Friday, August 31, 2012

Host of HGTV's “Property Virgins” & V103 Atlanta Radio Personality, Egypt Sherrod, Mentors Aspiring Teens with “Rising Media Stars Bootcamp”

HGTV Host of Property Virgins/V-103 Radio Personality, Egypt Sherrod, shares words of encouragement with Atlanta teens.

ATLANTA, GA - On August 10-11, 2012, Egypt Cares Family Foundation, in partnership with Atlanta's #1 Radio Station, CBS Radio's V103 FM and WAOK AM, HGTV, Fox 5's Good Day Atlanta, Rolling Out Magazine, Moguldom Media, and Auburn Public Library presented the 1st Annual Rising Media Stars Bootcamp.

Fifteen deserving teens from communities throughout the metro Atlanta area and surrounding counties were selected after each submitted a 250-word essay detailing why they should be included in the media bootcamp. The participants were carefully selected to engage in an intense program giving them a birdseye view of the variety of specialized careers available in the media industry. During the rigorous two-day camp, the participants were given in-depth tours and tutorials from news anchors, journalists, television producers and behind-the-scenes executives at major media companies.

“I am overwhelmed with pride by the group of bright and ambitious teens who joined us for this year’s Rising Media Stars Bootcamp. To see how eager they were to soak up all the knowledge and information that was put before them in two action-packed days was very inspiring! It does my heart good to know that I am able to use my position within the media industry to help gifted young people,” said Egypt Sherrod, founder of the Egypt Cares Family Foundation.

“Egypt's Rising Media Stars Bootcamp was created with the intention of positively influencing young people who have a serious interest in pursuing a career in the media arts. Egypt and I always want to use the professional relationships we've built over nearly 20 years each in radio, TV, publishing and digital media to pay it forward and give access to those who may not otherwise have a vehicle to pursue their dreams,” added Amber Noble-Garland, CEO of I For Talent Management and Chairperson of the Egypt Cares Family Foundation. Highlights from the 1st Annual Rising Media Stars Boot Camp can be viewed here.

Karen Graham, anchor of Fox 5's Good Day Atlanta gives broadcast pointers to participants.

For more information on Egypt Cares Family Foundation, please visit: www.EgyptCares.org and Twitter: @EgyptCares.

ABOUT EGYPT CARES FAMILY FOUNDATION
Spiritually based, the Egypt Cares Family Foundation aims to provide resources and motivation that support families on their journey to financial literacy, health awareness, higher education and successful communication within the family unit. The foundation will provide workshops, seminars, and community outreach programs designed to foster stronger families.


Source: Press release

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chicago Philanthropists Honored at Black Harvest Film Festival


By Sandra C. Davis
Chicago Contributor
BlackGivesBack

CHICAGO, IL--On Friday, August 3, 2012, the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago honored philanthropists Diane And Quintin Primo with the Deloris Jordan Award for Excellence in Community Leadership at the opening night celebration—A Black Harvest Feast, of the 18th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival.  Pictured with Quintin and Diane Primo is Chaz Ebert (right) of the Chaz and Roger Ebert Foundation.

The evening’s festivities began with a catered reception by Mellon Express and the official opening of the gallery show People of Color, a joint exhibition by School of the Art Institute of Chicago alumni Anthony Lewis, Jr., and Christina Long. Chaz Ebert, wife of Chicago Sun-Times and Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert, read a letter in recognition of the Primos from School of the Art Institute of Chicago President Walter E. Massey.

During the presentation of the Deloris Jordan Award for Excellence in Community Leadership by 2011 recipient Regina Taylor, Mr. Primo remarked how important Black independent filmmaking is for the “exploration of our culture” and that “we can control and define who we are.” On philanthropy, he added that it's one thing “to write a check, another to roll up your sleeves.”

As a testament to “rolling up” his sleeves, current Chairman and CEO of Capri Capital Partners, Quintin Primo III serves on several boards including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Board of Governors, and is the co-chair with his wife of The Primo Center for Women and Children, which was founded by his father to empower women and children to become productive, responsible members of their communities. Along with her husband, Diane Primo also serves as co-chair of The Primo Center for Women and Children. In addition to her many community outreach commitments, she is also the co-founder and co-chairman for IntraLink Global, a marketing advisory firm.

Following the awards presentation, Master of Ceremonies LeeAnn Trotter, entertainment reporter for NBC 5, introduced—A Black Harvest Feast—featuring the short films This Ain't Yo Movie, The Christmas Tree, Maffe Tiga, White Sugar in a Black Pot, and Mission: Mom-Possible.

Black Harvest Film Festival Opening Night Master of Ceremonies LeeAnn Trotter of NBC 5 with actor Harold Dennis

Producer/actress and former Chicagoan Diandra Lyle with friend Kish Harris of Hyde Park and Chicago filmmaker Susan Strowhorn of South Loop. Diandra was one of the Opening Night shorts featured in the program "A Black Harvest Feast" entitled "Mission:Mom-Possible," directed by Morocco Omari. Susan is also a producer and her film, "Redial" directed by her husband Dion Strowhorn Sr., was shown August 4.

For more highlights and photos from the event, visit Social Life Chicago here.

About the Deloris Jordan Award for Excellence in Community Leadership

The Deloris Jordan Award for Excellence in Community Leadership, named after NBA great Michael Jordan's mother, was established in 2002 by the Gene Siskel Film Center’s Black Harvest Community Council to recognize individuals who have generously contributed their time and resources to the Chicago community. Past recipients include Samuel Akainyah, Merri Dee, Bonnie DeShong, Alisa and Donzell Starks, Cliff Kelley, Warner Saunders, Hermene Hartman, Common, and Regina Taylor.

About the Black Harvest Film Festival

The 18th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival is Chicago’s largest- and longest- running Black film festival and the Gene Siskel Film Center’s annual showcase of films relating to the experiences from the African Diaspora. This year from August 3-30th, Black Harvest will feature Chicago premieres, filmmaker appearances, panel discussions, and special events. Presented will be over 40 features, documentaries, and shorts, including a number connected to Chicago. www.siskelfilmcenter.org/blackharvest2012

Photo credit:  Ray Baker

Friday, August 24, 2012

Compassion and Innovation Among Themes at Inaugural Black Philanthropy Summit

Christal M. Jackson, founder, Head and Heart Philanthropy Summit (3rd from right) surrounded by the summit's first co-hort (L to R) Tracey Webb, Deidra Jackson, Lidya Araya, Jacquie Hood Martin, Sharif Atkins, Adia May, Antoinette Latham, Shannon King Nash and Dr. Elsie Scott.


Martha’s Vineyard serves as backdrop to Head and Heart Philanthropy Summit

MARTHA'S VINEYARD, MA – On August 10-11, 2012, nonprofit executives, foundation leaders and philanthropists convened at the 1st Annual Head and Heart Philanthropy Summit at the Harborview Hotel for learning, professional networking and idea generation. The invitation-only summit is the brainchild of Christal M. Jackson, founder of Jackson and Associates Group, LLC, a boutique fund development and philanthropic consulting firm focused on serving the needs of high net worth individuals, athletes, elected officials, celebrities, faith-based institutions and community organizations.  Jackson shares, “The Summit was a concept that I have tossed around for about six years and finally it was the right time on so many levels to convene nonprofit practitioners to philanthropists. Given the serious issues facing our community we must begin to collaborate for greater impact to create systemic change.”

