Thursday, April 30, 2009

The African American Experience Fund Hosts 5th Annual Gala

The National Park Foundation’s African American Experience Fund (AAEF) held its 5th annual gala on April 15, 2009 at the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center in New York. The event celebrated the late Dr. John Hope Franklin and the legacy of African Americans in the National Parks.

More information about the event edited from BlackTieMagazine: The National Park Foundation’s African American Experience Fund honored the life and legacy of historian, author, professor and environmentalist Dr. John Hope Franklin at its fifth annual fundraising gala, titled "Celebrating a Tradition of Excellence." Award winning journalist Gwen Ifill served as Mistress of Ceremonies, and acclaimed documentarian Ken Burns, director of the upcoming film National Parks: America's Best Idea -- made possible with support from the National Park Foundation -- delivered a special tribute to Dr. Franklin. The gala commemorated the critical role of African-Americans in the rich heritage of the National Parks in America.

The African American Experience Fund dedicated the evening to honor the significance of Dr. Franklin’s legacy. A graduate of Fisk University, Dr. Franklin received both his M.A and Ph.D. degrees in history from Harvard University. His illustrious 60 year teaching career that began at Fisk University took him to prestigious institutions such as Howard University; and Brooklyn College; where he was the first person of color to chair a major department; and the University of Chicago and Duke University, where he was the James B. Duke Professor of History Emeritus.

More than 250 philanthropic, corporate and individual supporters of AAEF attended, including President Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett and former NY mayor David Dinkins (in photo). Guests enjoyed cocktails, dinner and entertainment at the cherished New York venue. Proceeds from the event will support youth education programs at national parks and historic sites that preserve and celebrate African-American history and culture.

For more information on the African American Experience Fund, visit HERE.

Photo: Barry Mason/BlackTieMagazine

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Artist Chrisette Michele Headlines Grammy Career Day Panel at Detroit School of Arts

FORD SPONSORS GRAMMY CAREER DAY AT DETROIT SCHOOL OF ARTS with special guest Grammy award winning artist Chrisette Michele

GRAMMY-winning artist Chrisette Michele, along with top music industry professionals, entertainment lawyer and music business entrepreneur Howard Hertz, and Detroit-based concert promoter Drake Phifer, discussed the realities of the music business and careers in music with Detroit area high school music students at GRAMMY Career Day, an initiative of the GRAMMY in the Schools® program. The event, held on April 23, 2009, was presented by the Gibson Foundation with generous support provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund.

In the photo above is artist Chrisette Michele (center) holding the prestigious Enterprise Award, flanked by two Detroit School of Arts students. Back row L to R: David Sears, The Grammy Foundation and Pamela Alexander, Ford Motor Company Fund.

GRAMMY Career Day conducts a variety of panels and workshops focusing on various fields in the music industry. The GRAMMY® SIGNATURE SCHOOLS program recognizes and awards public high school music programs in several areas: financial need, program excellence and specific music disciplines. Detroit School of Arts was selected as a GRAMMY Signature School, receiving an Enterprise Award and a $5000 monetary grant to benefit their music program.

Photos: Monica Morgan Photography, Wireimage
Source: ESP Public Relations

In related news, Chrisette Michele will be performing at the Darrell Griffith Foundation All Star Celebrity Derby event, Saturday, May 2, 2009, at the Cascade Ballroom of the Kentucky International Convention Center (211 Fourth St.) in downtown Louisville. The event will be held from 11:30 p.m. - 4:30 a.m.

Tickets may be purchased for $65 at all area CVS Pharmacies and FYE Music in Mall St. Matthews and Better Days West in the Lyles Mall.

For additional information, call the All Star Celebrity Derby Affair information line at (502) 387-8567.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

National Alliance of Black School Educators Honors Northrop Grumman with Corporate Supreme Excellence Award

LOS ANGELES, April 28, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) received the 2009 National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) Corporate Supreme Excellence Award for its philanthropic contributions to public education. The award, presented in Washington, D.C., is given annually to a company that has made indelible contributions to public education over a sustained period of time.

In the photo above is Dr. Deborah Hunter-Harvill, NASBE president, Sandra Evers-Manly, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, Northrop Grumman, and Mr. Quentin R. Lawson, Executive Director, NASBE.

Northrop Grumman focuses on promoting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to address the declining student interest in pursuing engineering and other technical careers. The company has partnered nationwide with organizations that provide unique, diverse and sustainable STEM programming to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and technicians.

"I am honored to accept this award on the company's behalf," said Sandra Evers-Manly, vice president of Corporate Responsibility for Northrop Grumman. "We hope that Northrop Grumman's efforts will build awareness of this national issue, and promote science, technology, engineering and math initiatives to help inspire our next generation."

Sandra Evers-Manly accepts award on behalf of Northrop Grumman from Dr. Carrol A. Thomas, NASBE president-elect

The company's Defining the Future program -- an integrated community outreach initiative -- seeks to address the declining number of engineering and technical/vocational students in the United States by inspiring the next generation of Americans to study math and science. The multifaceted program is being implemented nationally but focused locally, and puts a particular emphasis on women and people of color-demographics that remain underrepresented in most science, technology, engineering and math disciplines.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

Source and photos: Northrop Grumman Corp.

