Swept Up

Last week, as a guest blogger, I posted a written piece on Collective Influence, the Community Investment Network (CIN) blog. CIN is a national network of donors and giving circles and its mission is to inspire, connect and strengthen African Americans and communities of color to leverage their collective resources and create the change they wish to see.

Charles W. Thomas Jr., photographer

My giving circle New Generation of African American Philanthropists is a member of CIN, and my experiences within the Network were instrumental in the development of Giving Back. I’ve posted the CIN blog piece here for followers of my blog. It’s titled “A Confluence of Influence,” because that is precisely what has swept the Giving Back Project into a whirlpool of exciting possibilities.

A Confluence of Influence

“The nation’s premier multi-cultural awards show celebrating the outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts as well as those individuals or groups who promote social justice through their creative endeavors” — About the 43rd NAACP Image Awards

More on the awards program a little later…first, I’d like to say that you never know what life has up her sleeve. Until it’s revealed, the best we can do is to stay purposeful, pursue our passions and prepare for the twists and turns that come our way.

About a year into forming our giving circle, I approached the members of New Generation of African American Philanthropists (NGAAP-Charlotte) with the idea of publishing a book about Black philanthropy. [Click here to read the full story]

Strengthening, Connecting Black Communities

One week from today on December 5th, I have the privilege of sharing stories, experiences and lessons from the New Generation of African American Philanthropists giving circle and our Giving Back Project with members and guests of the Black Philanthropic Alliance (BPA) during its annual meeting in Washington, DC. Time with friends, colleagues and kindred spirits at the BPA event will be a treat given our common efforts to address community issues, collectively, through work, wealth and wisdom.

Charles W. Thomas Jr., photographer

I’m also excited about being a part of a program that will honor Tracey Webb, founder of The Black Benefactors giving circle and the blog BlackGivesBack.org. Tracey deserves recognition and applause for her pathbreaking work to profile Black philanthropy, online, to a wide national audience and for her leadership on grantmaking through her giving circle.

BPA is a network of professionals in philanthropy and nonprofits who identify, manage and influence investments and resources to strengthen and connect the Black community in the Washington, DC region.

The membership of BPA supports donors and nonprofit organizations through a variety of channels, including:

  • Networking and Community Building
  • Communications
  • Educational Programs and Special Events
  • Career News
  • A Vehicle for Giving

You can learn more at: blackphilanthropicalliance.org.

And if you live in DC or will be visiting our nation’s capital on the 5th, please come have breakfast with us at PNC Place at 800 17th Street, NW! — VF

Mr. and Mrs. Jones

“Light glorifies everything. It transforms and ennobles the most commonplace and ordinary subjects.” — Leonard Misonne, photographer

One of the stories featured in Giving Back pays tribute to Carlotta and Johnnie Jones—ordinary people with an extraordinary philanthropic spirit. Faith and long family traditions provide light for their path of generous giving. The Jones’s firm beliefs and lifelong example inspired their daughter Melandee to share her story for the book.

Their enlightened family legacy lives on. Melandee serves on the boards of Arts For Life, BDPA and Citizen Schools. She also is member of New Generation of African American Philanthropists, a giving circle that gives back. — VF

MISTER JONES | Charles W. Thomas Jr., photographer

Giving Props…Again

Charles W. Thomas Jr, photographer

    The circle of members composing New Generation of African American Philanthropists joined with me to bring to fruition our book Giving Back. Proceeds from book sales will support the mission, philanthropic initiatives and grantmaking of our collective giving circle.
    The Giving Back Project—our giving circle’s civic engagement campaign to reframe portraits of philanthropy—has benefited from the financial support of a host of tribute sponsors, individual donors and organizations.
    We would like to thank our project supporters again, and below is a list of the people and organizations that helped bring our stories to light.
Tribute sponsors and individual donors
Edwin Atlas, Brant Aycock, P. Jean Bligen, Alexandré Bailand Bohannon, Renee L. Bradford, Joyce M. Brayboy, Brenda Erwin Brewer, Christa Carter, Ph.D., Ronald L. Carter, Ph.D., Ruthye Cooley, Rashad Davis, Patrick L. Diamond, Ayanna Fisher (in memoriam), Dawn A. Fisher, Rosalyn V. Frazier, Valaida Fullwood, Diatra Fullwood, Doris “Ann” Fullwood, Allen W. Fullwood, Karen Geiger, Ph.D., Bridget-Anne Hampton, Sharon Harrington, J.D., Bryan Hassel, Ph.D., Arthur Jamison, Sandra Jamison, Sheila Jamison, Melandee Jones, Coron Jordan, Mary Klenz, Kathi M. Knier, Michelle S. Langdon, Candice Langston, Eric Law, Dee K. Lee, Dionne Lester, Myrna E. Lewis, Cori Lindsay, Athan L. Lindsay, Britt Brewer Loudd, Bilenda Madison, Nettie McGimpsey McIntosh, Willie McIntosh Jr., John F. McKinley, Lisa Nannette Moore, James Mitchell (in memoriam), Dorothy Murray, Edna M. Norwood, Dimeji Onafuwa, Cathy Peterson, Pam Pompey, Reginald F. Pretty, Tracy Russ, Kathryn Sain, Meka S. Sales, Octavia Seawell, Stoney Sellars, Tonya Sellars, Jenene Seymour, Shades of Brown Book Club, Jehan Shamsid-Deen, Eric Shelton, Geraldine Sumter, J.D., Mildred Dwiggins Swift, Charles W. Thomas Jr., Vonda K. Villines, Edward Wall, J.D., Qiana L. White and anonymous donors.
Sponsoring partners

Phresh. Philosophical. Photogenic. Philanthropic.

Fab Five!

Charles W. Thomas Jr., photographer

“The Philanthropic Five” featured here are friends and donor-members of the giving circle New Generation of African American Philanthropists (one of my fav photos!):

Five among an expansive circle of givers. Grateful for their inspiring stories and portraits in Giving Back.

Story in Today’s Philanthropy Journal

My giving circle, New Generation of African American Philanthropists and our book project featured in Philanthropy Journal (7.12.11): http://bit.ly/CLTgivingcircle.