Presentations from those prominent in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors provided attendees with an overview of the work being done to transform and strengthen communities: Garrick T. Davis, legislative director of economic and financial policy, National Urban League and Dr. Elsie L. Scott, president and CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation presented on the intersection of philanthropy and policy; Sherrie Deans, executive director of the Admiral Center shared insight on how the organization supports celebrities with being strategic in their philanthropic efforts; Joe Scantlebury, senior policy officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation presented on the tools needed to build a successful foundation; and executives from J.P. Morgan Chase Private Bank's Philanthropy Centre, Erin Hogan, vice president, Atiya Weiss, vice president and Terry Woodard, managing director and senior banker, presented on the various financial vehicles that individuals and organizations can use to give and how its' division supports important issues such as education and health.

Sherrie Deans, executive director of the Admiral Center presented the session, "A Model of Philanthropy."

The first cohort selected to take part in the inaugural summit were: Lidya Araya, co-founder and co-producer, World Swirl Productions; Sharif Atkins, actor, USA Network’s “White Collar” and formerly of NBC’s ER; Susan Taylor Batten, president and CEO, Association of Black Foundation Executives; Daphne Doyle Benbow, Usher's New Look Foundation; Michelle Coffey, executive director, Lambent Foundation; Ebonie Johnson Cooper, founder, FriendsofEbonie.com; Lisa E. Davis, attorney; Deidra Jackson, executive director, The Arts Emporium, Inc., and director of communications and governmental affairs for BASF Louisiana; Lloyd M. Johnson, Jr., founder, Minority Corporate Counsel Association and “Diversity & The Bar” magazine; Antoinette Latham, executive director, Vince Young Foundation; Darryl Lester, founder, Hindsight Consulting and Community Investment Network; Jacquie Hood Martin, founder, J. Hood &Associates; Adia May, founder and CEO, Zuri Entertainment; Yvonne Moore, executive director, Daphne Foundation; Shannon King Nash, president, Nash Management Group; Alex Richard Picou, managing director and senior banker, J.P. Morgan Chase Private Bank; Celeste Smith, senior private banker, J.P. Morgan Chase and board member, New York Women's Foundation; Sid Smith, founder and president, SRS Counsel, P.C., and general counsel, Syncom Venture Partners; Stacey Trammel, contributor, BlackGivesBack.com; Rica Triggs, executive director, Soledad O'Brien & Brad Raymond Foundation; Jackie Washington, founder, Atlanta Neuromuscular Diagnostics and Save Our Hands; Tracey Webb, founder, BlackGivesBack.com and The Black Benefactors; and Latesha Williams, sports and entertainment executive for LeBron James' marketing company, LRMR Management, LLC.

Celeste Smith, Adia May, Christal M. Jackson and Shannon King Nash

Lidya Araya, Michelle Coffey, Ebonie Johnson Cooper, Sharif Atkins and Antoinette Latham


On the evening of August 10th, the summit partnered with the Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival (MVAAFF) for a screening of "Contradictions of Fair Hope," followed by an engaging discussion led by Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change and S. Epatha Merkeson that focused on the impact of media on communities of color. See highlights from the screening here. The group gathered afterwards at Hooked restaurant for dinner and the MVAAFF after party.

Dr. Jackie Washington and S. Epatha Merkeson at the "Contradictions of Fair Hope" screening.


The first summit was a great success, and the dialogue continues among participants on how to best support one another to ensure philanthropic and non profit ventures supporting the African American community thrive. Plans are already underway for the Head and Heart Philanthropy Summit II that will convene mothers of professional athletes and entertainers in January 2013. Jackson states, “Next steps are to continue a series of invitation only convenings across the country...different cohorts all with the intent of helping people connect around a philanthropic agenda that will address the needs of the community. Next year, we will all gather for a celebration of accomplishments and further collaboration. Our launch was so successful and historic because we were able to cross sectors in a way that's never been done all in the name of philanthropy.”

Head and Heart Philanthropy Summit founder Christal M. Jackson

Sponsors included J.P. Morgan Chase and Hindsight Consulting.  For more highlights from the summit, view tweets from the #HHPS12 hashtag on Twitter, and the article "Black Philanthropy:  Why We Do What We Do" from FriendsofEbonie.com.

Photo credit:  Stacey Trammel/Buzzology

‘Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists’ Named Best New Book for the Nonprofit Sector


Book jacket for Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists by Valaida Fullwood, photography by Charles W. Thomas Jr. and cover design by Casajulie Visual Communications

Alliance for Nonprofit Management Gives 2012 Terry McAdam Book Award to ‘Giving Back’

GRAND RAPIDS, MN - At an awards ceremony on August 9 during its annual conference, the Alliance for Nonprofit Management announced the 2012 Terry McAdam Book Award recipient, naming Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists the most inspirational and useful new book for the nonprofit sector.

“Author Valaida Fullwood and Photographer Charles W. Thomas, Jr. approach the subject matter through provocative stories, quotes and photographs to punctuate the message and uplift and inspire the reader. The layout of the book has broad appeal, is approachable, and elevates the conversation about philanthropy to a discussion of personal responsibility and opportunity to give,” explained Michelle Torgerson, chair of the award selection committee.

Valaida Fullwood signing copies of Giving Back at ANM Conference

Giving Back, a 400-page hardcover book distributed by John F. Blair Publisher, is a refreshing and inspirational portrayal of philanthropy. It captures the stories of African American men and women whose philanthropy, big or small, is making a difference. It shows people who are not only giving their money but also their time and their talents to make the world a better place.

Conference organizers: Jeanne Bell, ANM board chair; Dr. James Edwards, executive director of the Johnson Center for Philanthropy; and Matthew Downey, program director at the Johnson Center

The Alliance for Nonprofit Management is the national voice and catalyst for the field of capacity building. The Alliance works to improve the effectiveness of individuals, groups, and organizations helping nonprofit organizations and communities achieve positive social change. This year’s annual conference took place in Grand Rapids, Michigan and was hosted by the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University.

The McAdam Book Award was established in 1989 to commemorate the life and work of New York Community Trust Vice President, Terry McAdam, who devoted his life to improving the nonprofit management field and urged the field to write about the sector to share knowledge and build the social change movement. Giving Back won the 22nd Annual McAdam Book Award and an honorable mention went “Leap of Reason: Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity” by Mario Morino.

Dr. Alice M. Warner, program director for policy and Dr. Alandra Byrd-Washington, program director, Philanthropy and Volunteerism Program, both at W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Fullwood received recognition for the book award at a lunch plenary during the conference. She thanked the Alliance and accepted the award on behalf of co-creator Thomas and the hundreds of people who participated on the book project. Fullwood’s acceptance speech featured a recitation of passages from Giving Back, which was met with a standing ovation from the audience. Following the award ceremony, W.K. Kellogg Foundation program directors Dr. Alandra Byrd-Washington and Dr. Alice M. Warner engaged in a panel discussion on philanthropy, civic engagement, racial equity and the future of the sector.

