Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bay Area Blacks in Philanthropy Honor Region’s Black Leaders, Kick-Off $100,000 Fundraising Campaign

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BABIP Board Members Carl Hackney, Co-Chair Kathleen Harris, Co-Chair Jason Trimiew,
Co-Chair Ruth Williams, Billy Manning and Deborah Holmes

OAKLAND, CA – Bay Area Blacks in Philanthropy honored distinguished leaders Fred Blackwell, James Head, and Justin Steele at an intimate gathering of community, civic, and philanthropic leaders on the evening of March 14, 2015.

The event was the first in a series launched to leverage community support for the organization’s $100,000 fundraising goal, which will be utilized to advance the interests of African Americans in philanthropy, address the impact of racial disparity within philanthropic institutions and hire a staff person. “We’ve depended on volunteers for 20+ years, yet the needs of our communities are greater than ever. If we’re going to provide the kind of leadership, advocacy and counsel required, we need a full-time staff person to lead the organization,” said the organization’s Co-Chair Kathleen Harris.

The event drew more than 200 people in support of the organization’s strategic aims. “You are BABIP,” said BABIP Co-Chair Jason Trimiew. “Bringing people like you together, to work with us is integral to ensuring and supporting a cadre of leaders whose experiences reflect and connect with those of the communities being served,” he continued. “We cannot do this work alone.” The event’s honorees each embody the innovative spirit necessary to usher in the next generation of Black philanthropy and keep investment, hope and action alive in Black communities.

Fred Blackwell is an Oakland native and currently serves as the CEO of The San Francisco Foundation. Mr. Blackwell previously served as interim City Administrator for the City of Oakland and has also held several leadership posts in the City of San Francisco.

James Head resides in Oakland and is the President and CEO of the East Bay Community Foundation. Prior to this role, Mr. Head served for 10 years as Vice President for Programs at The San Francisco Foundation. He has more than 30 years of experience in philanthropy, nonprofit management and technical assistance; community and economic development; and public interest law.

Justin Steele serves as Google.org’s Bay Area Giving Lead. He has worked in various capacities across the non-profit and for-profit sector. Most recently, he served as the deputy director of the National Capital Region’s Year Up program. He also has worked in management consulting roles at the esteemed Bridgespan and Bain and Company.

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Honorees Justin Steele, James Head and Fred Blackwell

The event’s leading sponsor was Union Bank, along with Blaylock Beal, Youth Uprising, Comcast, and Dignity Housing West. View more photos from the event here.

About Bay Area Blacks in Philanthropy
The mission of BABIP is to advance the interests of African Americans in philanthropy and address the impact of racial disparity within philanthropic institutions and African American communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Learn more at www.babip.org.

Source: Press release/Photos: BABIP

Monday, March 23, 2015

African American Women’s Giving Circle to Host Black Philanthropy Forum

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AAWGC members and grantees celebrate the giving circle’s 10th anniversary in 2014.

WASHINGTON, DC – The African American Women’s Giving Circle (AAWGC) in partnership with Pepco Edison Place Gallery, presents “Encouraging a Culture of Philanthropy,” a forum featuring a reception and panel discussion on Black philanthropy. Panelists will share how we can celebrate a culture of philanthropy and engage more Blacks in giving, and how to build the next generation of Black philanthropists.

When: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 from 6 to 8 pm
Where: Pepco Edison Place Gallery, 702 8th Street Northwest, Washington, DC

Nicole Cozier, Chief Operating Officer, Washington Area Women’s Foundation

Celeste James, Director of Community Health Initiatives, Kaiser Foundation
Tracey Webb, Founder, BlackGivesBack.com and Black Benefactors
Edward Jones, Director of Programs, ABFE (Association of Black Foundation Executives)

Established in 2004, the mission of AAWGC is to cultivate philanthropy among African American women and invest their resources in a way that will encourage and sustain African American women-led organizations and support promising or effective projects that address unmet needs of African American women and girls. AAWGC pools the monetary contributions of its members and to date has invested more than $225,000 in 20 Washington, DC area nonprofits. The Circle is hosted by the Washington Area Women’s Foundation.

