“African American philanthropy is a stunning example of ‘populist philanthropy.’ We as a people have been able to demonstrate how philanthropy is a form of relationship with others that everyone can practice. Children to seniors in our community have a long history of giving selflessly to those we know intimately as well as to total strangers. I am very proud of our cultural history as philanthropists!”
— Jennifer Henderson, a kind contributor of narratives for Giving Back
“Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Earlier today at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, I participated in the annual meeting of North Carolina Network of Grantmakers (NCNG). Joining me on the panel were CIN members Tim McIntosh and Darryl Lester. Our session on bold and unconventional philanthropy drew an audience of over 80 people, who listened intently and posed thoughtful questions.
Over lunch, Martin Eakes, founder of Self-Help, delivered a stirring and, at times, eyebrow-raising keynote message about moving people from “poverty to justice” and the possibilities and responsibilities of philanthropy, today and into the future. His speech punctuated the words and philanthropic deeds of the panelists in my session. In wrapping up, Martin shared a passage from one of his favorite quotes (and mine, too), which is featured in Giving Back. If only more work in philanthropy were threaded with this exquisite truth.
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” ― Frederick Douglass
“The Danger of A Single Story,” the TED Talk by the writer Chimamanda Adichie, is an enlightening presentation. Chimamanda conveys the power of stories and reaffirms, for me, why Giving Back and its vast array of counter-narratives about African Americans and philanthropy are important.
Admittedly, I’ve got a thing for word clouds. (Wordle.net has altered my life!) Loving words and artful images, I can’t help but be enthralled when the two are combined—hence my book. Anyway, here is this week’s word cloud using the latest commentary from advance readers of Giving Back. A reminder that good things can shine through the cloudiest of days and moments. — VF
“Religion without humanity is poor human stuff.” — Sojourner Truth