Reflections

Giving Voice to Fuel Change

Helping make change is a choice. Do you help or hinder?

Since 2010, the Black Diaspora has formally celebrated our collective history of philanthropy each August during Black Philanthropy Month. Deeply rooted in our ancient cultural traditions, Black Philanthropy Month celebrates our past and educates our children, so they have the knowledge and confidence that their communities are not simply takers (as so often portrayed in mainstream media outlets), but givers, builders, and visionaries.

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The High-Impact Giving Strategy for 2017? Love

Flipping through my photo archive from the past year, I came across a snapshot of the bridge of locks in Paris. Not the more famous Pont des Arts, which was dismantled for safety reasons in 2015, but a tiny bridge named Pont de l’Archevêché. Because they rarely venture off the beaten path, few tourists have discovered this smaller replica hidden just behind Notre Dame. Believing I’d completely missed an opportunity to ever see this physical manifestation of emotion, I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself at this “symbol of everlasting love.” And watching the sunset over the Seine I succumbed to the emotion the locks symbolize – Love.

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Celebrating Black Philanthropy Month and Our Collective History

Philanthropy in this country did not begin with the creation of institutions established by oil and steel magnates, or with savvy investors. The origins and forms are numerous, but for me—a Black woman in America—philanthropy is ancient, personal, inter-generationally nurtured, and, quite honestly, expected.

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