Ernie Barnes: 1938-2009


Artist, football player Ernie Barnes, 70, dies

A Bronco in 1960s, he was known for ‘Sugar Shack’ painting featured on ‘Good Times’

Renowned artist Ernie Barnes, a former pro football player who switched to painting full time after his sports career ended, has died, according to published reports quoting his longtime personal assistant.

Barnes played for the Denver Broncos in 1964 and 1965, earning $13,500 as a starting guard. Ever since he was boy in Durham, N.C., he was interested in drawing and he was an art major at North Carolina Central.

Read previous post here and view a retrospective of his work at Kanye West's blog here.

Kerry Rhodes, Amobi Okoye & Friends presents 2nd Annual Kentucky Derby Youth Football Camp and Celebrity Basketball Game

Snippets via press release: NFLers Kerry Rhodes of the NY Jets and Amobi Okoye of the Houston Texans revisit another year of great events in support of children in Louisville, KY, home of the prestigious Kentucky Derby for their 2nd Annual Kentucky Derby Youth Football Camp and Celebrity Basketball Game.

Kerry and Amobi, both University of Louisville alum, felt there was a need to give back through their foundations to the youth of Louisville. Joining them this year include Darrelle Revis (NY Jets), Jerricho Cotchery (NY Jets) and Antoine Harris (ATL Falcons), also a University of Louisville alum, who will participate in the football camp and provide the children with an environment of icons.

Kerry and Amobi's mission for the annual football camp is to empower and provide the opportunity to learn sportsmanship, teamwork, the basics of the game, and to give young men optimism on their education and skills. The camp will be conducted by the renowned Byron Williams (NFL Retiree), founder of BW Sports, LLC.

Following the football camp, the Celebrity Basketball Game will be held where versatile athletes will demonstrate their skills on the court alongside other professional athletes, and notables in entertainment with a host of some of the hottest actors and music industry artists.

WHEN: Friday, May 1, 2009, 9:00am, Youth Football Camp/4:00pm Celebrity Basketball Game

WHERE: Louisville, KY, University of Louisville Trager Center Indoor Facility (Youth Football Camp) and Univ. of Louisville Cardinal Arena (Celebrity Basketball Game)

To register for the KY Derby Youth Football Camp and for ticket locations/purchase for the KY Derby Celebrity Basketball Game, visit

The KERRY RHODES Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 2006 by NFL New York Jets star Kerry Rhodes. The charity's mission is twofold. The organization uses its resources to support the maintenance of high school facilities throughout the country while also assisting young men and women birthed from these institutions to further themselves educationally by providing them with scholarships that serves to reaffirm the bold steps taken by those who dare to dream.


The Amobi Okoye Foundation provides hope to kids and communities through a series of programs and services designed to mentor youth and young adults; mitigate childhood obesity and build stronger communities around the globe. The Foundation's global effort, "C.A.T.E" (Changing Africa Through Education) provides education scholarships, funds the building of clean water wells, and supports healthcare initiatives in developing parts of Nigeria.

Source: IdealPR

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Insider: Akira Barclay

For this installment of ‘The Insider,’ a series highlighting the movers and shakers in philanthropy and the non profit world, meet Akira Barclay! Akira is a philanthropic services professional with 10+ years experience. She is an expert in fundraising, development and strategic planning for small organizations, cause-marketing, corporate partnerships, and grantsmanship. Akira is also a trusted advisor to emerging philanthropists in the corporate, real estate, sports and entertainment industries.

Read on to learn more about Akira, how she got started in philanthropy, and her advice on how non profit organizations can obtain corporate support!

Hometown: Southampton, NY and raised in Virginia. Currently based in New York City

Education & Training: Bachelor of Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU); studied nonprofit management in VCU’s Especially for Nonprofit Organizations Certificate Program and at New York University’s George H. Heyman, Jr. Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising.

Member, Greater New York Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)

JPMorgan Chase Fellow in the Mentoring Supervisor Certificate Program, created and administered by the Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC Center for Training and Professional Development and the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service

Current Positions: Director of Development at Love Heals, the Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS Education, the leading provider of HIV/AIDS education in New York City Public Schools.

Provides executive direction for Black Girls Rock!

Previous Positions: Director of Development, Everybody Wins! Metro Boston; Director of Development, The Catalog for Giving of New York City

How did you get your start in philanthropy?

I’ve worked in the nonprofit sector my entire career, starting out in Social Work. My experience as a direct practice social worker is what led me to philanthropy. For two years I worked with youth in the Washington, DC area while I pursued an MSW part-time. Frustrated by my organization’s lack of resources, I found myself digging into my own shallow pockets to finance my work. Later, I learned that my entire program was funded by a single grant.

While venting to a classmate about my program’s precarious financial position, she said something that I will never forget. Very casually she remarked “you’re a great writer, you should consider grantwriting. In this town, if you’re successful at that, you can write your own ticket.”

I thought about what she said and looked into it.

Unexpectedly, my eyes were opened to the amazing world of fundraising and development where grantsmanship was just the tip of the iceberg. I began voraciously reading anything I could get my hands on about philanthropy – a habit that I have to admit persists to this day.

