A Message from Seitu Jemel Hart
Dear Colleagues,

Can you believe it's fall already! I can't either. We had a busy summer here at ABFE and even busier this September. Here's a snapshot of what we've been up to:

Earlier this month we selected 11 new Fellows for our Connecting Leaders Fellowship Program (CLFP). We want to thank everyone who applied to CLFP! We had so many tremendous applications that it was difficult to make a decision (a very special shout out to our Programs team Edward Jones and Tekecha Morgan who head up our CLFP program), but we are pleased to present the 2018 - 2019 Connecting Leaders Fellowship Program recipients in our lead story below.

This month we teamed up with JPMorgan Chase & Co. for a session on Black business at this year’s CBCF 48th Annual Legislative Conference on September 14th in Washington, D.C. The se ssion, titled " Building Economic Power in Black Communities Through Business and Entrepreneurship ,” centered on exploring the economic impact of Black entrepreneurs, improving the flow of capital to Black-owned businesses and identifying the support that is needed for Black-owned businesses to prosper. Be sure to check out photos and highlights from the event below.

We also recently held our second annual Leverage the Trust Leadership Retreat (LTT) on September 20 - 22 in San Diego, CA. The Retreat focused on strengthening the knowledge of trustees to better advocate for Black communities, as well as the specific knowledge and information one needs to serve on critically important finance/investment and audit committees. We want to thank all of our Trustees, supporters and speakers who participated in this year's LTT! We will be sharing video highlights and photos with you all in next month's edition of Member News .

Lastly, join the ABFE Staff and I in welcoming back our fearless leader, Susan Taylor Batten, who recently finished a sabbatical. Welcome back, Susan!!!

Seitu Jemel Hart
Vice President of Membership and External Affairs, ABFE
Member Notes
What's Happening at ABFE...
Meet our 2018 - 2019 Connecting Leaders Fellowship Program (CLFP) Fellows!
Melanie Allen
Network Officer
Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation
Dirk Butler
Senior Associate
The Annie E. Casey Foundation
Amelia Cobb
Special Projects Manager, Policy & Strategy
First 5 LA
Dana François
Program Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Tomeka Hart
Senior Program Officer
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Candace Johnson
Community Partner (Denver Metro Area)
The Colorado Trust
Caroline McCoy
Program Officer
Robert R. McCormick Foundation
Thena Robinson Mock
Program Officer
Communities for Just School Fund
Bonita Robertson
Director of Civic Leadership and Workforce Initiatives Greater New Orleans Foundation
Rafael Turner
Program Officer
Ruth Mott Foundation
Tarik Ward
Director of Music Programs
ELMA Philanthropy Services, Inc. (U.S.)
Recap: ABFE and JPMC's "Building Economic Power in Black Communities Through Business and Entrepreneurship” at the CBCF 48th Annual Legislative Conference on September 14th in Washington, D.C.
On September 14th, ABFE hosted the "Building Economic Power in Black Communities Through Business and Entrepreneurship" session, sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co. , at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's (CBCF) 48th Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.

The session explored the economic impact of Black entrepreneurs, improving the flow of capital to Black-owned businesses, and identifying the support that is needed for Black-owned businesses to prosper. Despite a 35% increase of black-owned firms across diverse industries, inequities remain that exacerbate the racial wealth gap can play a leading role in fostering investment strategies to help spur economic opportunity for minority-owned businesses.

Panelists/Moderators included:

  • Susan Taylor Batten, President and CEO, ABFE
  • Edward Jones, Vice President of Programs, ABFE
  • Ted Archer, VP of Small Business, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Carl Banks, President, G-III Apparel Group
  • Chris Wheat, Director of Business Research, JPMorgan Chase Institute
  • Darrick Hamilton, Professor of Economics and Urban Policy at The New School
  • Tom Shapiro, Director of the Institute on Assets and Social Policy and is the David R. Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University
  • Connie Evans, President and CEO, Association of Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)
  • Erik Hall, Director of Business Development Chicago, GCM Grosvenor
  • Melissa Bradley, Managing Director of Project 500
  • Stefanie A. Thomas, Senior Associate of Investments, Impact America Fund
  • Natalie Madeira Cofield, Founder at Walker's Legacy Foundation
  • Chris Bradshaw, Executive Director, Dreaming Out Loud
  • Travis Gumbs, Co-Founder, Street Etiquette
  • Dre Taylor, Founder, Nile Valley Aquaponics
  • Aaron Saunders, Founder/CEO Clearly Innovative & Inclusive Innovation Incubator (In3DC)
  • Bea Feliu-Espada, Founder and CEO, The Honey Pot Company
  • Anasa Troutman, Executive Director of Clayborn Temple
From L to R: Carl Banks, Susan Taylor Batten and Ted Archer
From L to R: Travis Gumbs, Chris Bradshaw, Dre Taylor, Bea Feliu-Espada and Aaron Saunders Natalie Madeira Cofield, Anasa Troutman
From L to R: Chris Wheat, Tom Shapiro, Connie Evans and Darrick Hamilton
Photo credit: William Perrigen
Recap: ABFE's 5th Annual Women in Philanthropy Leadership Retreat
ABFE's Women in Philanthropy 2018 Leadership Retreat Participants
We recently celebrated the 5th anniversary of our Women In Philanthropy Leadership Retreat on August 23 - 25 in Palm Coast, FL.

The retreat is a leadership convening for women of African descent who are leading in the field of philanthropy--including CEOs and senior executives in foundations, as well as philanthropy-serving organizations. 

This year's WIP provided a community of support and connection through activities that facilitate renewal, respite and reflection around the unique experiences as Black women working in philanthropy.
Attention ABFE Members...Last Call for Surveys!
Have you completed our membership survey?

As ABFE continues to grow, we are taking steps to strengthen the impact our work, as well as gain insight into how we can better serve our members.

By taking a few minutes to share your thoughts, you are helping improve our membership benefits, services and communications. We are also offering one lucky survey taker a chance to win a free registration to our 2019 annual conference (details coming soon) . Deadline to complete survey is by Monday, October 15th.*

*If you have questions about your membership, please contact Evelyn Rivera, director of membership and special events for ABFE, at ; or visit our Member Center for more information.

*In August's Member News, we did not specify a deadline and have since extended the deadline to 10/15/2018. We apologize for any convenience.
Featured Member
What's Happening with our Members...

The winner(s) of the Patiño Moore Legacy Award will receive a combined maximum of $150,000 over 12 months to support their work to unite Black and Brown communities in a shared vision of economic and social well-being. The selection committee is especially interested in achievements that have the potential to inspire and raise the capacity of other organizations and individuals to build a family-led movement across cultures, races, ethnicities, regions and issues. Read more here .
News in the Field
What's Happening in Philanthropy...
The Hidden Narrative of Racial Inequity in Puerto Rico

Source: Nonprofit Quarterly, September 4, 2018

On a recent visit to Puerto Rico, I realized just how much narrative has to do with the challenges the island faces and its response to those. Though it is a fertile land and has a highly educated population and a vibrant, resourceful culture, Puerto Rico is poorer than Mississippi, the poorest US state. Loíza, the blackest municipality in Puerto Rico, is the poorest on the island. A newly forming nonprofit, Caribbean Cultural Corridor, a network of local economies for local Black art, seeks to challenge anti-black narratives on the island, starting in Loíza .

Tatyana Hopkins describes the town in Black Voice News. Loíza is Puerto Rico’s center for African-inspired traditions and it retains one of the largest Black populations on the island; more than 60 percent of its 30,000 residents identify as Black.

Known as the “Capital of Traditions,” Loíza is the birthplace of Black Puerto Rican music and is where the dance Plena was born. Bomba music and other African-Taíno infused food and traditions are commonplace here. Loíza artisans produce the colorful coconut masks displayed at festivals and make the unique Bomba drums.

It began as a place to harbor escaped slaves from Puerto Rico and all over the Caribbean. But, despite its rich culture, Loíza is one of the most impoverished parts of Puerto Rico. Only 20 minutes east of the capital San Juan, Loíza is often overlooked as a tourist destination, even though resorts lie 5–10 minutes east of the river in Rio Grande.