RSVP for the event by visiting here and learn more about AAWGC here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Jackie Robinson Foundation Hosts Annual Awards Dinner, Raises $1.3 Million

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JRF President & CEO Della Britton Baeza, Tyler Perry, RF Chairman of the Board of Directors Gregg Gonsalves

Gala honored Tyler Perry, Gerald Hassell and Don Thompson

NEW YORK, NY – On Monday, March 9, 2015, The Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) honored Chairman and CEO of BNY Mellon, Gerald L. Hassell, retired President and CEO of McDonald’s Corporation, Don Thompson, and filmmaker and philanthropist Tyler Perry at its black-tie Awards Dinner held at the Waldorf Astoria. In front of nearly 1,000 guests who attended the cocktail receptions, dinner and awards ceremony, each honoree was escorted to the stage by a JRF Scholar and recognized for embodying the humanitarian ideals of Jackie Robinson through devoting their lives to the promotion of social justice, excellence and human dignity. The gala raised $1.3 million for the Jackie Robinson Foundation’s unique scholarship program that provides financial grants in addition to mentoring and leadership training for minority college students, and for the Jackie Robinson Museum project. The evening kicked off with a rendition of “Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?” performed by Ray Chew Live, and featured a performance of “It's You,” “I Can't Stop Lovin’ You,” and “Love Calls” by GRAMMY Award-nominated vocalist Kem. Hosted by actor Andre Holland (42 and Selma), guests also listened to remarks from the three honorees, chairman of JRF, Gregg Gonsalves, president and CEO of JRF, Della Britton Baeza, and three JRF Scholars.

Don Thompson received the ROBIE Achievement in Industry Award, the Foundation’s highest tribute to an outstanding individual who has promoted and expanded access and opportunities in the corporate sector. Gerald L. Hassell, likewise, was honored for his commitment to ensuring opportunities to all constituent groups who make up the global workforce by receiving the ROBIE Achievement in Industry Award. Tyler Perry received the Foundation’s ROBIE Humanitarian Award, which is presented to an individual who has worked to promote equal opportunity, social justice and humanitarianism.

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JRF Chairman of the Board of Directors Gregg Gonsalves, JRF President & CEO Della Britton Baeza, 
JRF Founder Rachel Robinson, JRF Scholar Rashaun Bennett, and retired 
McDonald’s President & CEO, Don Thompson

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Gregg Gonsalves, Della Britton Baeza, Rachel Robinson, BNY Mellon Chairman and CEO Gerald L. Hassell,
JRF Scholars Neima Patterson and Angel Nwachukwu

Sponsors of The Jackie Robinson Foundation’s Annual Awards Dinner included BNY Mellon, Praxair, Inc., Major League Baseball, Omnicom Group, Inc., New Era Cap Co., Inc., Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, American Express, Ariel Investments, Citi, The Coca-Cola Company, Credit Suisse, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank AG, Martin L. Edelman, Esq., Ford Motor Company, GCM Grosvenor, GE, Guardian Life Insurance Company, McDonald’s Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Perella Weinberg Partners, Joseph J. Plumeri, New York Mets and Nike.

Visit the website at www.jackierobinson.org.

Press Release; Photo credits: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images and John Vecchiolla/JRF

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Insider: Julieanna Richardson, Founder of The HistoryMakers

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Julieanna Richardson

Digital archive documents Black America’s legacy

In June 2014, the Library of Congress announced that it had acquired a video archive of thousands of hours of interviews that captures African-American life, history and culture as well as the struggles and achievements of the black experience. The interview collection is from The HistoryMakers, a nonprofit research and educational institution founded in 1999 that is committed to preserving, developing and providing easy access to an internationally recognized, archival collection of thousands of African-American video oral histories. The Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington said, “The HistoryMakers archive provides invaluable first-person accounts of both well-known and unsung African-Americans, detailing their hopes, dreams and accomplishments—often in the face of adversity. This culturally important collection is a rich and diverse resource for scholars, teachers, students and documentarians seeking a more complete record of our nation’s history and its people.”

