Friday, December 19, 2014

Charmaine Chapman Society: Black Donors Raise Over 2 Million in St. Louis

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Charmaine Chapman Society 2014 co-chairs Reuben and D'Anne Shelton (left)
with guests at the 20th anniversary gala in September 2014.

ST. LOUIS, MO – The Charmaine Chapman Society of the United Way of Greater St. Louis is comprised of African-American donors who pledge an annual gift of $1,000 or more, benefiting local charities. The Society celebrated its 20th anniversary on September 13, 2014 with a gala for over 600 people that featured a black tie reception, dinner and entertainment by Grammy-award winning artist Howard Hewett. On December 9, the Society celebrated another achievement – hitting their 2014 fundraising goal of 2.25 million.

Among the donors who contributed to the Society’s annual campaign are David and Thelma Steward, who pledged 1 million to the United Way, becoming the first African-American philanthropists in St. Louis to do so. Johnny Furr Jr., former co-chair of the Charmaine Chapman Society stated that the United Way has been actively involved in meeting the needs of families and individuals in Ferguson and neighboring communities in coordination with a variety of agencies: “In the wake of recent events in our community, we have been asking what we can do to make a difference, particularly with our young people.” Read more at the St. Louis American.

Photo credit: Cedric Scott Photography

Friday, December 12, 2014

Philanthropists Mark and Brenda Moore Dedicate New Hospital Tower

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Deborah Addo, CEO of Inova Mount Vernon Hospital with Mark and Brenda Moore as the new
Mark and Brenda Moore Patient Tower sign is lit for the first time.

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Inova Mount Vernon Hospital officially dedicated the new Mark and Brenda Moore Patient Tower building at a special ceremony on December 9th. Hospital leaders joined with major donors and more than 125 dignitaries and VIPs representing community, business, political and Inova Health leadership from across the region to celebrate the culmination of more than four years’ work and planning.

The Mark and Brenda Moore Patient Tower features new all-private patient rooms, greatly expanded facilities for the Inova Joint Replacement Center and Inova Rehabilitation Center, a dedicated new gymnasium, and new cognitive suites and other state-of-the-art patient care areas.

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Deborah Addo, Inova Mount Vernon Hospital Chief Executive Officer, remarked that this aesthetically pleasing, world-class facility will enhance privacy and promote a healing environment for patients. “Already,” Addo said, “patients have remarked about the strong sense of healing it brings. Every detail in the tower has been designed with the patient in mind. The Mark and Brenda Moore Patient Tower combines the best in medical technology and patient safety with many thoughtful aesthetic touches. It’s a great example of what we mean at Inova Mount Vernon when we say ‘we put the patient first.’ For physicians and staff members, the tower has already led to an increased sense of pride in our facility and healing mission.”

In his remarks, lead donor Mark Moore added that “we dedicate this new facility in honor of the physicians, nurses and staff of Inova Mount Vernon Hospital and to all future patients who will benefit from the wonderful care rendered here.”

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In addition to supporting healthcare, Mark and Brenda Moore are founding donors of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. As Milestone Donors, the couple pledged a minimum of $1 million dollars prior to the museum’s opening in 2016.

Source and photos: Inova

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Insider: Andrea Hoffman – A Connector in Business, Technology and Philanthropy

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Andrea Hoffman (2nd from left), founder of Diversity Affluence with Mitch Kapor, Freada Kapor Klein and Van Jones
Our latest Insider helps luxury brands, corporate CEOs, entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations connect with African-American and multicultural affluent consumers, influencers and innovators for meaningful opportunities in business, technology, and philanthropy. Andrea Hoffman is the founder of Diversity Affluence, a full service business advisory firm founded in 2006 that creates engagement strategies to reach the diverse elite. She was inspired to create Diversity Affluence stemming back from 2000, after working for AllianceBernstein and luxury brand clients at a time when their companies were shifting toward a younger and more diverse audience. After conducting a marketing and business development audit for a company using her proprietary process, Andrea found that the only way the brand was going to achieve their goals was to engage affluent multicultural consumers – a group she has termed the “Royaltons.”

