A Message from Seitu Jemel Hart
Dear Colleagues,

During the month of August many of us are busy basking in the last days of summer by vacationing, visiting family and friends and fitting in as many beach days before we no longer have the outdoors kind of weather.   
However, August at ABFE is an opportunity to highlight Black Philanthropy Month (BPM) a campaign to strengthen African-descent giving in all its forms established by Dr. Jackie Copeland-Carson in 2011. Our Women In Philanthropy Leadership Retreat comes on the heels of BPM. ABFE is celebrating the 5th anniversary of Women in Philanthropy , a leadership convening for women of African descent who are leading in the field of philanthropy and advocating for philanthropic investments in Black communities and communities of color more broadly. I would be remiss to exclude the passing of Aretha Franklin aka "The Queen of Soul" who often used her time, talent and treasure to inspire millions and support the fight for racial equity and women’s rights.
Furthermore, Aretha’s noble actions didn’t go unnoticed during the civil rights era, according to our friends at The Non Profit Quarterly when they referenced Rolling Stone writer Jamil Smith recalling Franklin’s support of Angela Davis while she was in prison. As Smith explains, “In 1970, as Franklin was nearing the height of her celebrity, the Black Power activist and philosophy professor Angela Davis stood accused of purchasing firearms used in a deadly attempt to help prisoners escape a courtroom in Marin County, California. Davis was an acknowledged Communist, and President Nixon had labeled her a ‘dangerous terrorist.’ Franklin offered to pay the bond for Davis,  “whether it’s $100,000, or $250,000.”  Ultimately, for logistical reasons, another person posted bond instead of Franklin (and Davis was  later acquitted ). The statement Franklin made at the time, however, speaks to her vision:

“Angela Davis must go free. Black people will be free. I’ve been locked up (for disturbing the peace in Detroit) and I know you got to disturb the peace when you can’t get no peace. Jail is hell to be in. I’m going to see her free if there is any justice in our courts, not because I believe in communism, but because she’s a black woman and she wants freedom for black people. I have the money; I got it from black people—they’ve made me financially able to have it—and I want to use it in ways that will help our people.”
I hope that during our celebration and reflection of her life we remember her commitment to a social justice movement deeply rooted in parity and R-E-S-P-E-C-T for all communities and people. Let her passing make us even more deliberate and intentional with our decisions on where and how we make philanthropic investments.

Seitu Jemel Hart
Vice President of Membership and External Affairs, ABFE
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Looking inward: The new fund seeking racial equity in the nonprofit sector

ABFE named one of 19 inaugural grantees for REP Fund

Source: Inside Philanthropy, August 13, 2018

The Ford and W.K. Kellogg foundations recently teamed up with Borealis Philanthropy to launch the Racial Equity in Philanthropy Fund. The fund just released its first round of grants, totaling $14 million, which will go to advancing racial equity and promoting diversity within the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors.

Nonprofits rarely resemble the communities they serve. Studies show that fewer than 20 percent of nonprofit leaders are people of color. These grants are a bid to change that.  

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation contributed $14 million over the next three years to the new fund. The Ford Foundation provided an additional $6 million over the same period.

It's not surprising to see Kellogg and Ford collaborating on this effort. Both foundations have made racial equity a priority, working to combat racial discrimination and also taking on the deeper problems of structural racism. 
Back in 2015, Ford revamped its strategy to focus on fighting inequality. Chris Cardona, the foundation’s program officer focused on philanthropy, says that cultural narratives and discrimination based on identity including but not limited to race and ethnicity are a big part of that work.

Kellogg, meanwhile, has long been a leading anti-poverty funder, and one of the few top foundations to make countering racism a major part of its grantmaking. It's been working on racial healing since 2010. Last year, the funder released $24 million in grants as part of its Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Initiative, which launched in 2016. 

Kellogg’s own journey as a philanthropic organization dedicated to fighting racism inspired the mission of the Racial Equity in Philanthropy Fund, said Arelis Diaz, the foundation’s director of the president’s office.
St. Croix Foundation* Hosts Weeklong Community-Building Activities With World Renowned Change Agent

St. Croix Foundation is an ABFE Philanthropic Institutional Member

Source: The Virgin Islands Consortium, August 2, 2018

On August 6 and 7, the foundation will be joined by Tuesday Ryan-Hart, seen above, an internationally renowned systems change strategist who has worked with organizations and stakeholders engaged in community building, according to the release. The foundation said it enlisted Ms. Ryan-Hart, who will be introducing the community to a new concept of community engagement, entitled “The Art of Hosting,” to help build capacity in our community through conversations and training around high impact collaborations and self-empowerment.

The public is invited to RSVP at for the keynote address,‘Re-Inventing Our Collaborations,’ which will take place on Monday, August 6, at the Bennie and Martha Benjamin Conferencing Center at the Virgin Islands Cardiac Center at 5:30 p.m., according to the release.

On August 9 and 10, the foundation will host Edward Jones of the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) and the Black Social Change Funders Network. The Black Social Change Funders Network (BSCFN) is a network of funders committed to creating thriving Black communities by strengthening the infrastructure for Black-led and social change, according to the release.
The 25 most generous philanthropist in America today

Source: Business Insider, August 16, 2018

America's wealthiest people donated $14.7 billion in 2017 to causes, alma maters, foundations, and charities — more than doubling the amount given away in 2016.
For 18 years, The Chronicle of Philanthropy has published an annual round up of the top-50 philanthropists in America by calculating their yearly donations. In 2017, the individuals and couples on the list donated a median of $97 million, doubling the giving amount from the first list published in 2000. The total donation amount of the 2017 list is the highest amount since the 2008 recession, according to Forbes .

The 2017 list features 11 individuals or couples from the technology industry accounting for $8.7 billion in donations, or about 60% of the total, suggesting America's philanthropic center is shifting away from Wall Street and towards Silicon Valley , according to The Chronicle.

The top three donors who gave away at least $1 billion each are tech moguls: Michael and Susan Dell , Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan , and Bill and Melinda Gates .
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ABFE's Susan Taylor Batten to speak at the 2018 Equity in the Center Summit | October 9-10 in Baltimore, MD
With New Urgency, Museums Cultivate Curators of Color

Source: NYT, August 8, 2018

Growing up in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, Akili Tommasino used to cut class to visit artworks like the ancient Egyptian “ Head From a Female Sphinx ” with gaping eye sockets at the Brooklyn Museum, or Umberto Boccioni’s striding bronze figure, “ Unique Forms of Continuity in Space ,” at the Museum of Modern Art.

Wandering through the galleries, Mr. Tommasino also couldn’t help noticing that the only people of color he saw were the security guards; it wasn’t until he later studied art history at Harvard that he realized African-Americans like himself could also be curators, or even museum directors.

For decades the country’s mainstream art museums have excluded people of color — from their top leadership to the curators who create shows to the artists they display on their walls.
EPIP Releases Report Called 'Dissonance and Disconnects: How early-and-mid level practitioners view their futures, their institutions and their field

Source: EPIP, August 1, 2018
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