ANM conference participant Brigette Rouson of Rouson Associates

Giving Back is a centerpiece of the Giving Back Project, a civic engagement campaign led by the giving circle New Generation of African American Philanthropists. BlackGivesBack recently announced the release of the circle’s new video. Sponsorships and funding are now sought to engage wider audiences through the Giving Back Project with a national book tour, multimedia community forums, a traveling photography exhibit and philanthropic learning guides.

The aim is to ignite a movement of conscientious philanthropy by empowering a generation of Americans to recognize their power and responsibility to give back. More at GivingBackProject.org.

Stacked copies of Giving Back

Photos provided by ANM and Johnson Center

A ‘Celebration of Arts’ in the Hamptons


Hon. Bernard Jackson & Joyce Mullins-Jackson host poolside cocktail reception introducing Hamptonites to the Washington Performing Arts Society

NEW YORK - Arts advocate Joyce Mullins-Jackson and her husband retired New York State Supreme Court Judge, the Honorable Bernard Jackson opened their elegant, art filled Watermill aerie for a special cocktail reception, “Celebrating the Arts” to introduce the work of the renowned Washington Performing Arts Society to their New York & Hamptons friends.

A very special speaker was the Jackson’s longtime friend and the evening’s co-host, philanthropist Reginald Van Lee, Chairman of the Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS), which for over four decades has been one of the leading presenting organizations in the nation. Van Lee spoke passionately about WPAS’ vital role in creating profound opportunities for connecting the community to artists through education and performance. He also emphasized the diversity of the artists the Society presents from classical to gospel to popular to country and numerous dance concerts as well.

His words were echoed by guest Cora Masters Barry, pictured at left with Van Lee, former First Lady of the District of Columbia and the Chief Executive Officer of the Recreation Wish List Committee whose primary mission is to improve the quality of public recreation in the District of Columbia for children and teens. 

Tony & Peabody Award winner Murray Horwitz, the Director of Development of WPAS also spoke glowingly about WPAS’ programming and its effects on the community which also includes a most important audience - Congress.

Listening raptly to the speakers were filmmaker Khephra Burns & his wife Essence Magazine Emerita Susan Taylor, Evidence Dance Company Associate Director Arcell Cabuag, Bonnie Cannon, first African-American Trustee of Southampton, fashion designer Edward Wilkerson, sculptor Hans Van de Bovenkamp, painter Frank Wimberley, art consultant Peg Alston & Willis Burton, Bob Perry & Gail Monroe Perry, Cheryl Buck, Anna Eagle, Candace Dyal, Daren Thomas, Deborah Fox & Lamar Miller, Diane & Lex Cohen, Dianne Plummer, Edward Callaghan, John Wegorzewski, Errol & Paula Taylor, Gaby McDonald, Gini Booth, Jacques-Philippe Piverger, Judy & Bob Adams, Kees & Sharon Van Liempt, Lola C. West & Maymette Carter, Sharon Bowen & Larry Morse, and Stephen Wald & Immeke Schmidt.

Joyce Mullins-Jackson (center), the event host with Dushy and Roman Roth

Don Cornwell, Bob Adams and Corey White

Anna Eagle, Robert Kirk and Susan Taylor

Corey McCathern and Reginald Van Lee

Reginald Van Lee, Daren Thomas and Omar Karriem

Constance Saunders with Robert Perry and Gail Monroe Perry

Cheryl Buck, Bonnie Cannon and Denise Moore

Under blessedly clear skies, guest nibbled on delectable treats from Harlem’s acclaimed 5 and Diamond Restaurant. Chef David Martinez satisfied all with a great selection of hors d’oeuvres that included chorizo wrapped in puff pastry with a Romesco dipping sauce, dates wrapped in bacon, addictive mini lobster rolls and their infamous Mac and cheese. The evening’s signature cocktail was the Dark & Stormy - or bubbly Rose for those lovers of all things Provence.

About the Washington Performing Arts Society

Washington Performing Arts Society is one of the leading presenters in the nation. The organization’s inherent belief in the complete spectrum of the arts is revealed in performances of the highest quality, including classical music, jazz, gospel, contemporary dance, international music and art forms, and works that bend genres in provocative ways.

The commissioning of world premieres on local stages to support artists’ creativity is critical to the mission of WPAS. Dynamic education programs, in the schools and beyond, are a hallmark of the institution. Set in the nation’s capital and reflecting a population that hails from around the globe, these abundant offerings both ground us in the great heritages of the world, and allow our imaginations to fly, evoking fresh perspectives on life.

For more information please visit www.wpas.org

Photos by John Wegorzewski

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Diversity Affluence Celebrates Pioneers, Leaders, Achievers Among Affluent African Americans and Diverse Leaders

Marc Morial, CEO, National Urban League; Donna Byrd, publisher, TheRoot.com; Barbara Smith, owner of B. Smith's Restaurant in Sag Harbor, N.Y.; A.J. Calloway, event host and TV personality; Keisha Vaughn, Chief Diversity Officer, Draftfcb; Andrea Hoffman, CEO and founder, Diversity Affluence; Noel Hankin of Belevedere for Moet Hennessy USA; Laurence Boschetto, CEO and president, Draftfcb. (Photo by Jeff Ufberg)

Exclusive Hamptons event honored Marc Morial, CEO, National Urban League; Donna Byrd, publisher, TheRoot.com; and Laurence Boschetto, CEO and president, Draftfcb

NEW YORK - Prominent business leaders, influencers, corporate decision makers and fashionistas gathered Sunday, August 19th at B. Smith's in Sag Harbor to celebrate three distinguished leaders in civil rights activism, business and media who have achieved success as a minority or who have advanced the diversity agenda in America.

The 3rd Annual Diversity Affluence Brunch & Awards, an event sponsored by Baume & Mercier, JPMorgan Chase, Draftfcb and Belvedere (the world's first luxury vodka) recognized Marc Morial, CEO, National Urban League; Donna Byrd, publisher, TheRoot.com; and Laurence Boschetto, CEO and president, Draftfcb, for their accomplishments in their respective fields. Each honoree received an exquisite Baume & Mercier watch.

“The work, drive and determination of Marc, Donna and Laurence is the light and legacy that future generations will follow,” says Andrea Hoffman, CEO and founder of Diversity Affluence. “These three leaders, in their extraordinary vision, could be referred to as outliers, a term referring to things or phenomema that lie outside normal experience. This year's honorees have enriched life's moments in such a significant way that future generations will be impacted.”

Morial, a former mayor of New Orleans is one of the most accomplished servant-leaders in the country. As the CEO of the National Urban League since 2003, he operates the nation's largest civil rights organization, where he has been the primary catalyst for change. His energetic and skilled leadership has expanded the League's work around an empowerment agenda.