I withdrew from my MSW program, and enrolled in a new nonprofit management certificate program at Virginia Commonwealth University. Those continuing education courses provided the bridge to my new career as a fundraiser.

After applying for entry level development positions around the country, I landed my first fundraising job in New York as Development Associate for a $9 million capital campaign.

In your role working with the organization Black Girls Rock!, you were successfully able to secure corporate sponsorships for the Black Girls Rock awards. How did you accomplish this and what advice do you have for non profits seeking corporate partnership and support?

The Black Girls Rock! Awards is an amazing event benefiting a great cause. By leveraging some of my existing relationships, working to create sponsorship benefits that were attractive to corporate brands and being willing to customize those various benefits to best serve the needs of the potential sponsor, I was able to gain corporate support. I also put a lot of effort into fulfillment and making sure my sponsors felt like they were getting their money’s worth.

My advice to nonprofits seeking corporate support would be to first realistically evaluate what the organization has to offer. Nonprofits are more likely to find success by paying adequate attention to the motivations and objectives of the corporations they want to partner with, rather than focusing solely on what they want out of a partnership. Once you’ve figured out your organization’s assets, be creative, be flexible and pursue a partnership with a corporation whose goals are aligned with your mission.

Susan Taylor of the National Cares Mentoring Movement, with DJ Beverly Bond at the 3rd annual Black Girls Rock! Awards, November 2, 2008 in NYC.
As a skilled Philanthropic Services Provider at TheFOUNDATION, you use an approach dubbed “fresh philanthropy.” What does this term encompass?

Fresh Philanthropy is a term I use to describe my approach to charitable engagement. In my work, I place great emphasis on cultural competence and innovation but always while looking at traditional industry best practices.

What advice do you have for those interested in philanthropy as a career?

An exciting movement for the professionalization of the industry of fundraising is underway. I would encourage anyone interested in a career in philanthropy to take advantage of the many professional graduate concentrations, certificate programs and trainings that are now available. Also, explore the variety that a career in philanthropy can offer. A good way to do this is by volunteering or doing an internship with a nonprofit organization.

You can also gain valuable experience in grantseeking, prospect research, special events and direct mail, all skills that will undoubtedly help you get your foot in the door for your first job in philanthropy. For those who are interested in becoming grantmakers and working at a foundation, an advanced degree in the grantmaking focus area is commonly required.

Any projects or events you'd like to share?


Love Heals is holding its 10th Annual Love Heals at Luna Farm event on Saturday, June 20th in the Hamptons. HIV/AIDS education and prevention is such an important issue for the Black community, and all proceeds from this event benefit Love Heals’ tireless efforts to empower young people in the fight against HIV. For more information about how you can support Love Heals at Luna Farm, visit HERE.

Also, Black Girls Rock! is in the process of expanding its popular mentoring programs to serve more of the New York City metropolitan area's young girls in need. The organization is currently recruiting corporate partners to supply both funding and volunteers to support this effort.

Akira loves meeting new people who are interested and work in philanthropy! Feel free to contact her at
‘The Insider’ is a series highlighting the movers and shakers in philanthropy and the non profit world. Are you an Insider? Do you know an Insider? Email me at blackgivesback [at]
{Thanks Akira}

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Upcoming Event: The Alcolu Extravaganza

Many of you have probably never heard of Alcolu, a rural community in South Carolina. Its population is less than 3,000, and the city has very little commerce, consisting of some homes, a church, the Peace of Paradise Cafe (with awesome barbecue), and the Have Faith Community Development Corporation, a non profit 501(c)3 charitable organization.

I received an email from an Alcolu resident, to share about an upcoming fundraising event. The residents of this small town are desperately trying to raise funds to support the organization’s programs for youth after school, homeless disabled veterans, foster children, and their senior citizen population. Another program provided is called Soulfood Jazz, that was formed to place instruments instead of weapons in a child’s hands. This year they had the privilege of being part of the entertainment at the Lincoln 2.0 Inaugural Ball held at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Honor of President Barack Obama. More about the event:

The Alcolu Extravaganza
“Where it’s ALL Happening!!”
Friday, May 22, 2009 - Sunday, May 24, 2009
Alcolu, South Carolina
Jazz concert, Parade, Fashion show/Gospel Fest & More

For more information and a complete schedule, contact Bishop Dwayne Johnson at 803-473-5573. You can also visit the website at

Operation Purple Summer Camp for Military Children

From my inbox: Operation Purple Summer Camp is a free, nationwide summer camp program for military children of all backgrounds who have one or both parents deployed. Operation Purple is the only camp program in existence that brings together kids from all military branches and provides them with tools to deal with the stress resulting from a parent’s military deployment.

Registration for the National Military Family Association’s Operation Purple Summer Camp program has been extended for the 2009 season. (The extended deadline to register is this week!) Visit website here for locations and more information.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

R&B Star Chilli to Host Event Honoring African American Women for Mother's Day **UPDATED w/Pics

Activities Include Donation to Women’s Organizations and Spa Event with Chilli from TLC
Via BLACK PR WIRE, ATLANTA, April 22, 2009 – Dasani is bringing feel-good refreshment to African American women through a Mother’s Day program that celebrates good work in the community and refreshes women with style and beauty experiences. Chilli from the Grammy award-winning R&B group TLC is spokesperson for the campaign.