The collection comprises 9,000 hours of content and over 2,600 videotaped interviews with African-Americans from various disciplines including art, business, media, law, education, entertainment, sports and more. Among the notables are President Barack Obama when he was an Illinois state senator, General Colin Powell, child advocate Marion Wright Edelman, baseball legend Ernie Banks, entertainer/activist Harry Belafonte, poet/writer Maya Angelou, Massachusetts Senator Edward Brooke, poet Nikki Giovanni and actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. Some of the lesser-known participants who have shared their life stories are Arthur Burton, Sr.,one of the last surviving Pullman Porters; Judge William Sylvester White, one of the first commissioned black officers in the Navy; and Alonzo Pettie, the oldest living black cowboy.

For Women’s History Month we talked with Julieanna Richardson, founder and CEO of The HistoryMakers to learn more about the organization, her inspiration for creating it and how readers can get involved.

Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to create The HistoryMakers.

I’m an American studies and theater arts major. Storytelling is an important part of who I am.

I graduated from Brandeis University and Harvard Law School. I started my career as a corporate lawyer and later became involved in the cable television industry. Then I decided to launch a home shopping network. I was one of two regional home shopping networks in the mid-80s. I was later asked by the cable company to manage several local cable channels. After the city took over those channels I was at a major crossroads in my life. Out of that came this wonderful idea for a project. I had done an oral history project as a young college student and I just found all of the interviews over the Christmas break. They’re over 40 years old! Finding that material had a huge impact on me. I didn’t want our children not to know our history. That motivates me to do what I’m doing now.

Share more about your event announcing the Library of Congress partnership.

We had a major celebration on November 8, 2014 at the Library of Congress with over 250 of our history makers in attendance. We toured the Library and the Packard Campus where the archive is housed. Featured during the celebration was a reader’s theater telling the history of the organization in theatrical form, an education symposium and a main event where we honored Gwen Ifill. That program is airing nationally on PBS.

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There was also a major announcement during the evening that PricewaterhouseCoopers charitable foundation committed 1.6 million to us in the area of youth education. They’re giving us money to add all of our interviews to our digital archives. We’re using that as part of our education effort to bring the digital archive into schools around the country. It’s a miracle blessing. It will take three years to complete. It’s huge. So the focus will be on our digital archives going forward.

How can readers get involved with The HistoryMakers?

Our goal is to launch a new 25 million capital campaign. It’s been a real challenge for us to find money to do the interviews themselves. It’s important because our history makers are passing away. Ernie Banks (Major League baseball legend) just died and I remember a writer from the Chicago Sun Times learned important things she didn’t know about him from our interview. We know our interviews are valuable in that way. And we want to do more technologically to connect people to the stories. When people see what we have I think they’re going to be blown away. We need your support.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I want to emphasize that this affiliation with the Library of Congress really completes the circle because also housed at the Library is the slave narrative (the Works Progress Administration’s initiative to document the experiences of former slaves in the 1930s) and that had been the only recording of the Black experience before we came along. So we are joined by the story of the enslaved, and now with us, there’s the story of their descendants.

Visit the website at thehistorymakers.com.

Friday, February 27, 2015

One Hundred Black Men, Inc. of New York Hosts 35th Annual Benefit Gala Honoring Business and Civic Leaders

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Will Brown Jr., Gala Co-Chair; Rev. Jacques Andre DeGraff; Phil Banks III, Honoree;
Michael J. Garner, President, OHBM; Robert B. Brown, 3rd VP, OHBM and CFO, New York Yankees

NEW YORK, NY—The Board of Directors of One Hundred Black Men, Inc. (OHBM) of New York honored seven business and civic leaders at the organization’s 35th Annual Benefit Gala held on Thursday, February 19. Nearly 500 guests attended the gala at the New York Hilton Hotel that honored Torrence Boone, Global Head of Agency Sales & Services, Google; Duane C. Farrington, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, State Farm; Carla A. Harris, Vice Chairman, Wealth Management, Morgan Stanley; Hon. Charles B. Rangel, Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives; Amar’e Stoudemire, professional basketball player, six-time All-Star New York Knicks power forward, actor, author, producer, motivational speaker and philanthropist; Gary Smalls, recognized as Mentor of the Year;” and Former NYPD Chief of Department Phillip Banks III who received a special surprise award – The Robert J. Mangum Founders’ Award.