“Marc's work at the League is redefining civil rights in the 21st century,” Hoffman says, “with a renewed emphasis on closing the economic gaps between Whites and Blacks as well as rich and poor Americans.”

Byrd is publisher of TheRoot.com, a daily online news source with more than 2 million readers that is a platform to help engage the Black community and provide a forum to showcase a myriad of African American perspectives. The content is meant to inform and, ultimately, motivate its audience to mobilize behind specific issues. This year with Byrd's leadership, TheRoot.com has focused on the issue of obesity in the Black community, sponsoring seminars and carrying articles on the topic.

Upon accepting her award, Byrd challenged the audience, consisting primarily of affluent African Americans to effect change. “Affluence,” Byrd said, “provides the means for influence.”

Lola West, Reginald Van Lee, Ralph Dawson, partner, Fulbright & Jaworski and his wife Leslie Demus 

Andrea Hoffman and style icon Shala Monroque

Hoffman and Dale Mason Cochran, widow of famed attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr.


Laurence Boschetto is a passionate advocate of business results, equality and inclusion for all with a vision of “dignified intolerance” against those who discriminate.

Twenty years ago, according to Boschetto, his executive team consisted primarily of balding white men in their 50s. “They looked like me,” he said. Today, the Draftfcb executive team is 20 percent African American, 20 percent gay, 20 percent Asian and 50 percent female.

Last year, the Draftfcb leader received AdColor and GLAAD's Inaugural Advocate Award for leadership and influence in the industry. He has played a major role in the creation of Draftfcb's “It Gets Better” video and was recently featured in USA Today on a special section designed to help kids tune out hatred and bullying. As a featured speaker at the World Diversity Leadership Summit at the United Nations last year, Boschetto illustrated how inclusion makes sense and cents.

The 3rd Annual Diversity Affluence & Brunch, produced by Influence Events, was hosted by A.J. Calloway, New York City correspondent on “Extra,” and former host of the popular B.E.T. show “106 & Park: B.E.T.'s Top 10 Live.”


Busie Matsiko Andan, Jemima Andan, Gordon Andan, Susan Taylor, Liz Ngonzi, Kenny Frimpong, Sherry Bronfman and Carl Nelson

The Diversity Affluence Brunch in the Hamptons was created by Diversity Affluence, the New York-based consultancy specializing in diversity marketing communication, research and business development. Inspired by the highly-touted book, Black Is The New Green: Marketing to Affluent African Americans, co-written by Hoffman with Len Burnett, the brunch provides the corporate sector with access to some of the most influential leaders and key tastemakers of the affluent African and African American communities.

About Diversity Affluence

As the only company of its kind, Diversity Affluence is a New York-based diversity research, marketing communications and business development consultancy that helps brands and businesses understand and market to affluent ethnic consumers-a group coined as “Royaltons™.” For more than 25 years, Andrea Hoffman, Diversity Affluence's founder and chief executive officer, has been a marketing strategist and trend forecaster.

For more information about Hoffman, Diversity Affluence or Black Is The New Green: Marketing to Affluent African Americans, visit www.DiversityAffluence.com.

Evidence, A Dance Company Honors Actress Ruby Dee and Jazz Great Jason Moran at 9th Annual “On Our Toes”… In The Hamptons Summer Benefit


BRIDGEHAMPTON, NY – On August 18th, the grounds of the Hayground School turned into a festive summer soiree for Evidence, A Dance Company’s 9th Annual “On Our Toes” benefit - one of the premier cultural events of the Hamptons social season. The event raised funds to support the contemporary dance company's outreach programs and full benefits for dancers.

Chaired by international financier Reginald Canal, this year’s elegant afternoon benefit celebrated generations of arts and culture from the African Diaspora. The legendary Ruby Dee, Actress, Playwright, Activist and Philanthropist, was honored with the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Gatekeeper Award; and Jason Moran, Award-winning Jazz Musician and Composer, received the 2012 Visionary Gatekeeper Award. Nearly 300 distinguished guests from the arts and entertainment industry and the business community attended the annual summer event.  Pictured are Susan Taylor, Ronald K. Brown, Star Jones and Kephra Burns.

Event Co-Chairs were artist, educator and activist Jon Snow, co-founder of the Hayground School; and financial advisor Lola C. West, Managing Director, WestFuller Advisors LLC. Jenna Bond-Louden was the Young Patrons Chair, and the benefit committee included Susan L. Taylor and Khephra Burns; Tamara Tunie and Gregory Generet; Lynn Whitfield; Maurice and Andrea DuBois; Reginald Van Lee; Zaid Abdul-Aleem; Alvin Adell; Monica F. Azare; Bershan Shaw Bradley; Marvet Britto; Tracy Davis; Joanne E. Hill; Leslie Mays; Gail Monroe-Perry; Joyce Mullins-Jackson; Larry Satterfield and Sabir Amen; Debra Simmons; Jocelyn Taylor; Margot Daniels Tyler; Dr. Ancy Verdier; Alexis Welch; and Nicole Winn.

Notable guests in attendance were Star Jones, lawyer and television personality, Victor Williams of CBS’ “The King of Queens,” Dr. Julianne Malveaux, economist, author and commentator, and Cora Barry Masters, former first lady of the District of Columbia and Founder and CEO of the Recreation Wish List Committee of Washington DC, among others. During the cocktail hour, guests enjoyed signature cocktails and fine wines courtesy of Belvedere Vodka and feasted on an array of delectable appetizers catered by Harlem’s famed 5 and Diamond Restaurant, which specializes in modern American foods with a Spanish influence. Following cocktails, guests entered a large tent furnished with white lounge chairs and sofas and high tables for the awards presentation, live auction, a light dinner, dessert and Evidence’s signature “Dancing with the Dancers.”


Benefit Committee Member Reginald Van Lee with Ronald K. Brown

Victor Williams and Jenna Bond-Louden, Young Patrons Chair

Gail Monroe-Perry, Evidence’s Board Secretary, opened the summer benefit by welcoming guests and thanking them for supporting the event. For the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Gatekeeper Award, Monroe-Perry introduced Evidence Artistic Director Ronald K. Brown, who offered a personal tribute to honoree Ruby Dee. Evidence performed WALKING OUT THE DARK, a pulsating, rhythmic dance set to African music and chants in her honor. The 90-year-old Dee was not able to accept the award in person due to doctor’s orders. “Thank you so much for this singular honor, for gathering this afternoon to grace me with the Gatekeeper Award for Lifetime Achievement,” said Dee in written remarks read by Susan L. Taylor, Essence Magazine editor-in-chief emerita and Founder and CEO of National CARES Mentoring. “I must admit that Lifetime Achievement Awards make me a little nervous. Just a nice way to say, ‘Hey, you’re getting kinda old there, Ruby!’ And it’s true: I am getting kinda old, thank God—I’ll be 90 come October!’” she exclaimed.