On April 24, Dasani will be giving hundreds of women complementary spa services at the fabulous Townhouse Spa in New York City. Hosted by Chilli, the Dasani “Ultimate Style and Beauty Lounge” will offer these women the opportunity to recharge in a relaxing atmosphere designed to provide a quick escape from the daily challenges of life. To round out the spa experience, L’Oreal Paris will provide beauty makeovers and SoftSheen-Carson will provide hairstyles and trims for the women.

Dasani also will be mixing some good deeds into this uplifting day when it recognizes Girls Inc. and Dress for Success for their support of women through a variety of positive, image-building programs. Debra L. Lee, chairman and CEO of BET Holdings, Inc., and Bethann Hardison, a legend in the fashion industry and founder of Black Girls Coalition, also will be honored for their work in fostering programs for young women.

“This Mother’s Day program reminds women that the simple moments are often the most refreshing and offers them the rewards and much-needed attention they deserve, said Yolanda White, assistant vice president, African American Marketing, Coca-Cola North America. “With a great tasting water like Dasani, women can maintain their active lifestyles while also balancing their rigorous schedules.”

The program continues the dialogue with spokesperson Chilli delivering a message of health and hydration through print, radio, and in-store advertising, and inviting moms to visit for a chance to win a VIP spa experience with the star.

The new website also features the latest fashion trends for spring from Chilli, including the coolest accessories, hot new make-up, hair trends, hair care tips and coupons for products. “This exciting program brings to life the refreshing benefits of drinking Dasani with style and vitality. This is yet another of the many initiatives on tap for 2009 that will connect consumers to our brands through real, relevant experiences,” said White.

****While we're on the subject of beauty and giving, Karyn at The Fabulous Giver blog has been selected by Johnson & Johnson to host a body care cause party in Chicago. The nationwide initiative, which launched in NY with R&B singer Ashanti, is using beauty bloggers to celebrate girlfriends and make a difference. Read more here.


Photos from the event:

Bethann Hardison, Rozonda 'Chilli' Thomas and Debra L. Lee visit the Dasani ultimate style and beauty lounge at Townhouse Spa on April 24, 2009 in New York City.

Marcia Brumit Kropf, Debra L. Lee, Dr. Michelle Callahan, Rozonda 'Chilli' Thomas, Yolanda White, Coca Cola of North America, and Joi Gordon of Dress for Success.

Photos: Wireimage

Ad Council Launches New Campaign To Raise Lupus Awareness

The Ad Council has launched a lupus awareness campaign on March 31, with the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) serving as the Founding Partner. An estimated 1.5 million people have lupus -- the same number of people could fill 30 baseball stadiums. Ninety percent of people living with lupus are women, and lupus disproportionately affects women of color.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect various parts of the body, including the skin, joints, heart, lungs, blood, kidneys and brain.

Mercedes Yvette, national LFA spokesperson and runner-up on the 2004 cycle of America’s Next Top Model, was in Washington, D.C. for the launch of the campaign. Yvette, who was diagnosed with the disease, wrote about her experience in a blog entry here and shared, "I am honored to be a part of this effort to help raise awareness of a disease that has long been overshadowed and overlooked."

Visit the Ad Council campaign here to learn more.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

FAMU Students Win 2009 Ford HBCU Business Classic Competition

Spotted via FAMU website: Florida A&M University (FAMU) students Emerson Naylor (in photo above on right), School of Business and Industry (SBI), and Evan Anderson (on left), FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, won the 2009 Ford HBCU Business Classic Competition. As the grand prize winner, the student team won $35,000 in personal scholarships and $15,000 for FAMU.

“This is truly a great win given that Dr. Colin Benjamin, the team’s advisor, passed in January and was not with them at the case competition,” said Shawnta Friday-Stroud, interim dean of FAMU’s SBI. “This win is a testament to the character, determination, and academic preparation of FAMU students.”

This is FAMU’s second time winning the business classic competition.

An independent panel of judges, made up of influential entrepreneurs from the African-American business community picked the winners at the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) National Conference in Atlanta. The judges for the competition included George Fraser, chairman and CEO of FraserNet/author; Boris Kodjoe, actor/entrepreneur; Pat Lottier, CEO of Atlanta Tribune; Will Packer, Chairman and CEO of Rainforest Films/producer; and Randal Pinkett, Ph.D., chairman and CEO of BCT Partners/author. The event was hosted by Kevin Frazier, TV anchor and entertainment correspondent.

Author/CEO Dr Randal Pinkett, CEO/Film Producer Will Packer, Pat Lottier, author George Fraser and actor Boris Kodjoe attend the Ford Motor Company 2009 HBCU Business Classic Finals at Clark Atlanta University on April 17, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ford Motor Company Multicultural marketing manager Crystal Worthem and VP of Global Quality Bennie Fowler

The Ford HBCU Business Classic launched in the fall of 2004 in response to Ford’s recognition of a need in the black business community to educate and develop the next generation of entrepreneurs. The finalist competition will also premiere as a TV One special in May 2009.

