ABFE's 50th Anniversary & 30th Annual James A. Joseph Lecturer Awards Ceremony

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The James A. Joseph Lecture and Awards is an illustration of ABFE’s continuing commitment to provide a forum of exchange about how philanthropy can address the concerns of Black communities. 2021 marks the 30th Anniversary of the lecture, established in honor of ABFE’s co-founder and distinguished philanthropic leader, Ambassador James A. Joseph. This year, ABFE will celebrate the award winners and ABFE’s 50th Anniversary with a hybrid event, taking place in person at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Hotel accommodations will be available for guests who wish to attend the awards ceremony in person. Registration for in-person tickets closes on November 15th at 11:59 pm EST. Please note that in-person registration is limited.

Member Spotlight

2021 James A. Joseph Lecturer: Member Awardees

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Kenneth Jones | MacArthur Foundation

Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, MacArthur Foundation. A long-standing member of ABFE since 2005 as well as a generous supporter., Kenneth Jones is a veteran C-suite executive who has used his creative, visionary, problem-solving strategies all over the world. As a sought-after thought leader, Jones serves on numerous boards–including previously holding the position of Board Chair at ABFE, the Council of Foundations, and the Thurgood Marshall Academy. The Who’s Who Black Baltimore recipient is also an Arthur Vining Davis Fellow for the Aspen Ideas Festival and a Presidential Scholar at Concordia College.

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The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew Mellon Foundation, a new member of ABFE is a private foundation with five core areas of interest, and endowed with wealth accumulated by Andrew Mellon of the Mellon family Mission Statement: “The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and we believe that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom to be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive.”

ABFE's Extended Family: Share Your News 


ABFE is excited to announce that we have created a social media submission form. The purpose of this form is for our members, funders, social and racial justice organizations, etc. to share information about what's happening within their organization and community with ABFE's network.

ABFE values the partnership of its network and the extensive work that they do in the field. This will give networks exposure to various aspects of what's happening in the field of philanthropy and what other networks are doing.

Submission Form

Philanthropic Commitment: Haitian Asylum Seekers

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How you can respond

Thousands more will make arduous treks to the U.S. border. Immediate strategies to address real-time humanitarian crises, as well as long-term solutions for welcoming asylum seekers into U.S. society, are needed.

1) Disinvestment – Foundations can look internally to see where their investments lie. There is a growing disinvestment movement – similar to the South African Apartheid disinvestment – focused on the Immigration Industrial complex. Similarly, the current Prison Industrial Complex disinvestment movement is focusing on immigration camps and detention centers.[2]...

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Call for Board Nominations

ABFE is pleased to announce a call for nominations for new Board Members. We are also accepting self-nominations for the 2022 Board cycle.


ABFE's mission is to promote effective and responsive philanthropy in Black communities.


Our objectives are to:

  • Grow Black leadership and participation within organized philanthropy
  • Enhance the effectiveness of philanthropic leaders and institutions that fund and invest in Black communities
  • Increase the allocation of philanthropic resources that address priority issues in Black communities

 The deadline for submission is Wednesday, December 1st, 2021.

The application form can be downloaded here and emailed to boardnominations@abfe.org

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ABFE Alum On the Move

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On October 4th ABFE’s 2006 Emerging Leader in Philanthropy Award recipient, Athan Lindsay was promoted to Vice President of Grants & Initiatives at the Community Foundation of Great Greensboro (CFGG). In Lindsay’s new role, Lindsay will lead the Foundation’s grantmaking portfolios including community grants, the field of interest endowments, collective giving models, and other grantmaking portfolios. He will also lead the Foundation’s community philanthropy practice to build stronger and more diverse relationships within the greater Greensboro community. In Lindsay’s message to ABFE, Lindsay says, “Receiving the 2006 Emerging Leader in Philanthropy award gave me confidence and hope to continue with my career in the field. It provides me to this day a sense of belonging and purpose when the challenges of being overlooked and passed over for senior-level leadership positions. This Emerging Leader in Philanthropy Award and all the other programs that ABFE provides to its members are important.” ABFE is moved by Lindsay’s remarks and honored to be celebrating this milestone with Lindsay 15 years later. Congratulations Athan Lindsay!

