Phil Henderson, Surdna Foundation's President, reflects on the mission, goals, and programs of the social justice family foundation.

From the President

  • Thinking Differently about Entrepreneurs and Poverty

    One of the great clichés of American life is that entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. There are indeed millions of entrepreneurs that shape nearly every facet of our lives. And yet, for people of color who live in our poorest urban communities, entrepreneurship usually seems to be something that happens elsewhere and for someone else. But, in fact, entrepreneurs are hard at work even in the poorest communities, usually operating tiny “mom-and-pop” groceries or working freelance at a mixture of jobs and occupations. And, while these entrepreneurs are critical to the functioning of neighborhoods, unless we find ways to unlock the potential of higher performing—and job creating—entrepreneurs, especially business leaders who are women and people of color, we risk continuing the legacy of the last generation of economic development efforts that have done little to change the trajectory of America’s poorest urban communities.

    This blog post is part of the Living Cities series “Closing the Racial Gaps: Together We Can,” which highlights efforts across the United States that show promise for closing racial opportunity gaps and creating a more equitable future.  Click here for the full post.


  • Board Learning is Mission-Critical

    Surdna in New OrleansBoard learning is mission-critical. It’s one of the most important components to a high functioning organization that is often overlooked and underappreciated.






  • A New Year’s Reflection on Ferguson and Staten Island

    ferguson staten island 150px

    The holiday season—from Christmas through the first few days of a new year—is a time when many of us pause, visit loved ones, recharge and reflect. As we turn with hope and optimism toward the year ahead we must not forget the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York.


Phillip Henderson, President, Surdna Foundation

Phillip W. HendersonA national leader among family foundation executives, Phil Henderson has focused Surdna on collaboration both internally across programs, and externally among funders within the foundation's issue areas. He has committed the foundation to using social justice as a compass to guide the systemic change Surdna aims for in its mission.

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