Read full article here.

Photos: Robinson/Wireimage

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Photos of the Day

Actor Danny Glover speaks at the African First Ladies' Health Summit and Gala press conference, April 16 in Los Angeles. The summit will honor the philanthropic efforts of the First Ladies of Africa, April 20-21, 2009, and will focus on maternal health, as well as girls' education and HIV/AIDS related issues throughout Africa. The GEANCO Foundation, previously featured HERE, is serving as a summit sponsor.

Singer Solange Knowles speaks at The Body Shop and MTV Networks' "Say Yes, Yes, Yes" to Safe Sex event at Meet at the Apartment on April 14, 2009 in New York City.

Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, participates in Earth Day festivities on the National Mall, April 19th in Washington, D.C.

Also performing during the Earth Day festivities was Black Violin. The musical group consists of classically trained violinists Wil B (left) and Kev Marcus (right) along with DJ TK. They combine classical music with hip hop, funk and jazz to the delight of school students across the country.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (l) discusses her book "This Child Will Be Great: Memoir Of A Remarkable Life By Africa's First Woman President" with 'In the Cafe with Mocha' television show host Mocha, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on April 17, 2009 in Washington, DC. Also in attendance were Korto Momolu of Project Runway and child rights activist Kimmie Weeks.
Photos: Wireimage

Monday, April 20, 2009

Upcoming Event: GESTURES Dance Ensemble Celebrates 20 Years

Every Friday afternoon after a long week, eight young people from very disparate backgrounds meet in a dance studio in East Harlem bound together by their shared passion for dance and the knowledge that they are part of a 20 year tradition.

Twenty year old Dominican born Rosa, has always danced, but these days she can only make class and rehearsals if she’s not needed to work in the family’s print shop, torn between her love for dance and sense of familial responsibility.

Nineteen year old Prashant, originally from Guyana, has the passion and family support, but his love of dance was only ignited while in high school, considered by many as a “late start” in the competitive world of dance.

A 20-year old student of Bangledeshi background never misses a rehearsal, despite her very traditional father’s opposition to a life in dance, and her own late start in an art form that demands years of training.

These are the young members of the GESTURES Dance Ensemble of Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts, a school where they are cajoled, nurtured and challenged to push themselves, by Harbor Conservatory Artistic Director and dance educator, Nina Klyvert-Lawson (photographed above with students).

The Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts is proud to announce that 2009 marks the 20th anniversary of the GESTURES Dance Ensemble. To mark this momentous achievement, GESTURES will be presenting three evenings of performance at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, June 15th, 19th and 20th. The Ailey Citigroup Theater is located at 405 West 55th Street and 9th Avenue at The Joan Weill Center for Dance.

GALA performance, Monday, June 15, 2009 @ 6:30 pm, Tickets $75
Additional Performances: June 19th, June 20th @ 7:30 pm, Tickets $20

The Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts, now in its 39th year, was established by Boys & Girls Harbor and offers pre-professional training in the disciplines of dance, instrumental music, voice and theater arts to students ages 4-21. The Conservatory is unique in its focus on pre-teen and teenage talent development through special ensembles, public performances, and career counseling and placement.

For additional information please call Nina Olson at 212/427-2244 ext. 577 or visit them on-line at

Halle Berry Auction to Benefit Victims of Domestic Violence

Halle Berry has always been candid about her past experiences with domestic violence. And it was that experience that led her to become a supporter of the Jenesse Center, a Los Angeles based non profit organization that provides support to domestic violence victims for the past several years. Via press release:

“Academy Award-winning actress and beauty icon Halle Berry will auction off a unique, hand-carved rose gold cuff bracelet this week to show her support for families dealing with the devastating effects of domestic violence. As of April 15th, consumers can place bids through CharityBuzz for the chance to own this signature piece. The cuff bracelet was designed exclusively for Halle Berry to wear in the advertising campaign for her debut fragrance, Halle by Halle Berry. Net proceeds generated by the auction will be donated to the Jenesse Center, a domestic violence intervention program that Ms. Berry has supported for many years.

“The Jenesse Center is an organization that is very close to my heart," said Halle Berry. "Their work makes a tremendous difference in the lives of women and children and I am proud to support such a worthy cause by auctioning off this beautiful bracelet.”

Designed by Gara Danielle, this stunning cuff bracelet was inspired by Halle Berry's natural beauty and was designed specifically for Halle to wear on set at the making of her fragrance campaign in Ohahu, Hawaii. Now anyone can have the opportunity to own a replica of the bracelet and support this great cause by bidding on Made from 14K rose gold plate over sterling silver, this adjustable cuff is valued at $4,000.

The Jenesse Center is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1980 and provides help to victims of domestic violence with a comprehensive centralized base of support through facilities, education and health programs, case management, and legal services. The overall goal of the Jenesse Center is to change the pattern of abuse in the lives of women and children.”

On April 19th, the Jenesse Center held its annual Silver Rose Gala and auction in Beverly Hills:

Elva Lima, Guest, David A. Paschal, Halle Berry, Karen Earl and Kathy Koelle attend the 2009 Jenesse Silver Rose Gala & Auction at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills California.