The Corridor is also an example of new approaches by stateside nonprofits like the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE), which is expanding its work to the black diaspora. ABFE partnered with the Community Foundation of Puerto Rico (Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico), which is leading the philanthropic work on equity on the island and exploring how to support more explicitly its racial aspects, to host this gathering to build awareness of, solicit feedback for, and build support for the Corridor. The response was a resounding yes.
Gates Foundation warns a decades-long progress in fighting disease and poverty may reverse

Source:, September 18, 2018

Progress in fighting poverty and disease may soon stall, and could even reverse, after nearly two decades of progress, Bill and Melinda Gates warn.

More people are being born in the world's poorest countries, which could halt the decline in the number of extremely poor people and possibly even cause the number to rise, the billionaire philanthropists wrote in the Gates Foundation's second "Goalkeepers Data Report." That would overshadow the fact that more than 1 billion people have lifted themselves out of poverty since 2000.

Despite the worrisome outlook, they're optimistic that investing in the young people can help avoid it. Yet this comes as President Donald Trump has vowed to slash foreign aid and nationalism spreads through Europe. The Gates Foundation still has "a lot of concerns" about foreign aid, Bill Gates told reporters on a briefing call.

"In the United States , we are very thankful that the Congress has maintained these things are priorities, despite the executive branch recommending very substantial cuts," he said.

In its second year, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation produced the report with the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation to track progress on 18 data points from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. They released it Tuesday as the U.N. General Assembly convenes. They released it Tuesday as the United Nations General Assembly convenes.
U.S. News and the Aetna Foundation Examine the Link Between Race, Where You Live and Health in America

Source:, September 25, 2018

Washington, D.C. – There are clear links between race, ethnicity, geography and drivers of health outcomes in the U.S., a special report from U.S. News & World Report finds.

In one of the largest assessments of social determinants of health to date, U.S. News found that communities with a greater share of white residents generally score better, differing from the negative link between communities' scores and their share of black residents. Larger Hispanic and Native American populations also are linked to worse Healthiest Communities outcomes.

Released today, this report analyzed social determinants of health across nearly 3,000 U.S. counties that were part of the initial Healthiest Communities rankings. The report identifies factors that influence overall well-being such as economy, housing and access to health care, and highlights diverse areas outperforming the norm.

Key Findings include :
  • Nearly 700 communities have a black population share larger than the national average of about 13 percent. Yet just 26 of those communities rank among the top 500 Healthiest Communities overall, with many of those in he Washington, D.C., and Atlanta areas.

  • Some of the strongest predictors of community performance in the U.S. News assessment are also areas in which communities with large black populations generally struggle. These factors include homicide rates, low birth weight and, in particular, access to healthy and affordable food.

  • Low segregation is one of the top 15 drivers of community performance for places with larger than average Hispanic populations. Proximity to jobs and good child care quality reveal some of the largest gaps in social determinants of health between communities with both a Hispanic population share above the national average of about 17 percent and communities with smaller Hispanic populations.

  • There is a negative relationship between the size of a community's Native American population and its Healthiest Communities score. The strongest drivers of improved community performance in areas with larger- than-average Native American populations are better access to supermarkets and household utilities for heat, as well as lower rates of cancer prevalence.

"In-depth analysis and data-driven journalism powers the Healthiest Communities platform, allowing us to examine the relationship between public health initiatives and community health as a whole," said Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News. "Our reporting highlights communities that are making important strides to advance health for economically and socially diverse populations, while also empowering community leaders to seek positive change in counties facing disparities."
In Case You Missed It...
Hosted by: Akonadi Foundation, NoVo Foundation, Rosenburg Foundation and Southern California Grantmakers
FUNDERS : Since October of 2017, powered by the courage of girls and women who have shared their #MeToo stories at scale, we have seen a quantum leap forward in the movement to ensure that all girls and women can live, learn, and work with safety and dignity. But now, even amid unprecedented mass mobilization against sexual violence across every sector, this powerful momentum faces the very real risk of being under-resourced.
Confirmed Speakers and Artists (More To Be Announced):  
Alicia Garza
Strategy + Partnerships Director, 
National Domestic Workers Alliance 
Co-founder #BlackLivesMatter
Fatima Goss Graves
President and CEO
National Women’s Law Center
Sarah Jones
Tony Award-Winning Playwright and Performer
Mónica Ramírez
Alianza Nacional de Campesinas
Joanne Smith
Founder and Executive Director
Girls for Gender Equity
Salamishah Tillet
Co-Founder of A Long Walk Home
Professor at University of Pennsylvania 
ABFE's Susan Taylor Batten to speak at the 2018 Equity in the Center Summit | October 9-10 in Baltimore, MD
ABFE's Susan Taylor Batten to Speak on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion | Friday, November 1st at the University of Arkansas' Clinton School of Public Service Center on Community Philanthropy
Insanely Good: Making Big Business Out of Social Philanthropy