Event Co-Chair Lola C. West presented the 2012 Visionary Gatekeeper Award to Jason Moran for his outstanding contributions to the jazz world. In accepting the award, the 37-year-old MacArthur “genius” fellow and musical adviser for jazz at the Kennedy Center expressed an interest in collaborating with Evidence, A Dance Company in the future. Event Chair Reginald Canal was joined by Associate Artistic Director and dancer Arcell Cabuag and dancers Clarice Young and Annique S. Roberts in leading a “Bricks and Mortar” and live auction that raised almost $20,000 to support the dance company.


An online auction at Charitybuzz.com featuring dinners and theatre tickets with actress Tamara Tunie; dinner and tickets to a jazz show featuring Rhonda Ross; golfing with WCBS anchor Maurice DuBois; diamond jewelry pieces; internships, among other luxury items will be live until August 28 at www.charitybuzz.com/auctions/evidencesummer. To top off the awards presentation, the dance company performed for guests a spectacularly spirited dance work, BETTER DAYS, choreographed by Brown, which pays homage to friends of the choreographer who have passed away and illustrates a nonlinear juxtaposition of present and past. After the performance, the DJ turned some high-energy tunes that brought guests to the dance floor to work up a sweat and close out the magical evening.

Evidence Dance Company members with Brown at center.

Corporate Sponsors for “On Our Toes” were Belvedere Vodka, Prudential and Garvey Lundy Jewelry.

For more information about Evidence, A Dance Company please visit www.evidencedance.com.

Source:  Press release
Photo credit: Getty Images for Evidence, A Dance Company

Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation Accepting Applications for 3rd Annual Girls Who Rule the World Weekend

ATLANTA, GA - An annual three-day, two-night mentoring program pairing powerful women with teenage girls for a weekend to impact, empower and inspire their futures, The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation is kicking off applications to select this year’s class of 100 teenage girls from the metro Atlanta area and surrounding areas for their third annual Girls Who Rule the World Mentoring Weekend (GWRTW). Created by philanthropist Marjorie Harvey, President of The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation, to spark change overcoming common pressures that young women are facing today, the third annual GWRTW will address social, emotional, educational and cultural needs to guide them through a weekend journey that will strengthen their mind, body and spirit. See highlights from the 2nd annual weekend here.

Chosen from thousands of applications received annually, since 2010 Marjorie Harvey has spearheaded an energy-filled weekend to address self-empowerment, education, health and wellness, and more with young women ages 13-18. Young women ages 13-18 who live in metro Atlanta and surrounding areas in a 50-mile radius can apply by mail July 16th – September 4th for the third annual GWRTW taking place September 28th – 30th in historic Stone Mountain, GA by downloading the application and addressing topics encompassing their personal dreams, long-term career goals, educational goals, and peer pressure, among other topics.

This encouraging, self-confidence filled program, which motivates young women in taking charge of their futures with visions of success, will also present a diverse cross-section of women who have made substantial transformations in their career fields, creating their own impact in entertainment, music, media and business. Bringing together a team of inspirational, powerful women, in the past two years Harvey has welcomed a diverse league of leaders including CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, Essence Magazine’s Mikki Taylor, The View’s Sherri Shepherd, five-time Olympian Teresa Edwards, and more. Sharing their insight and personal journeys with the young women, this year’s lineup of special speakers and guests will provide wisdom and experiences coupled with the challenges, advice and resources that impacted their road to success, with the weekend including actress Terri Vaughn, singer Kimberley Locke, powerful motivational speaker Jackie Brewton, the Gates Millenium Scholarship Program, G-CAPP, and more.

With Georgia experiencing high rates of high school dropouts, teen pregnancy and sexual exploitation among teenage girls, Marjorie Harvey initiates the dialogue that gives teenage girls of metro Atlanta the tools to develop personal goals for their futures and embrace their unique self-worth. Georgia also ranks #2 in childhood obesity and the weekend’s inclusive curriculum gives priority to health, fitness and wellness goals to encourage healthy habits and excellence in every area of their lives. Remaining diligently dedicated to impacting today’s youth with powerful mentoring experiences that address issues of the real world, the Harveys stay devoted to empowering the young generation to become responsible, positive-thinking leaders. The events at this year’s GWRTW aim to help teenage women build strong peer relationships, bolster self-esteem, and live healthy, enriching lives.

Along with a myriad of self-esteem and positive-thinking sessions, the GWRTW mentees will take part in a breadth of workshops emphasizing team building, fitness and cultural history at Stone Mountain Park, etiquette, balanced nutrition, life skills, and professional and personal development that will guide them on their journey to self-discovery. The young women will receive further peer support during the GWRTW experience from junior counselors, comprised of ten young women from the past GWRTW mentoring classes returning to serve them with additional guidance and leadership.

The young women admitted to this year’s GWRTW sustain a role with The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation from admission until two years post-college, with this process including a mentor pairing and a monthly/quarter educational and developmental experience with trusted mentors, to ensure continued enhancement and positive growth in helping young women to achieve their maximum potential and build successful futures.

To download the application, please visit the GWRTW website: www.girlswhoruletheworld.org.  For more information about The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation, please log onto http://www.smharveyfoundation.org/ .

Source: The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Three Doctors Foundation to Host Twelfth Annual Gala, “A Brighter Tomorrow for Today’s Youth”



Featuring former Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand and founder of Carol’s Daughter, Lisa Price

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ –On Friday, August 31, 2012, Sampson Davis MD, Rameck Hunt MD, and George Jenkins DMD, fondly known as The Three Doctors will host their annual gala to celebrate twelve years of non-profit outreach through The Three Doctors Foundation. The gala will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel beginning at 6:00pm with a one hour reception, followed by dinner and remarks by special guest speakers Lisa Price and Eric LeGrand. Individual reservations are $200 per person and corporate sponsorships are also available. Attendees will include corporate executives, community leaders and individual supporters.

The gala theme is “A Brighter Tomorrow for Today’s Youth” and will highlight current and future outreach coordinated by the doctors throughout and beyond the New Jersey community. Annual foundation programs include a Healthy Mind & Body Walkathon, Mentor Day and Positive Peer Pressure Challenge. This special gala will be emceed by CBS journalist Michelle Miller.

Keynote speaker and former Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand, was paralyzed from the neck down in October 2010 from a hit suffered in the third quarter of the Scarlet Knights' game against Army at MetLife Stadium. He recently retired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a little less than three months after his symbolic signing with the NFL team. His inspirational story will now become a must-read biography scheduled for release this September. Guest speaker Lisa Price is the founder of Carol’s Daughter, Inc. From humble beginnings in her Brooklyn kitchen, Ms. Price transformed her beloved hobby of mixing up fragrances and creams at home into a multi-million dollar beauty empire.

The mission of The Three Doctors Foundation is to inspire and motivate youth through education and to achieve leadership and career success in their community through the formation of positive peer and mentor relationships. The foundation stands on the premise that “Our Children Can Not Aspire To Be What They Can Not See.” In 2009, the BET Awards honored the three doctors as humanitarians of the year.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.threedoctorsfoundation.org.

