About valaida

writer. thinker. listener. idea whisperer. traveler. mad word geek. absolute scrabble freak. drinker of life. da*n good friend. ridiculous foodie. imaginative dreamer. afflicted party planner. kind conqueror. okra lover. hillbilly w/ southern roots far-stretched global sights. author of new book that reframes portraits of philanthropy. Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists | http://bit.ly/htLxQU


Never feels quite right
Too long bundled and uptight,
like a Nubian entombed or plainest Mennonite.
Tension risen, watch the bite
Mind churning, so burst it might.
Eternal tunnel absent a whisper of light
Sun conceded to perpetual night.
Well-plumbed valleys, nary a heavenly height
Nearly convinced no mercy in sight
Then, I write.

Ava Wood

There she goes again. And why not, it’s National Poetry Month!


Eckerd | The First Name in Second Chances

Surprising news came at the start of the year upon learning I was named a finalist for the 2014 Eckerd Children’s Hero Of The Year Award — Talent Category. Another surprise came when I arrived at the black-tie awards gala and learned Eric Law, a fellow member of New Generation of African American Philanthropists was a finalist, too. In fact Eric, executive director of Hands On Charlotte, was named the award winner that night. Other winners included Brendan Haywood of the Charlotte Bobcats (Treasure Category) and Kelly and Thomas Davis of the Carolina Panthers (Time Category). I’m thankful to Eckerd for recognizing doers and givers in our community and more importantly for supporting children and families needing second chances.

Below is a link to more information on the important mission and impact of Eckerd.

Eckerd | The First Name in Second Chances.

— VF

It’s M’birthday!


And again . . .

Originally posted on valaida:

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” — William Shakespeare 

March 15, 44 B.C.: Beware of any friends named Brutus! Julius Caesar laughed off a soothsayer’s warning and was assassinated by his frenemy 2056 years ago today. from Goodreads.com

The Ides of March, while clearly not a good day for Julius Caesar, has inevitably been a great day for me. And today has been no except. More on my birthday weekend tomorrow.

— VF

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From BGB: Black Philanthropy Panel Discussions in Charlotte Continue

All you have shall some day be given; 
Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors. — Kahlil Gibran

Remarkably, on a sunny and springlike Saturday afternoon, more than 50 people came to the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture on February 22 for a panel discussion on planned giving! An uncommon conversation, particularly in Black communities.

The five panelists at the “What Will Be Your Legacy” forum led an informative discussion and the audience was focused and engaged. You can read about the event at BlackGivesBack.com: Black Philanthropy Panel Discussions in Charlotte Continue With ‘What Will Be Your Legacy?’

This slideshow below includes a dozen photos from the event, which was co-hosted by New Generation of African American Philanthropists and Gantt Center.

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From BPM: ‘Feed Your Soul’ Lecture Series Highlights African American Giving in Arizona

up early in phoenix, no sun rising yet.
prepping for talk on legacy left,
once our brief sun is set.

19 Feb 2014

Here’s a link to the BlackGivesBack.com piece on  the Arizona Community Foundation  lunch event during Black History Month:

“Feed Your Soul” Lecture Series Highlights African American Giving in Arizona

Student government leaders from Phoenix Job Corps members at ACF lunch event

Student government leaders from Phoenix Job Corps at ACF lunch event

My soul was fed that day.

— VF