Before Giving Back was ever published, Charles and I envisioned a touring exhibition of our stories and photography on philanthropy. Now, two and half years after release of our book, we are on the cusp of seeing another dream come to fruition.
Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited takes photography and narratives from our book and introduces new content to presents stories of generosity among Americans of African descent.
Influencing the next generation of givers is a priority, so prospective exhibitors are galleries and libraries on college campuses, particularly Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs), as well as museums, cultural institutions and philanthropic institutions with exhibition space. The exhibition’s programming will reflect innovative approaches that invite and engage K-12 students, college students, alumni, educators, faith-based congregants, neighborhood leaders, staff at nonprofits and foundations and the wider public.
We’re encouraged because The Soul of Philanthropy has attracted some initial financial support and also generated strong interest among a wide range of exhibiting institutions in North Carolina and across the country. A priority now is to pursue additional funding in order to begin rolling out a touring exhibition in fall 2014. Securing funds over this summer is the game plan.
Read more about The Soul of Philanthropy here: http://givingbackproject.org/2014/05/19/the-soul-of-philanthropy-reframed-and-exhibited/
A pop-up mini exhibition of The Soul of Philanthropy is set for June 8, and you’re invited to the world premiere: http://www.paperlesspost.com/events/7715089-a8031295/replies/preview#paper/front/0
Deeper discussions about philanthropy and more mindful giving are ongoing aims of the Giving Back Project. The book Giving Back, a centerpiece of the project, is designed to become a springboard for such conversation and strategic giving. Driving forces for NGAAP’s project are a desire to reclaim the root meaning of philanthropy—love of humankind—and a resolve to build bridges between “conventional” philanthropy and the centuries-old philanthropic traditions flourishing in Black communities, for the sake of every community.
Project photographer Charles Thomas shared with me that after a recent lecture on a college campus, the first question posed by a student was: “What is philanthropy?” That’s the central question we explore in Giving Back. Through inquiry, interviews and images, Charles and I engaged over 200 Black donors and asked such questions as: How do you define philanthropy? Juxtaposing photographs and narratives, Giving Back illuminates transcendent truths and elicits new thinking about philanthropy.
We look forward to connecting with schools, colleges and youth programs to engage students, educators and others around the content, themes and questions presented in Giving Back.
Foundation executive Dr. Ivye Allen commented on the promise Giving Back holds to become an educational tool that can enlighten readers and inspire greater giving.
“Giving Back is a must have book for all! It brings to life African American giving and highlights philanthropic acts that many of us perform daily without naming it ‘philanthropy.’ The combination of photographs and narrative effectively reframes the dialogue on philanthropy, particularly among the unsung heroes and heroines contributing to daily growth and prosperity in our communities.
“A must have book of our history and a great teaching toolkit!”
— Ivye L. Allen, Ph.D., president and CEO, Foundation for the Mid South
Please take a look at further commentary and book reviews on Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists.
Along with the rain, wonderful news continued pouring in over Labor Day weekend. In addition to Giving Back being featured on the blog PHILANTHROPY 2173, I learned the book may be released two weeks earlier than expected (!) and got to see a final printout of the book jacket. My long labor of love is finally taking full form.
And if that weren’t enough, Nelson Bowman—a fundraising expert, author on HBCU alumni giving and collaborator with Dr. Marybeth Gasman—provided this advance praise for Giving Back:
“Valaida Fullwood’s Giving Back provides full exposure to the philanthropic treasures we as African Americans have always shared but are rarely credited with in discussions of African American philanthropy. This photographic masterpiece, which certainly tells a story, gives viewers an opportunity to develop their own story as well. What a way to learn!”
— Nelson Bowman, III, director of development, Prairie View A&M University
My gratitude grows daily, and I can barely wait until the book’s public release. VF
Our most recent advance commentary comes from Dr. Marybeth Gasman, professor, University of Pennsylvania and author of Uplifting a People: African American Philanthropy and Education and thirteen other books.
“Giving Back is a beautiful book that masterfully demonstrates the power of African American giving. Through riveting photography and engaging vignettes, Valaida Fullwood tells the story of philanthropy at its purest. Giving Back showcases the diversity in giving that has taken place for centuries and continues to thrive in Black communities. Anyone interested in philanthropy, Black giving, and African American history and culture will enjoy reading this wonderful new book.”
(I sense a new word cloud forming. Check in tomorrow.)