Executive director of the Jenesse Center Karen Earl (L) and Halle Berry (R); and Singer Ashanti, performer Wayne Brady and Halle Berry

Photos: Wireimage
Source: Press release/Coty

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Kenyon Martin Foundation & Jalen Rose Scholarship Fund Now Accepting Grant Applications

Kenyon Martin, NBA player for the Denver Nuggets, and former NBA player Jalen Rose, have both established foundations at the GivingBack Fund, a national nonprofit organization that provides professional philanthropic management, consulting, and mentoring, to athletes, entertainers and others.

Kenyon (at left) established the Kenyon Martin Foundation in October 2008 that focuses on providing life-changing opportunities to underserved youth throughout the country, with an emphasis on assisting families without father figures in Denver, Dallas, and Cincinnati.

Grant proposals are now being accepted. The priorities of the foundation are to: (1) Assist community-based non-profit organizations that support financially disadvantaged families without father figures, and (2) Provide parenting and career guidance to teenagers who become parents. For more information, visit the website at

2009 Jalen Rose Foundation Scholarship Program

Attention Detroit high school seniors: The foundation will award five college scholarships totaling $10,000 each to high school students residing in the city of Detroit, Michigan who will begin college in the summer or fall of 2009. For more information, visit HERE.

Photo: Kenyon Martin Foundation

20 Nonprofit & Philanthropy Blogs Written by People of Color

Rosetta Thurman, a young non profit leader of color and blogger at Perspectives from the Pipeline, says “If you thought the nonprofit sector was too white, well I’ve got news for you: the nonprofit blogosphere is, too. I’ve been more than a little frustrated the past few days researching up, down and sideways looking for bloggers of color who are writing about nonprofits and philanthropy.”

Her search has led her to 20 blogs, and to find out who they are (and to add more), visit Rosetta’s blog post HERE.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Faces of Indego Africa

Last month, I featured a series of posts on Philanthropy in Africa, highlighting people and organizations that benefit Africa. Since then, I've received many emails from people who are dedicating their lives to support the people of Africa. Most popular among them are campaigns to increase literacy, and helping African workers use their talents to make a living.


Indego Africa -- which stands for INdependence, DEvelopment, and GOvernance -- is an innovative social enterprise built upon the belief that women in Rwanda can lift themselves out of poverty. Indego Africa provides more than 200 Rwandan artisans with access to the global marketplace, enabling them to sell their vibrant handicrafts for a fair wage.

Indego Africa's handicrafts are currently on sale in dozens of retail stores in the U.S, including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Holocaust Museum in DC, and on its WEBSTORE. Indego Africa then applies 100% of profits to its long-term skills training programs in financial management, accounting, computer usage, and literacy, which are administered by Rwanda's top university students.

On Thursday, March 26th in NYC, Indego Africa and the Soufer Gallery held 'The Faces of Indego Africa,' a fundraiser celebrating art and social enterprise. The event featured a collection of photographs by Benjamin Stone, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the organization, that captures the stories of women and children who benefit from Indego Africa and their innovative approach to defeating poverty.

The event raised nearly $6,000 for its training programs, and you can read more about the event at Indego Africa's blog here.

In the photo above is Benjamin Stone along with Matt Mitro, Founder and President. Visit the website at for more information and to purchase prints, and visit the webstore to purchase lovely baskets handmade in Rwanda here.

{Thanks Benjamin}

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Photos of the Day

Nelson Mandela attends a benefit lunch for the Mandela Children's Foundation as part of the celebrations of the opening of a new resort on April 3, 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Model/actress and International Goodwill Ambassador for the World Health Organization, Liya Kebede, attends the debut of the LemLem fashion line at the J. Crew Collection Store on April 8, 2009 in New York City. Kebede has partnered with J.Crew to create the line, to provide employment for weavers in her native Ethiopia. In photo at right, Kebede is pictured with her husband, hedge fund manager Kassey Kebede.

Singers LaTavia Roberson (left) and LeToya Luckett (right), original members of the group Destiny's Child, pose with a child at a children's hospital as part of the Minority Mentorship Symposium hosted by Coach Beverly Kearney on April 4, 2009 in Austin, Texas.

Singer Lil Mama (R) visits Jasmina, a 6 year old adopted girl from Africa who has leukemia and is in need of a bone marrow transplant at NYU Hospital on April 2, 2009 in New York City.

"Autism Speaks" co-founder Suzanne Wright and actress Holly Robinson Peete pose among a display of the 150 baby strollers placed in Central Park to draw attention on World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, 2009 in New York City.
Photos: Wireimage

Upcoming Events: NY, Detroit & Newark, NJ

Greater New York Links 60th Anniversary Easter Luncheon and Fashion Show—A Diamond Celebration of Sisterhood & Service—is coming up on Saturday, April 11, 2009. The festive, pre-Easter benefit takes place at Chelsea Piers from 11AM (doors open) to 4PM.