Source: The New Yorker, September 26, 2018

The reckoning for entrepreneurs in the tech industry was not the loudest to arrive this year, but it came colorfully: the struggle to set boundaries against hate speech on Twitter, the congressional hearings for Facebook and its subsequent moves toward content moderation, the weird and weepy interview that Elon Musk gave the Times. Titans who stood tall ten years ago are wobbling in their sneakers, and the forward-looking innovation business seems to be, all at once, on its heels. “If you have anyone who can do a better job, please let me know. They can have the job,” Musk said. At a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing last week, Twitter’s C.E.O., Jack Dorsey, described the company as “unprepared and ill-equipped” to deal with trolls, propaganda, and harassment. Such lamentations may seem to bring crepuscular hues to tech, but it’s more likely that they signal an approaching change. An industry known for outlandishness will be driven toward brass-tacks problems. Random acts of philanthropy will no longer be enough to keep the giants in good grace. The looming question isn’t whether high-profile entrepreneurs will work to win back favor but how. Some might describe it as a juncture primed for innovative thought.

One recent sweltering Monday, I went to visit Ankur Jain, a twenty-eight-year-old entrepreneur who, as much as anyone, reflects tech’s recent drift toward a new form of social self-awareness. Jain’s father, Naveen, started the Web-service company InfoSpace in the nineteen-nineties. He left it amid a flurry of lawsuits, including a settlement over short-swing trading, and later co-founded a company called Moon Express , which is building spacecraft to mine precious metals and nuclear fuel from the moon. When Ankur was a child, his father encouraged him to pitch business plans to family friends. The lessons, and the confidence, took. While Jain was in college, at the Wharton School, the financial press called him “possibly the world’s best-connected 21-year-old.” At twenty-six, he sold a company to Tinder, whose product he went on to lead.

Since then, he has launched a new mission. “Facebook, Google—these companies are impacting the way people live more than government. But, unlike government, there’s not an explicit mandate that they’re responsible to communities and society,” Jain said. Tech is too focussed on extreme-use cases and moon shots, he thinks, and too neglectful of practical problems. “The biggest needs right now in society have to do with key life services that, historically, governments provided,” he told me. “Education, housing, family services, and childcare.”
Taraji P. Henson Launches Foundation for Mental Health Awareness

Source: LA Sentinel, September 27, 2018

Oscar-nominated actor Taraji P. Henson launched the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation in honor of her late father, on Sept. 23 at a private estate in Beverly Hills to raise awareness for mental health in the Black community.  Henson kicked off the foundation’s launch with the inaugural Boutique of Hope fundraiser, as she opened her closet of designer handbags, shoes, and clothes, for a good cause.

“It means a lot to me,” said Henson. “ My dad was very open. He was never afraid to live his truth and his truth involved mental illness and he was very vocal about that.”

Boris Lawrence Henson was a Vietnam veteran who passed away from cancer on Feb. 19, 2006. His struggles with mental health and openness caused Henson to also seek treatment for herself and her son. In 2003, her son’s father was murdered. She was troubled when she was unable to find a mental health professional of color.
Dallas businessman Roland Parrish gives $3 million to Nashville's Fisk University

Source: Vibe, September 4, 2018

Roland Parrish has donated $3 million to Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn.

The grant will fund construction of the Roland G. Parrish Center for Career Planning and Development at Fisk, which is one of the nation's leading historically black colleges and universities.

"I believe in the Fisk future and the university's leadership," Parrish said. "My hope is that this gift will inspire others to get even more engaged. The campus has been void of construction for a number of years. It takes something like this to remind people that Fisk is about succeeding, not surviving."

The philanthropist, who made his fortune with McDonald's restaurant franchises in North Texas, founded the Parrish Charitable Foundation in Dallas, which is active in local and international communities.
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