Can You Afford Not To?

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A photograph from the outdoor element of “The Soul of Philanthropy” exhibit at JCSU.

Love this!

— VF

 

Opening ‘The Soul of Philanthropy’

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Two weeks ago we opened Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited in Charlotte at Johnson C. Smith University. For me, the day felt like a dream sequence. Check out these photos and recap via this link.

— VF

Wouldn’t It Be Loverly: My Video for Valentine’s Day

PHILANTHROPY simply means: love of what it means to be human.

I’m a bit of a dreamer, but wouldn’t it be great if we heeded the message of this video?
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#getyourgiveon

Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited

Join us for the inaugural exhibit opening for Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited on February 20, featuring Author A’Lelia Bundles, great-great-granddaughter of iconic entrepreneur and philanthropist Madam C.J. Walker.

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A’Lelia Bundles at the Schomburg Center, NYC, 2015

Exhibit Opening • The Soul of Philanthropy

Guest speaker: Author A’Lelia Bundles

Friday, February 20

6:00-9:30 pm

Johnson C. Smith University

R.S.V.P

Check out our latest e-blast for more info.

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From A Moving Tribute Toward A Triumphant Movement

Here’s YOUR INVITATION to attend the inaugural exhibition opening of Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited. #getyourgiveon

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Absalom and Richard

Richard Allen

Richard Allen (1760-1831)

It’s Black History Month, and I must confess a “history crush” on both Absalom Jones and Richard Allen who were co-founders of the Free African Society, an early mutual aid society. I admire their vision and courage. They triumphed over slavery, and their lifetime of accomplishments speaks volumes about how brilliant, charismatic, tenacious, self-determined and generous they were.

Absalom Jones

Absalom Jones (1746-1818)

I first came to know of Richard Allen as a young girl, since my family were generations-old members of Gaston Chapel AME Church. Richard founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church, America’s first independent Black church denomination, when he established Bethel AME Church in Philadelphia, PA in 1794. Later in life, I learned of Absalom Jones who also was an influential clergy member in the Philadelphia area.

During Philadelphia’s Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793, for awhile, it was believed that Americans of African descent were immune to the disease and thus members of the Free African Society were summoned as volunteers to help contain the crisis. Absalom and Richard organized and led relief efforts for the sick, grieving and dying in a city of people ravaged by the disease. Soon it was apparent that African Americans could indeed contract Yellow Fever. Nevertheless, Absalom, Richard and their associates persisted with efforts to tend to city residents who were suffering and in dire need of help and compassion. Some time after the epidemic, both men went on to establish and lead independent Black congregations.

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Gaston Chapel AME Church, circa 1945

Even though they have yet to receive the recognition they deserve, I acknowledge these two great men as framers of what we now know as American philanthropy as well as the Black Church. Their Christian beliefs, philanthropic virtue, spirit of social reform and bold action have influenced how many Americans give back for more than 220 years.

— VF

Innovative, Interactive, Provocative: Introducing ‘The Soul of Philanthropy’

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From a moving tribute toward a triumphant movement of conscious giving for social change

Yesterday, our nation celebrated MLK Day of Service and remembered the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The coming 364 days provides space for the truest tributes to occur.

This year, members of New Generation of African American Philanthropists (NGAAP-Charlotte) have the privilege of partnering with Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) to leverage seven years of work on the Giving Back Project by transforming our book Giving Back into the new touring exhibit, Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited.

Set to come to cities nationwide, this innovative photography exhibit is made possible with an IMLS grant and launches in Charlotte, North Carolina on February 20. In our latest e-blast, you will learn a bit about . . .

  • Features, concepts and key elements of the exhibit
  • Public programming and civic engagemeent offered in each community
  • Opportunities to support this important new dimension of our work

Click here to access the rest of the Giving Back Project’s latest e-blast and to read more about “The Soul of Philanthropy”.

— VF

‘When Giving Is All We Have’

Tiffany cropped 9681_2_face0A cascade of gifts has, lately, refreshed me. The most generous of gestures from distant and nearby sources have rushed my heart and whirled inspiration, hinting the end of an exorbitantly long parched season.

I’ll likely share more about these experiences over the coming weeks, but here’s a splash of delight from just yesterday. My friend Manoj passed along something a friend shared with him—a poem! A good poem never ceases giving and, veritably, can replenish at a speed few things do. By Alberto Rios, Arizona’s first ever Poet Laureate, this one ripples and flows to my spring.


When Giving Is All We Have


One river gives
Its journey to the next.

We give because someone gave to us.
We give because nobody gave to us.

We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.

We have been better for it,
We have been wounded by it—

Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,
Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.

Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,
But we read this book, anyway, over and again:

Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,
Mine to yours, yours to mine.

You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.
Together we are simple green. You gave me

What you did not have, and I gave you
What I had to give—together, we made

Something greater from the difference.

Alberto Ríos

2014 . . . Another Very GOOD Year

meka dawn charles at #CIN2014

Top 10 :: Year in Review from New Generation of African American Philanthropists: http://www.icontact-archive.com/jp_xUj0qFyktMLO8BwbS6bPR8EdwvIs9?w=1

Here’s to 2014, gone but not forgotten!

— VF

From BGB :: Lake Institute Hosts First African American Distinguished Visitor in Philanthropy

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As the year winds down, reflecting upon it reminds me just how incredible it’s been. Among the best moments was being the 2014 Lake Distinguished Visitor at Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Indianapolis was a wonderful whirlwind of speaking engagements and book signings, spanning breakfast, lunch, dinner and the nearly every second in between, hosted by a law firm, church, classroom, community groups and more.

Here’s a BlackGivesBack.com story about it: Lake Institute Hosts First African American Distinguished Visitor in Philanthropy.

— VF