Clients such as Credit Suisse, Carnegie Hall, General Motors, Platform, Jaguar, Herm├Ęs, Time Life, Draftfcb, Baume & Mercier, #YesWeCode, JPMorgan Chase and others have called upon Andrea to work her magic for them and as a result, she has carved out a unique niche as an advisor who is able to provide assessment, strategy and execution because of what, and who, she knows.

Many people are familiar with Andrea as the co-author of Black is the New Green: Marketing to Affluent African Americans (Palgrave Macmillan), or her convenings such as the annual Diversity Affluence Brunch in the Hamptons and her invite only social impact dinner program, The Secret Supper Club, but she is most regarded for her innovative strategies and advising on business model re-invention that help brands and businesses reach untapped markets and business opportunities aimed at this highly sought after, but hard to reach group.

“Andrea has the ability to convene thought leaders around essential issues and get them to put intentions and actions into motion” says Robert F. Smith, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. Read on to learn more about the work of Diversity Affluence:

Why is your work important?

First, the “Royaltons” continues to grow in size, economic and social clout. Secondly, organizations today are looking for growth, innovation and diversification. As a solutionist, my job is to design business to business and business to consumer strategies and tweak existing or create new business models that improve outcomes. I help my clients tap into untapped intellectual and social capital in their own backyard. In addition, we create connections across our curated network. All of which helps to catalyze business growth and brand differentiation. That’s important because everyone wins. Our database includes over 1000 accomplished innovators and influencers available for business collaboration, mergers and acquisitions, technology related corporate board seats and more. We demystify for our clients who they are, how and where to authentically engage them. It’s a way to leapfrog over the competition.

It has been four years since the release of your book, “Black Is the New Green: Marketing to Affluent African Americans.” What has been the response?

The book still sells and people continue to spread the word. I was in Atlanta recently when a saleswoman recognized me and stopped to thank me for writing the book. The same thing happened this year at a Jazz at Lincoln Center fundraiser, an AdWeek event and even at a NJ toll booth. I also met author Laurence Otis Graham recently. He expressed being a fan of my book too. It was humbling. The Kindle version has made sharing this body of work easier as well. Len (the book’s co-author) and I plan to update the book with new case studies soon.

Please share more about your current and future projects.

I’m excited about our Digital Directors initiative, which creates corporate board seats for diverse candidates who have innovation, digital and technology expertise. Our database of these candidates is impressively large. I’m excited about our Culture Shift Innovation Labs where we implement cross functional teams of diverse and accomplished experts to help organizations enhance innovation. I’m excited about our work with highly regarded executives and societal impact leaders from Nigeria who we help engage with U.S. corporations and vice versa. Most importantly, I’m excited to be expanding the business to San Francisco and Silicon Valley. That work began 18 months ago.

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Goldman Sachs executive Valentino Carlotti, Hoffman,
and Robert F. Smith of Vista Equity Partners

Anything else you'd like to share?

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge those who helped my business launch, sustain and grow. One person is my original investor, Ivan Burwell. When I pitched Ivan the idea of Diversity Affluence in late 2005, he immediately got it. The other person is Reggie Van Lee. His consistent guidance has enabled my firm to sustain itself for the last eight years. And of course my stellar advisory board members including Denmark West, Chloe Drew, Candice Cook Esq., John Dokes and about 10 others who help my firm remain relevant and an enabler of success.