Related post: Three Doctors Foundation: Enriching the Lives of Newark's Youth

Source:  Press release

Friday, August 17, 2012

Big Kidz Foundation Salutes 2012 “Champions of the Arts”

Antwan “Big Boi” Patton with honorees George Clinton, Hinton Battle, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Mark Kent and Big Kidz’ Executive Director Jennifer Lester

Foundation honors an eclectic mix of “Champions” representing theatre, classical art, and the Godfather of Funk

By Lisa Brathwaite
BlackGivesBack Contributor

Atlanta, GA – Global music and pop culture icon Antwan “Big Boi” Patton (1/2 of multi-Grammy winning group OutKast) and his Big Kidz Foundation honored the Godfather of Funk George Clinton (leader of legendary groups Parliament and Funkadelic); three time Tony Award winner Hinton Battle, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The “Champions of the Arts” Reception was held on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at the Metro Atlanta Chamber-J.B. Fuqua Rooftop Pavilion with hundreds of attendees and supporters.

The event was attended by some of Atlanta’s most influential art supporters representing the entertainment, civic and business industries including: V103’s Frank Ski; Olympic Gold Medalist & 2011 World Long Jump Champion Dwight Phillips; David Garfinkle, producer of “Spiderman” and “Ghost the Musical” on Broadway; and fashion designers Rob V and Mychael Knight. Guests enjoyed a panoramic view of the city as they listened to the acoustic sounds of BET Music Matters artist Clinton Babers and a performance from LaTocha Scott of Xscape while dining on creations from Chef Sammy Davis, Jr. of the Food Network’s Chopped. Guests enjoyed signature cocktails from event sponsor Grey Goose. A silent auction aimed to raise funds for the foundation’s year-round programs included items from Atlanta Hawks/Phillips Arena, Southwest Airlines, Loews Hotel, a photo shoot by photographer-to-the-stars Derek Blanks and even an original piece of art from George Clinton. This year’s sponsors included Atlanta-based Concordia Anesthesiology, RBM of Atlanta, the Artmore Hotel, and BMI to mention a few.

“The arts have saved my life. I had a dream and I wanted to give back to kids,” said Big Boi shortly before helping George Clinton lead the crowd in a rousing chorus of “We want the funk, gotta have that funk!”

“It’s very warming to my heart that the work that I do is being recognized, that people have respect for it and enjoy it…I wouldn’t be standing here today if it weren’t for the arts,” explained 2012 Honoree Hinton Battle.

Subsequently, host Egypt Sharrod of HGTV’s Property Virgins and Atlanta’s V-103 encouraged guests to raise their paddles to support the Foundation’s 2012 “Saving Lives Through the Arts” Campaign. Funds raised will be used to impact youth in Atlanta and Big Boi’s hometown of Savannah, GA by sponsoring summer camps, in-school programs and other quality youth development programs.

“What distinguishes the Big Kidz Foundation from other organizations is that Big Boi is hands on and we are touching the lives of youth on a daily basis,” said Big Kidz’ Executive Director Jennifer Lester.

View highlights from the event in this exclusive video created exclusively for BlackGivesBack by Joshua Peltier of Brightcomm Entertainment here.


About Big Kidz Foundation:
The Big Kidz Foundation, the philanthropic vision Antwan "Big Boi" Patton, was established in an effort to enhance education and knowledge by nourishing artistic endeavors. Established in 2006, Big Kidz has a firm belief that cultural exposure, musical and literary expressions, and the invaluable experiences of travel make for a well-rounded person. Big Boi is 1/2 of the Grammy Award winning duo Outkast, which has had a global impact on the music business and is recognized for their originality and non-traditional creativity. The Big Kidz Foundation offers several programs that are provided in schools throughout metropolitan Atlanta. For more information, please visit www.bigkidzfoundation.org.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Philanthropy and Film: The Color of Conversation Presents Screening of “The Contradictions of Fair Hope”

Stephanie Rance, Co-Founder, Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival (MVAAFF); Rashad Robinson, Executive Director, Color of Change; S. Epatha Merkerson, Executive Producer, Contradictions of Fair Hope; Christal M. Jackson, Founder and CEO, Head and Heart Philanthropy Summit; and Floyd A. B. Rance III, Co-Founder, MVAAFF.

Head and Heart Philanthropy Summit partners with the Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival for documentary screening

By Stacey Trammel
BlackGivesBack Contributor

MARTHA’S VINEYARD, MA – On Friday, August 10th, the Head and Heart Philanthropy Summit, a gathering of philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, and foundation and nonprofit leaders, partnered with Run & Shoot Filmworks and the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival to present The Color of Conversation: A Screening of “The Contradictions of Fair Hope.” The film showed to a standing room only crowd at The Harborview Hotel in Edgartown, MA.

Attendees had the opportunity to view the feature film, the first from Executive Producers and Co-Directors S. Epatha Merkerson and Rockwell Metcalf, which shares the history of African American benevolent societies, charitable organizations primarily started post civil war to provide a way for members to give aid to others, such as tending to their sick and burying the dead.


The documentary then zeroes in on the Fair Hope Benevolent Society of Uniontown, Alabama, one of the last benevolent societies still in existence, and introduces viewers to a cast of characters determined to keep the tradition alive.

But all is not what it seems. What starts out as a journey into Fair Hope’s annual social gathering where one could find fellowship, a swig of moonshine in the back woods and fried fish sandwiches soon morphs into a tale about the “Foot Wash,” where tens of thousands now “religiously” convene for an entirely different type of ritual - a shocking turn of events that tarnishes its legacy.

The film, narrated by Whoopi Goldberg and geared towards mature audiences, covers an array of intricate subject matters ranging from race, politics, economic disparity, generational indifference, religion, overt sexuality and even self-ignorance. It is a thought provoking piece which serves as a cautionary tale that being unaware of or disregarding one’s cultural history can lead to tragic and detrimental results.

Rashad Robinson and S. Epatha Merkerson host a dialogue and Q&A session after the screening.

Merkerson, an accomplished theater and TV actress best known for the NBC Series Law & Order and HBO’s Lackawanna Blues, shared with the audience how Metcalf’s personal ties to the area inspired the film and addressed the conflicting messages peppered throughout. She led a spirited discussion along with host Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of Color of Change, on how the film can serve as a discussion piece about the importance of embracing our past.

Other panelists included Head and Heart CEO Christal M. Jackson, and Run & Shoot Filmworks and MVAAFF Founders Floyd and Stephanie Rance. Jackson, who held the invitation-only philanthropy summit over the weekend, spearheaded the collaboration with MVAAFF, which is in its tenth year of showcasing emerging filmmakers of color.

The documentary is currently making the rounds on the film festival circuit, serving as an Official Selection for the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival in Seattle, BronzeLens Film Festival Atlanta and Montreal Black Film Festival, among others. Awards include Filmmakers’ Choice and Best Film, the San Diego Black Film Festival and Best Documentary, the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival. Merkerson shared future plans to bring the film to select HBCUs across the country.

Visit www.contradictionsoffairhope.com to learn more about this compelling film, and view the trailer, upcoming screening dates/locations, and biographies of those who bring Fair Hope’s story to light.  Stay tuned for highlights from the Head and Heart Philanthropy Summit!