“It is my distinct privilege to join you tonight to celebrate 52 years of leadership, advocacy and community service, by honoring individuals whose professional leadership, service and empathy for others are consistent with the mission and vision of our founders and the core values of One Hundred Black Men, Inc. of New York,” said Michael J. Garner, recently named president of the group.

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Honorees Torrence Boone and Carla A. Harris

The audience was wowed by remarks from Brenton James, 2014 valedictorian for the Eagle Academy for Young Men (an OHBM-founded school) who was accepted to each of the 21 colleges to which he applied, and who attends the University of Pennsylvania as the first student in Eagle Academy history to be accepted into an Ivy League institution. He stated, “I understand that there are a number of business professionals in the room. I’m sure that the term “return on investment” is often mentioned in your workplace. My name is Brenton James and I stand before you as your return on investment and my value appreciates each day. ”

WBLS Radio Personality Shaila Scott and Mike Woods, Meteorologist, Good Day New York, WNYW Fox5, were co-emcees of the black tie fundraiser that featured a cocktail reception followed by dinner and an awards program. The after-party entertainment was provided by R&B super group The Force MDs.

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Michael Jones-Bey, Director, Supplier Diversity, Con Edison; Dr. Rudy Crew, President, Medgar Evers College;
Hon. Kevin Parker, NYS Senator; Steven A. Board, Executive Director, OHBM of NY; Michael J. Garner,
President, OHBM; Hilton O. Smith, OHBM Board Member and Senior VP, Turner Construction Company

Gala Co-Chairs were Robert B. Brown, CFO, New York Yankees and Will Brown, Jr., President, Brown Companies And Associates, Inc. The Gala Committee included John H. Austin, Jr., Steven A. Board, Frederick E. Davis, Jr., Anthony Dupree, Aldrin K. Enis, Michael J. Garner, James Harrison, T. Terrence McKinney, Kaliv Parker, and Hilton O. Smith.

Among the guests were Hon. David Dinkins, Manhattan Borough President Gail Brewer, Councilmember Inez Dickens, NYS Chief Diversity Officer Mecca Santana, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James, New York State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Assemblyman Walter Mosley, and Hazel Dukes.

About One Hundred Black Men of New York

One Hundred Black Men, Inc. of New York was founded in 1963 when a group of successful African American men came together to pool their resources to positively impact the Black community. One Hundred Black Men, Inc.’s service projects focus on mentoring, education, health and wellness, and economic empowerment. The organization has a long and successful history of working with its corporate and community partners to make significant differences in the lives of the communities it serves. A celebrated example is the establishment of The Eagle Academy for Young Men in the Bronx, with a focus on academic excellence, leadership and character development. Eagle Academies have since opened in Brooklyn, Queens, Newark, NJ, and Harlem.

For more information, call 212-777-7070 or visit www.ohbm.org.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dance Theatre of Harlem Hosts 2015 Vision Gala

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Arthur Mitchell Vision Award Honoree Jessye Norman with Dance Theatre of Harlem School students

Black tie event raised $500,000 for scholarships, arts education and community programming

NEW YORK, NY – Dance Theatre of Harlem’s most prominent fundraising event of the year honored three individuals for their commitment to the arts, and featured performances by the Dance Theatre of Harlem Company and students from the Dance Theatre of Harlem School. Held on February 24th at Cipriani 42nd Street, the Vision Gala benefited the Next Generation Fund, which provides scholarships and financial assistance to the Dance Theatre of Harlem School and the Community Engagement Fund, supporting arts education and community programs.

The gala honored Grammy-Award winning opera singer Jessye Norman with the Arthur Mitchell Vision Award; Theodore Bartwink (post-humously) and the Harkness Center for Dance with the Carl & Lily Pforzheimer Family Foundation Medal; and Virtuoso Award Honorees Mario Baeza and Under Armour, Inc.

The evening began with a reception, followed by dinner with a menu of lobster salad, filet mignon and an assortment of desserts, including lemon meringue with strawberries and chocolate souffle with raspberries and cream. The event concluded with dancing at the post-gala party.