Visit the website at

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

10 Ways to Support Black Communities on #GivingTuesday

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Today marks the third annual observance of Giving Tuesday, a day held after Black Friday and Cyber Monday that celebrates generosity and aims to inspire philanthropic giving. Launched in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, the global movement is one of the largest initiatives dedicated to giving back. If you’re seeking ways to give back to the Black community this Giving Tuesday, below are 10 ideas to get you started:

  • Make a donation to a nonprofit organization that serves the African American community. For suggestions, contact your local community foundation to learn of organizations doing great work. You can also make a gift to a community foundation’s African American fund such as The African American Legacy Fund at Chicago Community Trust.
  • Join a giving circle. A giving circle is a group of individuals that pool their monies, time and talent to causes they care about, and then decide together where to give them away – like The Black Benefactors in Washington, DC, Denver African American Philanthropists (DAAP) in Denver, CO and Circle of Joy in Atlanta, GA. Studies have shown that giving circles are more likely to support small, grassroots organizations that are often under the radar of larger funders. For more information on giving circles in communities of color, visit Community Investment Network.
  • Calling all HBCU graduates! Today is a great day to give back to your alma mater. Start with a donation in the amount of your graduation year (example: $20.14).
  • Give to support organizing or an advocacy campaign. Organizing builds power and resources in Black communities, and advocacy drives the important policy changes needed to achieve lasting impact on many issues.
  • Host local civic engagement forums e.g., panel discussions, community conversations, etc. around topics/issues of local interest.
  • Donate your time and talent by serving on the Board of a Black-led nonprofit.
  • Mark your calendar to help us observe Black Philanthropy Month in August 2015. Your support and sponsorships are greatly needed!

    Happy Giving Tuesday!

    Monday, November 24, 2014

    Fathers Incorporated Celebrates 10 Years of Responsible Fatherhood and Mentoring

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    Fathers Incorporated Executive Director Kenneth Braswell with honorees Cbabi Bayco, 365 Days with Dad;
    Carolyn Sklar, Edelman Senior Vice President for Dove Men+Care;
    Asia D. Smith; Purple R.E.I.G.N. and Phillip Jackson; Black Star Project

    New York, NY – On Tuesday, November 18th at the Alhambra Ballroom in Harlem, New York, hundreds of the most committed and influential agents of change across the country came together to join Fathers Incorporated in celebrating a decade of working to build better fathers by strengthening communities and family infrastructure. Fathers Incorporated Executive Director Mr. Kenneth Braswell, served as the Master of Ceremonies with Mistress of Ceremonies Terrie Williams, author of Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting, for the evening’s festivities.

    Fathers Incorporated (FI) is a non-profit organization that serves as a leader in the promotion of responsible fatherhood and mentoring. Through the perseverance and tireless efforts of Braswell, who is also Director of the federally funded National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse, FI uses innovative social marketing and multi-media platforms, develops research-based products for the field, engages in intensive outreach, and connects key stakeholders – all serving to combat father absence in society and helping to support fathers in their role as parents.

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    Braswell and Judge Greg Mathis

    The Honorable Judge Greg Mathis delivered a rousing keynote address to the sold out crowd that was received with a standing ovation. He began by acknowledging, “Braswell has committed his life to the most challenging issues of our time.” During his talk, he pulled no punches, tackling issues such as the state of Black families today, the need for fathers to be actively involved in the lives of their children, the individual and systemic barriers Black men face in achieving success, the ways in which public education and the criminal justice system are failing boys and men of color, and the need for more honest, constructive conversations about race.

    The Gala closed by honoring the following organizational partners working to make a difference in the lives of fathers and families: Tracy Martin, founder, Trayvon Martin Foundation and father of Trayvon Martin; Asia D. Smith, founder, Purple R.E.I.G.N. and domestic violence survivor; Phillip Jackson, founder and executive director, Black Star Project; Cbabi Bayoc, artist; and Dove Men+Care for celebrating and honoring fathers, coaches and male mentors.

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    To learn more about Fathers Incorporated, please visit

    Photo credit: Arlene Brathwaite

    Dreaming Out Loud to Host "When Dreams Emerge: Building an Equitable Food System"

    WASHINGTON, DC – Dreaming Out Loud, Inc., a nonprofit whose mission is to inspire and build a more ethical society through human development, community engagement and social enterprise, will host its third annual “When Dreams Emerge” fundraiser on Wednesday, December 3rd from 6-9pm at Pepco Edison Place Gallery in DC. The event’s theme is Building an Equitable Food System, highlighting the organization’s work to build an inclusive food system where everyone has access and opportunity.

