Philanthropy on Exhibit

Charles Thomas and me signing books at a recent exhibition of The Soul of Philanthropy at Duke University, which is Charles’ alma mater.

Six years ago, Charles and I began exploring the idea of an museum exhibition on philanthropy, based on the yet released stories and photography of Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists. While it took four years more, before we—in collaboration with NGAAP-Charlotte and Johnson C. Smith University—realized that vision with The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited, we’ll claim releasing seeds of this idea into the ethosphere.

Fast forward to a year ago, just after #GivingTuesday, I was reading this story in The Chronicle of Philanthropy about Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and David Rubenstein funding an endowed curatorship at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History (NMAH) to create a series of exhibitions on the history and future of American philanthropy.

Since the article referenced only billionaire white men (and a few women in the context of being their wives), I wondered whether the NMAH exhibitions would be narrowly framed to present only conventional and predictable pictures of “American philanthropy”. Would traditions of philanthropy in communities of color be told? Would the generosity and impact of people of modest means get included? Would stories of philanthropic women and giving circles be shared?

Quick to climb on my bandwagon, I reached out to learn more about NMAH’s “The Philanthropy Initiative” and to ask questions to ensure a vivid and inclusive and soulful account of philanthropy in America was an aim. Thanks to a network of kind connectors—A’Lelia Bundles, Aviva Kempner and Fath Ruffins—I made some gains.

So on this #GivingTuesday (and hopefully many more to come), I’m traveling to Washington, DC for “The Power of Giving: Philanthropy’s Impact on American Life”—an invitation-only symposium with philanthropists, environmentalists, thought leaders and social innovators to discuss the past, present, and future of American giving. Such programs are slated, annually, for decades to come and the focus this year is “Sustainability and The Environment”. Tuesday’s schedule launches with the opening of the Smithsonian’s first-ever, long-term exhibition GIVING IN AMERICA. We’re in the room, and there’s more to come.

“All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.” — Victor Hugo

Below are more photos are from the exhibition of The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed (abridged edition) at Duke University’s Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture. Coincidently, the Duke University exhibition was made possible by support from financier David Rubinstein, who chairs Duke’s Board of Trustees and also is one of the funders of the NMAH exhibition.

Inside Philanthropy Reblog :: Meet the Top 20 Philanthropists of Color

 

The new national museum of African American History and Culture

The nation’s ethnic landscape is changing, and by 2050, America will be majority non-white. These demographic shifts have implications for a wide variety of sectors, including philanthropy.

Continue reading

‘Full Circle’ by Quentin Talley

Poem, Day 2

In 2008, I commissioned longtime friend and poet Quentin “Q” Talley to create a group performance piece for a community philanthropy conference. Later, he refined it and then came and delivered it at one of my giving circle‘s planning retreats. It was 2009 or 2010 when I asked Q to edit the poem for inclusion in the book I was writing. Now Full Circle is featured using kinetic typography in Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited. Delighted to share it here again for National Poetry Month!

To hear Q recite his poem, listen here.Full Circle screenshot

WV Initiative Part of Changing Face of Philanthropy

Coming Up: West Virginia African American Philanthropy In Action

Giving Back Project announcement_WV2016

Schooled.

“Do not be fooled into believing that because a man is rich he is necessarily smart. There is ample proof to the contrary.”

— Julius Rosenwald

rosenwald

One of the most intriguing stories of transformational philanthropy‬ from the 20th century centers on the South’s Rosenwald Schools. A new documentary tells the story of how  Sears President Julius Rosenwald, influenced by the writings of Booker T. Washington, joined forces with African American communities during the Jim Crow era to build over 5,300 schools. 

Today in Charlotte, documentary filmmaker Aviva Kempner will attend film screenings on at Regal Ballantyne Village Stadium 5, with Q&A sessions at 1:10 PM and at 4:00 PM.

Rosenwald’s initiative to create schools throughout the American rural South, resulted in the education and progress of generations of Black Americans. His story can offer lessons for the field of philanthropy and philanthropists today. Being the philanthro-geek that I am, I cannot wait to see this film!

READ MORE.

‘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.

Click here to read more from this article.

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.

Another NEW View, Vibe, Voice and Video on Philanthropy

TheSoulofPhilanthropy.com

#getyourgiveon

 

 

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

gbp_invitation_eventbrite_back1a