The event honors: Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President of the Children's Defense Fund; Carla Harris, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley; Judith Jamison, Artistic Director, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; and Hilton O. Smith, Senior Vice President, Turner Construction.
Proceeds from the Easter Luncheon and Fashion Show will benefit the programs of the chapter, among them the John B. Russwurm School (PS 197) to enhance the overall educational services provided to students via fun and interactive activities. For more information about Greater New York Links 60th Anniversary Easter Luncheon and Fashion Show—A Diamond Celebration of Sisterhood & Service— please email

DETROIT: "The Heart of the City"

The non-profit, Boys Hope Girls Hope’s (BHGH) Junior Board, presents “The Heart of the City”, at Mercedes-Benz of St. Clair Shores, on April 18 from 8 p.m. - 1 a.m.

The Heart of the City themed event will feature musical entertainment, strolling hors’doeuvres by metro-Detroit’s top restaurants, and spirited beverages. Those in attendance will include Metro-Detroit’s chic professional, who likes to “party for a cause”.

“We are so excited to showcase our hard work at the Heart of the City event,” says Kelli Coleman, of Global Hue and President of the Junior Board. “All the time and effort is well worth it because we know the importance of raising funds for Boys Hope Girls Hope, especially in these times.”

The Junior Board is a group of young professionals approved by the Board of Directors. They have been charged with not only creating unique and advantageous ways of raising funds from their peer group, but to also mentor the organization's students.

Mercedes-Benz of St. Clair Shores is located at: 20200 E. 9 Mile Rd, St Clair Shores, MI 48080. Tickets can be purchased at:

About Boys Hope Girls Hope: Boys Hope Girls Hope of Detroit is a privately funded 501(c)3 organization. It is a voluntary program dedicated to helping academically capable and motivated children to meet their full potential by providing value-centered, family like homes and a quality education through college. Children served by Boys Hope Girls Hope have experienced undue social and economic challenges prior to coming into the program. BHGH was founded in 1977 by Father Paul Sheridan in St. Louis, Missouri. There are currently 16 affiliates in the United States. The Detroit affiliate opened in 1984. For more information,

NEWARK, NJ: The Three Doctors Foundation Presents the Community PACT Gala

Honoring Community Leaders in Education, Health and Leadership

Thursday, May 7, 2009, 6:30 p.m.
Location: Marriott Hotel at Newark Liberty Intl. Airport
All proceeds benefit Newark public school students

Special honorees: The Honorable Mayor of Newark, Corey Booker and Dr. Clement Price, Board of Governors and Distinguished Service Professor of History and Director at Rutgers University

Attire: Black tie optional

For tickets and/or inquiries, contact Donna Jones, 973-493-1030,

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Thurgood Marshall College Fund Announces 2008 HBCU Best Practices Awards

Via press release: The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) concluded its 10th Annual Member Universities Professional Institute & Exhibition in New Orleans by honoring local community and civic leaders for their commitment to education and serving as positive role models for HBCU students.

In photo above, TMCF President and CEO Dwayne Ashley (right) congratulates honorees at the Opening Reception on March 15. From L to R: TMCF Board Member Arthur R. Thomas, Naidu V. Seetala, PhD, Professor of Physics, Grambling State University; Dr. Lisa Mims-Devezin, Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences at Southern University at New Orleans; Diola Bagayoko, PhD, Professor, Department of Physics, Southern University and A&M College; and Dr. Joseph Orban, Dean of Science & Liberal Arts and Biomedical Research Director, Southern University at Shreveport, all 2009 Distinguished Faculty Award recipients.

Honorees were presented with the limited edition Bronze bust of Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Attorney Arthur R. Thomas received the 2009 Outstanding Board Service Award for his four years of service to TMCF, and for championing a positive community service agenda for young men through his role as the 31st International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. He is managing partner of Arthur R. Thomas & Associates, LLC.

“Arthur is a passionate community activist who has devoted more than three decades to working tirelessly on behalf of education, legal, political and social issues affecting young people, seniors and the disadvantaged,” said Dwayne Ashley, President and CEO of TMCF.

More than 500 attendees joined TMCF for the annual best practices conference. The largest event of its kind, the 3-day intensive, skill-building and networking conference serves as a bridge between corporate and government agencies with university presidents, education deans, administrators, faculty, alumni and more than 200 diverse students majoring in Sales, Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields.

Attendees share trends in higher education research and diversity recruitment that help develop innovative partnerships and enhance the learning environments at the 47 public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Next year’s conference will be held in Nashville, Tennessee in March. For more information about TMCF and upcoming events, please visit the website at

Source: TMCF

Upcoming D.C. Event: The Future of School Age Black Males

During this forum, members of congress and a panel of educational experts will discuss important educational legislation, including the educational provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The effort will unite school board members, school administrators, parents, students, and key policymakers at the national and local levels in an effort to reform education within high-need areas.

“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 allocates $90.9 billion to reform and modernize education,” noted Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) Senior Research Analyst, Dr. Ivory A. Toldson, “This is an unprecedented opportunity to chart a new course for Black males by making sure that education reform is consistent with evidence-based findings on Black male success factors.” The brain trust in DC is the first of a series of district-level forums designed to disseminate and operationalize the policy recommendations of the CBCF report, “Breaking Barriers: Plotting the Path to Academic Success for School-Age African-American Males.”