Photo credits:
Stacey Trammel/Buzzology
Indiewire Blog (Screen Shot)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

CeeLo Green & Sister Shedonna Launch Greenhouse Foundation


Educating and Empowering Our Youth to Live, Love & Be Green

Atlanta, GA – In the words of Kermit the Frog, “It’s not easy being green.” But, Grammy Award winning artist CeeLo Green and his sister Shedonna Alexander have together co-founded the GreenHouse Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission to help make “green education” easier and accessible to students in underserved school districts. The GreenHouse Foundation will educate, inspire and influence children to become responsible stewards of their environment, communities and future.

Officially launching on August 17th in Atlanta, GA, this sibling team will dedicate their first “teaching GreenHouse” in memory of their late mother Sheila J. Callaway Tyler. The dedication will take place on the campus of Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, a “GreenHouse School Partner,” where CeeLo attended elementary school.  Confirmed guests include CeeLo Green and sister Shedonna Alexander, Mayor of Atlanta Kasim Reed and the Goodie Mob. 

The GreenHouse Foundation is an extension of CeeLo and Shedonna’s long family legacy of philanthropy. They grew up surrounded by great role models – their maternal grandmother Ruby Callaway Robinson and mother Sheila J. Callaway Tyler. Ruby started a nationally recognized non-profit organization “Comprehensive Auxiliary for Southwest Community on Alcohol and Drug Education” (CASCADE) that focused on drug-prevention and education in underprivileged communities. She initiated the nationwide “Just Say No” kids march in May 1986, which drew over five million participants and achieved broad and tremendous support, including recognition from former First Lady Nancy Reagan and Soliel Moon Fry aka “Punkie Brewster.” Their late mother Sheila followed in her mother’s footsteps, serving as one of the first female firefighters with the Atlanta Fire Department, plus years of other volunteer work throughout the community.

The youth are our future leaders, so CeeLo and Shedonna recognize the importance of empowering children to love and protect the planet. As a result, the GreenHouse Foundation’s first initiative is the “Green Garden Education Program,” which will offer schools an opportunity to become "GreenHouse School Partners” and start making their green footprint. Through this program, the GreenHouse Foundation will build outdoor green gardens on campuses and introduce “green education” into their everyday curriculum, teaching children the importance of “being green.”

“The Green Garden program will use outdoor gardening as an innovative tool to teach math and science. It will allow students to experience a new approach to “green education,” states co-founder Shedonna Alexander. “We are committed to the mission to empower children with the knowledge, attitude and desire to positively influence their futures, their communities and the long-term sustainability of their planet.”

The University of Georgia’s Cooperative Extension service for Atlanta’s Fulton County is playing a key role in the GreenHouse Foundation’s education and community outreach. UGA Cooperative Extension extends lifelong learning to the people of Georgia through unbiased, research-based education in agriculture, the environment, communities, youth and families. As part of the GreenHouse School Partnership and Green Garden Education Program, they are providing curriculum support through their agricultural and family sciences programs.

“Through the Green Garden Education Program, the GreenHouse Foundation is supporting schools with the tools, curriculum, and resources necessary to create and maintain an outdoor ‘teaching garden.’ With the garden as the primary focus, children will learn the fundamentals of gardening along with the health and environmental benefits of growing their own produce. “Children will also learn how to start and manage their own school farmers market,” explains co-founder CeeLo Green. “The hands of our children will help feed those in need, like the homeless or elderly who live in ‘grocery deserts’ with no access to fresh produce.”

In the future, the GreenHouse Foundation plans to launch other initiatives such as “The School Waste Diversion Initiative,” which will provide schools with waste receptacles to divert non-biodegradable waste from local landfills and create a local competition among the schools. Annually on Earth Day, they will start “The Clean Atlanta Green Day” to unify the city’s local businesses, schools and government officials to collectively clean up the City of Atlanta. Another key initiative will be the launch of “The GreenHouse Community Gardens Program,” which will take the concept of their on-campus “school gardens” to the next level by adopting land around Atlanta to develop organic community gardens maintained by volunteers.

Additionally, the GreenHouse Foundation will also create a “Green Collar Career Development & Training Program” that will introduce and educate students on jobs that impact our environment. As the foundation grows larger, it will also offer students the opportunity to earn the “Green Career College Scholarship” based on academic performance. Teach Green, See Green, Live Green – GreenHouse Foundation.

Visit the website at www.GHFoundation.org and follow on social media on Twitter @GreenHouseFound and Facebook.

Source:  Press release

Fellowship Opportunit​y for Emerging NYC Philanthro​pists


The Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service is a prestigious leadership and professional development program for a diverse group of approximately 30 early-career professionals working full-time for nonprofits, government agencies and philanthropic organizations in New York City. It is sponsored by the Research Center for Leadership in Action at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, a nationally top-ranked school for public service.

The fellowship offers a chance for recent college graduates working full-time in public service in New York City to:
  • Deepen their understanding of the public service landscape
  • Assess and develop their leadership knowledge and skills
  • Learn from senior leaders in the field about their own public service journeys
  • Receive mentorship from senior directors in public service organizations
  • Think strategically about how to be most effective in their current roles
  • Plan for their careers based on their unique interests and goals
  • Build a support network of other talented, dynamic leaders in public service
The program runs from November 2012 through May 2013. Fellowship sessions twice each month provide leadership and professional development opportunities to help Fellows define their public service path. Upon completion of the program, Fellows join an active alumni network of more than 200 people.

To be eligible for the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service, applicants must be working full-time in public service in New York City and commit to attending all fellowship sessions, including a day-long orientation on November 10, 2012. Applicants should be approximately 2-5 years out of college, and most will not have completed graduate school. The program fee is $500.

The deadline to apply is noon EST on Wednesday, August 29, 2012.

More information and applications are available at: http://wagner.nyu.edu/felps.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Gordon Parks Foundation Exhibition Curated by Glenn Ligon to Open September 14, 2012


NEW YORK, NY - In honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Gordon Parks, widely recognized as the most influential African American photographer of the 20th century, Howard Greenberg Gallery in collaboration with the Gordon Parks Foundation will present two simultaneous exhibitions of his work. Contact: Gordon Parks, Ralph Ellison, and “Invisible Man,” curated by Glenn Ligon, and Gordon Parks: Centennial will be on view from September 14 – October 27, 2012. Parks, a remarkable Renaissance man who was also a writer, filmmaker, and composer, brought poetic style to street photography and portraiture, while exploring the social and economic impact of racism. An opening will be held at the gallery on Thursday, September 13, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Most noteworthy in the exhibitions will be a number of color prints from Segregation Story, 1956, a limited edition portfolio with an essay by Maurice Berger. On exhibition for the first time, they were produced in 2012 from a group of transparencies only recently discovered in a storage box at the Gordon Parks Foundation.

Contact: Gordon Parks, Ralph Ellison, and “Invisible Man,” curated by the artist Glenn Ligon, examines a series of works by Gordon Parks entitled Invisible Man. Many were first published in Life magazine upon the release of Ralph Ellison's award winning novel, which explored racial and social issues facing African Americans in the 20th century. A milestone in American literature, the novel is narrated by a black man who feels socially invisible. The exhibition includes the gelatin silver print The Invisible Man, Harlem, New York, 1952, a striking image of a man peering out from underneath a manhole cover in the middle of a deserted street.

