ThinkFest: M. Night Shyamalan and Bhavna Shyamalan on Philanthropy

"What I've found is that what people need more of is human capital, not your money, but your time."

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M. Night Shyamalan and Bhavna Shyamalan just concluded the ThinkFest day by discussing their philanthropic efforts through The MNS Foundation, which “supports remarkable leaders, through their organizations, working to remove the barriers created by poverty and inequality.”

Three takeaways:

ON PHILANTHROPY: Night: “I didn’t really have a lot of interest in philanthropy until Bhavna started forcing me to care about other people. … Ultimately, what I’ve found is that what people need more of is human capital — not your money, but your time.”

ON WHY THE FOUNDATION STEERS ITS SUPPORT TO EXISTING GRASSROOTS EFFORTS AND LEADERS: Bhavna: “We’re looking for people who are going to change the world. They’ve already made a difference with very little resource, they’re very dedicated. We just come in and say, ‘What do you need?'”

ON SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT WILLIAM HITE QUOTING NIGHT THAT ‘AMERICA IS RACIST‘: Night said racism remains “pervasive” in American life and educational structures. “It’s there in their families, there in their neighborhoods, there in what they watch, there in the absence of stimuli.”

“That came from the data. That didn’t come from me. I’ll hold my opinions to myself,” Night said of Hite’s quote. “If you pretend that’s not what’s going on, you can’t solve it. That’s what the data says. ”

Check out all of our coverage from ThinkFest 2014.