Space at the forum is limited. Those wishing to attend are urged to RSVP to Dr. Toldson at

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Vonnie Holliday Foundation Presents 1st Annual Golf Tournament

Vonnie Holliday, an eleven year NFL veteran, created the Vonnie Holliday Foundation in 2001 to improve the quality of life of citizens in underserved communities by donating time and monetary resources. Since the foundation's inception, it has improved the lives of many in communities where Holliday has played (Green Bay, Kansas City and Miami); however, most of the Foundation’s resources have benefited Vonnie’s hometown of Camden, South Carolina.

This year, Vonnie decided to expand the efforts of his foundation. “With gang violence at an all time high, I really want to create a safe place for youth in my home community to go. I envision them having a physical building to do homework, enrichment and sports activities.”

On March 27, 2009, the foundation held its first annual golf tournament to raise funds to support the creation of a Boys & Girls Club in his hometown. Vonnie was joined by his NFL friends in support of his cause, that included Will Allen (Miami Dolphins), Kevin Carter (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Phillip Merling (Miami Dolphins), Nate Waye (retired), Kenny McKinley (University of South Carolina), Charles Bennett and Alge Crumpler (Tennessee Titans), and Corey Chavous (free agent).

Prior to the tournament, Holliday and his friends visited the Palmetto Children’s Hospital to brighten the day of sick children. Pictured from left to right: Phillip Merling, Corey Chavous, Will Allen, Kevin Carter, Alge Crumpler, Vonnie Holliday, and Charles Bennett

Tennessee Titan Alge Crumpler (center) looks on as his teammate golfs. Crumpler was one of several NFL players that supported the 1st Annual Vonnie Holliday Golf Tournament.  For more information on the Vonnie Holliday Foundation or to find out how you can help Holliday create a Boys & Girls Club in Camden, S.C., go to

Monday, April 6, 2009


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are known for their work in health and education around the world, but did you know that they are putting their funds behind a massive effort to incorporate those same issues into your favorite television shows?

A NY Times article highlights the foundation’s partnership with Viacom - the parent company of MTV, and its sister network of Vh1, BET and Nickelodeon - to create ‘Get Schooled.’ The article states that this new partnership involves consultation between Gates Foundation experts and executives at all Viacom networks that make programming decisions. Their goal is to weave education-themed story lines into existing shows or to create new shows centered on education.

One of the Gates Foundation’s projects mentioned in the article is ‘Bring Your "A" Game’, a 22-minute documentary film that is aimed at urban youth showing the consequences of dropping out of high school. The film is directed by actor–director Mario Van Peebles and will exclusively air on BET this year. It details strategies that have improved the lives of Black men and boys and will underscore the importance of educational achievement and high school graduation for survival and success in today’s world.

Among those featured in the documentary include Richard “Dick” Parsons, Chris Rock, Spike Lee, Dr. Cornel West, Ice Cube, Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Kevin Liles, Lou Gossett Jr., Lupe Fiasco, Hill Harper, Damon Dash, Kevin Powell, Melvin Van Peebles, Geoffrey Canada, Bruce Gordon and former NBA star Alan Houston, among others.

The 21st Century Foundation, an African American foundation, is also a partner in this project. They are spearheading a community engagement campaign that brings together resources and strategies from their Black Men and Boys Initiative, to encourage you and your community to get involved. They urge community groups, faith-based organizations, schools, policymakers, and funders to use BRING YOUR “A” GAME to discuss not only the challenges that affect Black America, but to use it as the basis for conversations about solutions.

Their interactive website features a viewer discussion guide, a curriculum guide for adults who work with youth, templates for creating programming for Black men and boys in your community, and an application for complimentary community screening DVDs for organizational use (limited numbers available.) Visit the website here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Exactly As I Am: Journalist Shaun Robinson Authors Book for Today’s Girls

Shaun Robinson, L.A. Reid, and Erica Reid attend 'As I Am' book party, April 2nd in NYC
Journalist and Access Hollywood correspondent Shaun Robinson has published Exactly As I Am: Celebrated Women Share Candid Advice with Today’s Girls on What It Takes to Believe in Yourself. The book aims to instill self esteem in today’s girls with candid advice from her celebrity friends, such as Queen Latifah, Oprah, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson. She shared in an interview with AOL Black Voices about why she wrote the book:

“There were several things that inspired me to write this book,” says Robinson of the two-and-a-half-year project. The first was just to touch the lives of the teen girls she regularly comes into contact with through her volunteer work with the foster care system of Los Angeles County. The other was about living a more meaningful life.

“I was listening to a sermon, and the pastor was saying that we constantly strive for more money, more stuff, a bigger car, a bigger house. And he was saying if you really want to live a more fruitful life, you really have to strive for significance, not just success. And in my own little way, this is how I'm giving back and saying thank you for the many blessings that have come into my life.”

On April 2nd, Erica Reid, wife of L.A. Reid, Chairman of Island Def Jam, hosted a book party in her honor in NYC:

Shaun Robinson, Holly Robinson Peete and Erica Reid

Robinson with journalist Ed Gordon; Reid and Robinson
Robinson, Al Roker and Deborah Roberts

Crystal McCrary Anthony and Veronica Webb; Robinson, publicist Marvet Britto and stylist June Ambrose
Photos: Busacca/Wireimage