by pushing for change.

Jim Bernstein, retired assistant state secretary of health and human services, was a champion of rural health in the U.S. who worked to attract physicians, nurses and clinics to remote communities whose residents lacked access to health care.

Deborah Greenblatt, long-time executive director of Carolina Legal Assistance, was a leading advocate for low-income children and people with disabilities who touched the lives of tens of thousands of people throughout the state.

And Anne Queen, who directed the Campus Y at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from the mid-1950s to the mid-70s, brought together people with strong and often opposing views on volatile issues like civil rights and the Vietnam war to talk about their differences.

Healing and repairing the world, the goal of philanthropy, is job that can seem overwhelming to individuals who may lack wealth or power.

But Jim Bernstein, Deborah Greenblatt and Anne Queen showed that individuals who are willing to step up to try to fix what is wrong can make change happen.

Todd Cohen is the Editor and Publisher of the Philanthropy Journal.

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