As Ligon notes, “The photos for Invisible Man veered back and forth between an attempt to illustrate some of the feverish scenes in the novel and the “reality” of Harlem, which Parks had tried to document in his previous work. Indeed, many of the photos in the exhibition were seemingly created in relationship to Parks’ photo assignments in Harlem, not as illustrations for the novel, although it is hard to distinguish between the two. It is the tension between these motives—to illustrate a fiction and to document a reality—that is the basis of this exhibition.”

Glenn Ligon (right) pictured with Thelma Golden, director and chief curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem at the Gordon Parks Centennial Gala in New York, June 2012.  Photo credit:  Stacey Trammel

Gordon Parks: Centennial will survey nearly 40 works spanning five decades of the artist’s career beginning in the early 1940s, including some of the legendary photographer’s most seminal images. Among the highlights in Gordon Parks: Centennial will be American Gothic, 1942. Considered to be Parks’s signature image, the gelatin silver print depicts Ella Watson, a black woman who mopped floors at a government building. Astonished by the prejudice he encountered on his first day in Washington D.C., Parks struck up a conversation with Watson and heard about the difficulties she faced due to bigotry and discrimination. That day Parks himself had been refused service at a clothing store, restaurant, and movie theater. Watson agreed to be photographed by him, holding a broom behind an American flag. Park’s riff on the iconic 1930 painting of the same name by Grant Wood became the symbol of the burgeoning civil rights movement. Another image, Muhammad Ali, Miami, Florida, 1966, shows the boxer looking tense and drenched in sweat. A color photograph of a family waiting in front of an ice cream shop on a hot summer day, Untitled, Shady Grove, Alabama, 1956, is on view for the first time as part of the Segregation Story series taken for Life magazine.

Gordon Parks Collected Works
The exhibitions at Howard Greenberg Gallery will coincide with Gordon Parks Collected Works, a five-volume book on his photographs to be published by Steidl in September. The book will be the most extensive publication to document Gordon Parks’s legendary career.

Gordon Parks Exhibitions
A number of other exhibitions in New York will coincide with the exhibition at Howard Greenberg Gallery including Gordon Parks: 100 Years at the International Center for Photography through January 6, 2013; Gordon Parks: 100 Moments at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture through December 1, 2012; Gordon Parks: Crossroads at the Tisch School of the Arts, Gulf+Western Gallery, from September 4 through September 25, 2012; and Gordon Parks: A Harlem Family 1967 at the Studio Museum of Harlem from November 7, 2012 through February 2013.

About Glenn Ligon
Glenn Ligon was born in 1960 in the Bronx, New York. In 2011, his work was the subject of a traveling retrospective organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Ligon has received numerous awards including the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in 1991 and 1989. Upon entering office, President Barack Obama selected the artist's painting Black Like Me No. 2, 1992, for the White House living quarters. Works by the artist are included in major museum collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; and Tate Modern, London. His work is represented by Luhring Augustine, New York; Regen Projects, Los Angeles; and Thomas Dane, London. The artist lives and works in New York.

About The Gordon Parks Foundation
The Gordon Parks Foundation permanently preserves the work of Gordon Parks, makes it available to the public through exhibitions, books, and electronic media, and supports artistic and educational activities that advance what Gordon described as "the common search for a better life and a better world." The Foundation is a division of the Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation.

Howard Greenberg Gallery:  Howard Greenberg Gallery is located at 41 East 57th Street, Suite 1406, New York. For more information contact, 212-334-0010 or info@howardgreenberg.com, or visit www.howardgreenberg.com.

Top photo: The Invisible Man, Harlem, New York, 1952. Gelatin silver print © The Gordon Parks Foundation. Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery

Source:  Press release

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Twelve Days of Christmas, Inc. Hosts Back-to-School Event for Houston Families

Twelve Days of Christmas hostesses Aisha Young, Sharon Sanders, Davon Hatchett, LaChelle Allen, Kelon Jefferson and Twelve Days volunteer Lori LaBrie.

By Davon Hatchett

HOUSTON, TX - Proving that Christmas doesn’t come just once a year, the ladies of Twelve Days of Christmas, Inc. hosted its annual “Christmas in July” affair on Sunday, July 29, 2012.  The members of the organization invited more than 35 pre-selected families in need (recommended by churches, social service organizations, schools and members of the organization) to come and enjoy a full day of fun, food and festivities, paid for by the organization. The event was held at The Aquarium, a six-acre entertainment and dining complex. The families, which included more than 100 children, were treated to lunch and were given the opportunity to take full advantage of all of the exciting rides, games, amusements and aquatic & geographic exhibits for the entire day.

The event isn’t only about having fun however, as it is also designed as an avenue to provide the children of the families with all of the necessary tools that will enable them to embark on a successful upcoming school year. Since back-to-school time can be a huge financial burden on families - particularly those with limited incomes, the organization uses the funds they collect from fundraisers hosted during the year to provide the children with brand new backpacks, grade-appropriate school supplies, undergarments and school uniforms. Since children who do not have the tools they need for school are at greater risk of dropping out of school, the organization decided to positively impact children in the Houston-area by filling this gap with the Christmas in July tradition of giving.

Twelve Days of Christmas hostesses Kimberly Robinson, Thelma LeVeaux and Melinda Spaulding Chevalier

Twelve Days hostesses President Linda Estes, Event chair Deborah Hutchison, Wandell Hawkins, Thelma LeVeaux, and Twelve Days of Christmas founder Gayla Gardner

Twelve Days hostess Nicole Hadnott and Event Co-Chair Yvette McLin; (second row) Twelve days hostess Wandell Hawkins and her granddaughter

Twelve Days of Christmas hostesses Tiffany Dugar Hatchett and event chair Deborah Hutchison help a family select a backpack.

The Twelve Days of Christmas is a 501(c)3 organization founded in 1999 by mother-daughter team Gayla Gardner and Donya Gardner that has chapters in Houston, New York, Dallas, Oakland and Washington, DC. The mission of the organization is to share “blessings with others through collective effort, charitable activities and community involvement” by remembering the true spirit of Christmas throughout the year. 100% of the funds raised help support less fortunate families for an entire program year. To learn more about Twelve Days of Christmas please visit www.twelvedaysofchristmasinc.org.

Davon D. E. Hatchett is a freelance writer and attorney with a boutique practice in Fashion law, Art law and Wine law from Houston, Texas. As a philanthropist she contributes to and raises funds for various organizations including the Houston Museum of African American Culture, Texas Southern University, Recipe for Success Foundation, and The Twelve Days of Christmas. She previously worked in the non-profit sector for more than seven years in fund development and corporate relations for the United Way and the Girl Scouts.

Davon is a graduate of two HBCUs: Prairie View A&M University, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree; and Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Davon enjoys travel, is a lover of all things epicurean, and is currently indulging one of her many passions by studying to become a wine educator.