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Athan Lindsay
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On October 6th ABFE's 2013' Connecting Fellows Leadership Alum, Nakisha Lewis took the leadership as President and CEO of Breakthrough. Breakthrough is a global non-profit that harnesses the power of media and popular culture to spark conversations and transform norms around gender, racial justice, sexuality, and immigrant rights.

Nakisha comes to Breakthrough from the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). There, Nakisha served as Director of Civil, Human, and Women's Rights, leading the labor movement’s efforts to advocate for the rights of historically marginalized working people.

ABFE is delighted to be celebrating this milestone in Nakisha's journey at Breakthrough.

Connecting Leaders Fellowship Program 2012-2013'

Nakisha Lewis

Upcoming Events

Membership Mondays Member Spotlight Series with Ruby Bright 

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Join us on October 25th at 12 pm EDT for a conversation with ABFE Member, Ruby Bright, President & CEO of Women’s Foundation of Greater Memphis. 

Women’s Foundation of Greater Memphis (WFGM) is an organization of women helping women break the cycle of poverty through philanthropy, leadership, and collaboration.

WFGMs mission is to encourage philanthropy and foster leadership among women and support programs that enable women and children to reach their full potential. WFGMs impact and programs are nationally recognized, proving the power of place-based, strategic fundraising and grant development for intergenerational impact. This is not a discussion you want to miss!

Register here

CHANGE Unity Summit: ABFE Sessions

OCTOBER 25-28, 2021


Intro to Racial Equity 101

Using a racial equity approach to giving is not new. What is new is how this lens has been elevated and amplified in recent years, with more funders and organizations encouraging the use of a racial equity lens in giving. Through film and conversation, we will explore why more funders are taking an intentional racial equity approach, especially in light of COVID-19.

Join ABFE on October 25th from 1-2:30 pm CT, as we review definitions, share insights into the institutional impact of policies, and present the context for this work.

Led by: Anthony J. Simmons, Director, Director of Philanthropic Advising Services, and Kyumon Murrell, Senior Program Coordinator, Philanthropic Advising Services.

ABFE Member Network Event

As ABFE celebrates its 50th Anniversary, ABFE’s member network event is a prime opportunity to engage new and longstanding members as well as meeting those interested in joining ABFE.

The Member networking event will take place on October 25th from 3:30-5pm CT and will feature some fun elements. We will be incorporating a 1971 Soul Train inspired word scramble for attendees to unscramble Racial Equity terms, breakout sessions for members to connect and discuss current topics, and finally an entertainment element where we will feature talented Youth from Youth Renaissance Center in Bronx, New York. Led by: Evelyn Rivera, Director of Memberships, and Leslie Nwosu, External Affairs Associate.

Both sessions are open for any Unity Summit attendees

Register here

Georgia Funders Network for Racial Equity x ABFE

Changing the Narrative on Philanthropy's Accountability for Advancing Racial Equity in Georgia: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead from 9 - 10:30 a.m. EST Tuesday, November 2, 2021 

In the midst of dual pandemics (COVID-19 and racial unrest), philanthropy has stretched, changed, and altered. Sometimes, it has stayed the same, too. As Georgia funders, we have been challenged to meet myriad needs across the state. In this moment, where we have made a standing commitment to creating a more racially equitable state, are we living up to our commitments? Join ABFE: A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities, as we explore what has been done, where we are now, and how we are able to sustain this movement.

This session will be presented by Anthony Simmons: Director of Philanthropic Advising Services, ABFE, and Kellye McKenzie: Trainer and Advisor of Philanthropic Advising Services, ABFE.

Register here
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