‘The Soul of Philanthropy’ Comes Alive in Denver This Weekend

Below are excerpts from “’The Soul of Philanthropy’ exhibit celebrates African-American giving” by Laura Bond for The Denver Foundation.

Dora's handsThe Denver Foundation and Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library are honored to co-host “The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited,” a photographic and narrative exploration of African American giving, which runs August 1-31 at the library, 2401 Welton Street, in Denver’s historic Five Points neighborhood.

Denver is one of only ten cities to host “The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited,” which explores the triumphant movement of conscious giving for social change, shared through photos and words of African American philanthropists, with a special addition of Denver notables. Groundbreaking in focus and depth, the exhibition draws evocative images and incisive stories from the award-winning book Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists, by Valaida Fullwood and photographer Charles W. Thomas Jr.

“This exhibit is a window into African American giving…While the photos may be black and white, the culture and history of philanthropy in the African American community is a vibrant collage of individual, collective, and strategic giving which impacts and elevates our community. It’s got heart all over it. This is certainly a ‘reframed image’ of what is stereotypically depicted of philanthropy in communities of color. This exhibit is sure to spur conversations, connections, and ideas which the The Denver Foundation looks forward to potentially supporting.”

— LaDawn Sullivan, Director of Community Leadership, The Denver Foundation

Exhibit sponsors are The Denver Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, NGAAP Charlotte, Blair Caldwell Branch – Denver Public Library, Denver African American Philanthropists (DAAP), Denver (CO) Chapter of The Links, Inc., and Sisterhood of Philanthropists Impacting Needs (SPIN).

Event host committee members are Eula and Janet Adams, Councilman Albus Brooks, Linda Campbell, Richela Das, Chrissy Deal, Myra Donovan, MaryAnn Franklin, Barbara Grogan, Eddie and Andria Koen, and Rich Lopez.

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Turns Around The Sun

IMG_1633

moment sublime, smile 

compose dog day sunlit gaze

tick! time is tender

— ava wood

Don’t Cry.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

DSC_0374

While it’s disputed who first said it, that quote IS true.

Today we packed up at Johnson C. Smith University for Denver—the next stop of The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited.

In August, the exhibition will be on display at Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, with community partners that include: The Denver FoundationThe Denver CO Chapter, The Links, IncorporatedDAAP – Denver African American Philanthropists and Spin Denver.

Hot Day. Heated Time. Warmed Heart

“Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.” — Rumi

Though I cried when my exhibition’s outdoor installation was disassembled weeks ago, on June 19th the closing reception for The Soul of Philanthropy at JCSU was a time for reflection and celebration.

Unequivocally unceremonious, the outdoor display’s deinstallation would have made any sensitive soul sob. To dodge another tearful goodbye, this time we planned a party!  Food, friends, music and an easygoing afternoon proved perfect for soothing all our souls, particularly one day after learning of the Charleston church massacre. Even after trudging through 90-some-degree weather only to find the JCSU library without central air, the good vibes prevailed.

The collage of photos below capture the farewell to my baby in Charlotte. Now, I’m anticipating a happy reunion in Denver when the #philanthropyframed exhibition opens in August.

Something On The Horizon

BPM 2015 Logo

In just one month, August arrives and global observances of Black Philanthropy Month begin!

Black Philanthropy Month (BPM 2015) is an unprecedented, coordinated initiative to strengthen African American and African-descent giving in all its forms.

News in 2015 seems an unrelenting series of tragedies, injustices and conflicts, mixed with a few moments and events that restore hope and resound as calls to action. This year, August can’t come soon enough.

My wish is that BPM 2015 provides us all with time to connect, celebrate, learn, reflect, renew, give and heed the call (whatever yours might be) amid a season of change and progress as “lovers of humankind”. In collaboration with Jackie Copeland-Carson of the Pan African Women’s Philanthropy Network, Tracey Webb of BlackGivesBack.com and others, I look forward to hearing about and amplifying STORIES of generosity, IDEAS for social change, LEADERSHIP on issues, SERVICE to others, DONATIONS to important causes AND MORE. 

Please follow our BPM Facebook page and our primary hashtags for Black Philanthropy Month: ‪#‎BPM2015‬ and ‪#‎blackgivingmatters‬. And if you’d like to have your city proclaim August as Black Philanthropy Month (like we did last year), please let me know and I’ll provide you with further info and a template.

#peoplegetready #seasonofchange #blackgivingmatters #bpm2015iscoming

— VF

To Touch A Soul

The community’s interest and show of support at Friday’s closing reception for The Soul of Philanthropy‬ exhibition at the Johnson C. Smith University library was deeply moving. Some folks who attended the opening event in February returned to see it again. A few of them brought along a friend or family member this time.

The experience was affirming in many ways, particularly in the context of such hot days and heated times. Outside temperatures soared beyond 90 degrees and inside the library’s air conditioner was out (our Giving Back hand fans were, indeed, handy). And just the day before, news broke about the horrific shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, where JCSU administrator Malcolm Graham lost his sister in the massacre.

Given the atmosphere, we were astounded and further heartened by an occurrence at the end of the event. A man unknown to Charles arrived and handed him a sealed white envelope and inside the typed letter read:

Dear NGAAP:IMG_1557

Enclosed you will find a check for $1,000.00 in honor of [name of NGAAP member] and “The Soul of Philanthropy” exhibition at JCSU. In light of the hateful, racist and tragic events visited upon the victims, their families and the church in Charleston, SC this week, it is my earnest hope that the exhibit’s national tour might educate and change lives in unknown and unknowable ways, maybe even profoundly touching a soul in such a manner that turns hate to love.
Respectfully,
JM
More than ever, we aspire that “The Soul of Philanthropy” serve as an instrument in a triumphant movement of conscious giving for social change. #‎LoveGiveGoDo‬

These Times

My mind, spinning,

the heart, quickening,

both fixed on the kin,

the Christian 

brethren,

the American

countrymen

and women

of the Charleston

killing’s

victims.

Amen.

— ava wood

soul of philanthropy quotes_times that try mens souls

pretty petals: poem + pics

clouds snowy bright ride

across skies seldom bluer

beneath petals preen 

— ava wood

VF photos from opening day (May 31, 2015) of the Mellichamp Native Terrace, a new part of UNC Charlotte’s Botanical Gardens that displays native plants in a home landscape.

Another Year To Celebrate!

Keep Calm 9th Anniv Temp imageWe released an e-newsletter today to mark the ninth year of New Generation of African American Philanthropists—the Charlotte-based giving circle behind Giving Back and The Soul of Philanthropy. Click here to check out our latest news.