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Dance Theatre of Harlem Board Chair Michael Armstrong; Leanne Fremar,
Head of the Women's Division at Under Armour, Inc., which received the Virtuoso Award;
ESPN's Hannah Storm; and Board Vice Chair Leslie Wims Morris

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Dance Theatre of Harlem Company dancers with Virtuoso Honoree Mario Baeza

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Valentino Carlotti, Senior Partner at Goldman, Sachs & Co.; Sherry Bronfman;
Dance Theatre of Harlem Artistic Director Virginia Johnson and Company dancer Francis Lawrence;
Gloria Steinem; and Jessye Norman

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Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, Jessye Norman and Guest

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Dance Theatre of Harlem School students

Visit the website for more information on the 2015 New York season, April 8-11: www.dancetheatreofharlem.org.

Photo credit: Joseph Rodman

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Apollo Theater Holds Fifth Annual Dining with the Divas Luncheon

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Yvonne McNair, Aisha McShaw, Michelle Gadsden-Williams, Jeanine Liburd and
Harriette Cole attend Apollo Theater’s 2015 Dining with the Divas Luncheon

Fundraiser Celebrating the Achievements of Extraordinary Women in Media, Music, Fashion and Business Raises $325,000 For Non-Profit Theater’s Artistic Education and Community Programs

Harlem, NY – On Thursday, February 12th, the world famous Apollo Theater hosted its fifth annual Dining with the Divas luncheon, a fundraiser celebrating the extraordinary accomplishments of women in the arts and in business. This year’s event raised $325,000 and will support emerging artists, education, and community programs that reach underserved children and students, and enable the Apollo to continue to serve as a town hall that both celebrates the community’s accomplishments and spotlights it challenges.

Jonelle Procope, Apollo president & CEO, kicked off the afternoon with welcome remarks and an introduction of this year’s event co-chairs, Carolyn Minick Mason, Jacqueline Nickelberry and Michelle Gadsden-Williams. The focus of this year’s Divas event was women, the arts, and activism. Debra Martin Chase, television and film producer; Lisa Quiroz, Time Warner’s Chief Diversity Officer & SVP of Corporate Responsibility and actress Tamara Tunie each gave insightful presentations about the importance of arts and activism.

Held on the Apollo’s iconic stage, where legendary Divas such as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight have enchanted audiences, Divas offers participants an opportunity to connect with some of the country’s most powerful, accomplished, and influential women. Attendees included Yolanda Ferrell-Brown, Majora Carter, Mercedes Cotchery, Lesley Goldwasser, Carla Harris, Adrienne Johnson, Star Jones, Erika Liles, Crystal McCrary, Geraldine Moriba, Brooke Neidich, Dr. Holly Phillips, Karen Phillips, Deborah Roberts, Jennifer Scully-Lerner, Bevy Smith, Susan Taylor, and Josie Thomas.

“For many reasons, Dining with the Divas is one of my favorite events of the season. This is a moment for the Apollo to spotlight women impacting the world through their work,” said Jonelle Procope, President & CEO, Apollo Theater. “This year, the Apollo’s programming will bring many extraordinary women to the Theater in a variety of arts forms, which is very exciting and today we kicked off a year of celebrating women.”

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Bevy Smith, Caralene Robinson, Wendy Washington and Renee Billy

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Dr. Amelia Ogunlesi, Pamela Newkirk, Tracey Kemble, Debra Martin Chase, Joan
Morgan and Carol Sutton Lewis

The Apollo also announced during the event the official launch of the Apollo Women’s Committee, a new initiative that will engage a dynamic and diverse group of women year-round with activities that address issues which affect women and children and educate members on Apollo artistic and community programs. The Committee is entirely volunteer driven and each year the membership will choose the Apollo program(s) to invest in. More information about the Women’s Committee will be available at a later date.

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Stacy McCann, Michelle Green, Lori Fouche, Laura San Miguel and
Carolyn Minick Mason 

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Brooke Garber Neidich, Daniella Vitale and Monique Péan

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Sponsors for Divas include Barneys New York, Citi, Credit Suisse, Hearst Corporation, Prudential and Morgan Stanley. Visit the Apollo Theater website at www.apollotheater.org.

Press release/Photo credit: Nicholas Hunt, PatrickMcMullan