    Earlier this year BlackGivesBack profiled Dreaming Out Loud’s founder, Christopher Bradshaw, who honors his family legacy through urban farming.

    The guest honoree for the evening is Andy Shallal, artist, activist, and founder of Busboys and Poets, who will speak on the changing landscape and impact of a sustainable, equitable food system. From fair labor standards, to responsible sourcing, and providing an inspiring space for ideas, he has made an indelible impression on DC and the regional food system. Guests will enjoy live music and entertainment, great food from DC Central Kitchen’s Fresh Start Catering and raffle prizes.

    Founded in 2008, the organization was created in response to the educational and economic disparities in under-served urban communities. In 2014, Dreaming Out Loud has reached more than 10,000 people through Aya Community Markets, a network of farmers markets and mobile farm-stands that the organization founded and manages. The markets serve as a platform for improving community health and furthering community economic development while strengthening the regional food system.

    The organization’s successes in 2014 also includes hosting eight youth from the DC Summer Youth Employment Program at their urban farm space, and advocacy for and implementation of the Produce Plus Program, a District government nutrition incentive program for low-income residents. Dreaming Out Loud’s approach to social innovation has been recognized through its selection as a finalist for Ashoka Changemakers’ Nutrients for All competition and numerous community awards.

    RSVP for “When Dreams Emerge” today at

    Friday, November 21, 2014

    Kenya T. Boswell Named President of BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania

    PITTSBURGH, PA – Kenya T. Boswell, charitable giving manager at BNY Mellon, has been named President of the BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania, effective January 1. Boswell will succeed James P. McDonald, who previously announced plans to retire at year-end.

    “Kenya has successfully advanced workforce development programs in partnership with local non-profit organizations and has led a series of funding initiatives to help veterans, young people aging out of foster care, families in economic distress and many others in need,” said Jeep Bryant, BNY Mellon’s global head of Marketing and Corporate Affairs. “This appointment is well-deserved recognition of Kenya's contributions to the growth of the Foundation and her role in deepening its community impact across the Pittsburgh region.”

    Prior to joining BNY Mellon in February 2008, Kenya worked in Duquesne Light’s Corporate Communications and Community Affairs department, where her responsibilities included managing the company’s signature Partners in Education program, developing innovative signature initiatives, such as the Power of Warmth, and identifying opportunities for executive volunteerism.

    Kenya is an Advisory Committee Member for Carnegie Mellon University’s Program for Research & Outreach on Gender Equity in Society (PROGRESS), a Community Advisory Board Member for WQED Multimedia, a Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board Youth Policy Council Member and a member of the University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics Workforce Development Committee. Kenya was recognized by Pittsburgh Magazine as one of Pittsburgh's 40 under 40 leaders in 2008, by the New Pittsburgh Courier as one of their 2011 Fab 40 honorees and was most recently named a 2014 Black Achiever in Industry by the Harlem YMCA for her professional accomplishments, community involvement and commitment to diversity.

    Kenya is also a founding member of the Pittsburgh based Sankofa Fund of Southwest PA, a giving circle comprised of African American philanthropists who join together to strategically invest their time, talent and resources towards the issues and organizations in their community.

    Kenya received a B.S. from the University of Pittsburgh, a M.S. in Management from Robert Morris University and recently completed Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz Negotiation Academy for Women.

    The Foundation recently launched a $1 million Social Innovation Challenge in partnership with The Forbes Funds that will enable nonprofits in southwestern Pennsylvania to solve critical social challenges and crowdsource technical solutions. Each year, BNY Mellon invests more than $7 million in the Pittsburgh region through a combination of grants and charitable sponsorships.

    Press release