From City to City


And From One Generation to The Next 

Passing the torch of The Soul of Philanthropy with another exhibition opening! A comprehensive, multimedia exhibition debuted in Columbia, South Carolina on February 10 at the newly renovated Richland Library. We passed the “torch” — an old-style farmer’s lantern, reminiscent of a light perhaps carried by liberating force Harriet Tubman — from Atlanta’s philanthropic leadership to that of Columbia. After a ribbon-cutting with the city’s mayor, a public program paid tribute to our ancestors and to Columbia’s present-day changemakers.

Click a photo from collage below to see slideshow.



WV Initiative Part of Changing Face of Philanthropy

Coming Up: West Virginia African American Philanthropy In Action

Giving Back Project announcement_WV2016

Gantt Center, NGAAP-Charlotte Host ROSENWALD Film Screening


The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture and 

New Generation of African American Philanthropists invite you to


The Remarkable Story of a Jewish Partnership with African American Communities

Film screening with director Aviva Kempner in observance of Black History Month

Tuesday, February 9

6:30 p.m. | doors open at 6 p.m.

Gantt Center at Levine Center of the Arts • 551 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC

Adults: $10           Gantt Center Members, Students and Seniors: $5

R.S.V.P. via this link

JULIUS ROSENWALD never finished high school yet rose to become President of Sears, Roebuck and Co. and one of the wealthiest men in the United States in the early 20th century. His greatest legacy, however, was philanthropic. Julius Rosenwald gave away what today would be nearly one billion dollars, making him one of the greatest philanthropists of all time. Joining forces with African American communities, together, they built 5300 schools whose alumni are legion. Featured in the film are such luminary alumni as writer Maya Angelou, Tony Award-winner George Wolfe and Congressman John Lewis. In addition to funding schools, Rosenwald also awarded fellowships to a who’s who of Black scholars and artists including Marian Anderson, James Baldwin, Ralph Bunche, Gordon Parks, Romare Bearden and others whose contributions ultimately transformed American life for generations and now benefit and inspire us all.

Unfolding over a century ago, the Rosenwald story illuminates abiding truths about opportunity, visionary leadership, cross-cultural collaboration and community transformation, providing a blueprint for 21st-century philanthropy.

COMMUNITY PARTNERS: Charlotte Jewish Film Festival and Levine Museum of the New South, which is exhibiting The Soul of Philanthropy now thru Feb 28.



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


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

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 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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A History of Giving

Soon after my elder cousin Nettie’s passing about two weeks ago, I spoke with my mom to arrange coming home for her funeral service. Later that morning a reporter from The Charlotte Observer called, requesting an interview on my family history and genealogy for a story he was writing.

While initially reluctant, I began to feel a heightened sense of legacy and responsibility to share a family history that Cousin Nettie committed her life to teaching me, her children, my cousins and the people of Burke County.

The Observer ran the story on Sunday, in observance of Black History Month, and I’m honored to have shared some fascinating aspects of my family, about the lost community of Fonta Flora and stories of my great-great grandfather Riley McGimpsey. Below is a link to the story, which also includes a family story from Giving Back photographer Charles W. Thomas, Jr.

Read Research into African-American families shapes 4 Charlotteans by Mark Price, The Charlotte Observer, 2 Feb 2014.

My drawing of North Carolina's Table Rock in the Linville Gorge area with my family tree that we used for the t-shirt at the 2013 Fullwood Family Reunion

My drawing of North Carolina’s Table Rock in the Linville Gorge area with my family tree that we used for the t-shirt at the 2013 Fullwood Family Reunion

Phoenix Foundation’s ‘Feed Your Soul’ Series

Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul. — Dorothy Day, journalist and social activist

Phoenix rising on the horizon as the Arizona Community Foundation presents its Feed Your Soul lecture series.

Photography by Charles W. Thomas, Jr.

Photography by Charles W. Thomas, Jr.

“In honor of Black History Month, the Black Philanthropy Initiative will host an intimate discussion regarding the history of African American giving, featuring Valaida Fullwood, author of Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists, and Charlene Tarver, Esq., estate planning attorney.

Join us as we investigate the journey through Black traditions in giving and explore ways to drive change in our communities.”

More info here.

‘Keep going, no matter what’

Today is the last day of Black History Month and I have the pleasure of traveling to NYC for a special event on Black Philanthropy hosted by and JPMorgan.

“Keep goingno matter what.” — Reginald F. Lewis

For the event I will have the joy of interviewing author Christina Lewis Halpern, daughter of the late business titan Reginald Lewis. Christina recently published her memoir Lonely at the Top about her life and experiences as the daughter of a highly successful and acclaimed entrepreneur, attorney and philanthropist who died too early. You can buy Christina’s book at Amazon and follow her on Twitter at @clewishalpern. More on this event later….gotta catch a flight! — VF

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Until The Lion Writes

Until the lion writes his own story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. — African proverb

Sharing glorious stories of African American philanthropy at Poor Richard’s Book Shoppe during Black History Month 2013 with members of New Generation of African American Philanthropists! (Photos by Michael Sales)

We’re Bringing “Giving Back” . . .

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