Friday, March 29, 2013

New Web Site Strengthens Black Male Achievement Field

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Foundation Center and Open Society Foundations Launch

New York, NY — The Foundation Center and the Open Society Foundations have launched the web portal to facilitate engagement, collaboration, and strategic decision making among funders, nonprofits, and policymakers working to promote positive outcomes for black men and boys in America. The site is supported by the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, in which the Open Society Foundations has invested $50 million over the past five years.

“We urge more grantmakers and philanthropists across sectors to enter the field of black male achievement for the long term, and to do it with the understanding that their investments are helping to strengthen the social fabric of America,” said Shawn Dove, manager of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement. “ helps philanthropic leaders get up to speed by highlighting what's working and by spreading the word about what success looks like.” supports those working to reverse the damage done by years of systemic injustice by providing access to a variety of knowledge resources, including:

  • A mapping tool that fosters collaboration by showing who's funding what program, where;
  • A timeline of philanthropic milestones that sheds light on the historical context of the field;
  • An "Outcomes Toolkit" that points users to key measures that will help them assess the impact of their work; and
  • A comprehensive collection of research reports, as well as case studies of work on the ground that highlight innovation and lessons learned.

“ shows that there are foundations who are not afraid to tackle one of the most daunting challenges in our society,” said Bradford Smith, president of the Foundation Center. “Armed with knowledge tools, the right data, and peer-to-peer insights, donors can find new allies to make their work even more strategic.”

The portal builds on the groundbreaking 2012 report, Where Do We Go From Here? Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys, which examines foundation funding flows in support of black men and boys and highlights innovative philanthropic initiatives.

The official launch of the site will take place at the Association of Black Foundation Executives annual conference on April 6 in Chicago where it will be particularly relevant to the theme of "innovation and investment to increase impact in black communities." A formal demonstration of the web portal will be complemented by the opportunity for hands-on exploration throughout the event.

At, visitors can sign up for e-mail updates to learn about news and events related to black male achievement, as well as submit grants data, case studies, and philanthropic milestones. Updates are also available on Twitter at @BMAfunders.

Source:  Press release

Evidence, A Dance Company Hosts The Torch Ball to Celebrate the Life of the late Beth Young and Goldman, Sachs & Co.

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Senior Partner of Goldman Sachs Valentino D. Carlotti is presented with an award by Chairman Emeritus of the board of Evidence, A Dance Company and Executive Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton Reginald Van Lee at the Torch Ball hosted by Evidence on March 25, 2013 in New York City.

NEW YORK, NY – Evidence, A Dance Company paid tribute to the life and legacy of Beth Young, a dance enthusiast and long-time supporter of Evidence, A Dance Company, and recognized Goldman, Sachs & Co. and, Valentino D. Carlotti for supporting the arts and community outreach at The Torch Ball on March 25 at New York City's The Plaza Hotel.  Proceeds from the black tie affair support Evidence’s mission to promote understanding of the African Diaspora through dance, music and storytelling.

Hosted by actress Lynn Whitfield, nearly 300 distinguished guests from the arts and entertainment industry and business community attended the 9th annual gala.  The evening began with an elegant cocktail reception, followed by dinner, and two special dance performances by Evidence.  The gala concluded with dessert and guests dancing on the dance floor for Evidence’s signature “Dancing with the Dancers.”   Reginald Van Lee, Executive Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton and Chairman Emeritus of the board of Evidence, A Dance Company, served as this year’s Gala Chair.  Actor and director Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee were the Honorary Chairs.

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Lynn Whitfield with Evidence, A Dance  Company        

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 Reginald Van Lee, recording artist Freddie Jackson and Artistic Director of Evidence Ronald K .Brown

Goldman, Sachs & Co. was presented with the 2013 Corporate Philanthropy Award for their support of the arts and commitment to building and stabilizing communities.  Valentino D. Carlotti, Partner and head of Goldman Sachs’ Securities Division Institutional Client Group, accepted the award on behalf of the global investment banking and securities firm.

“Goldman Sachs and its people are committed to helping communities where we work and live, where ideas, people and resources can make a difference,” said Gala Chair Van Lee, who presented the award to Carlotti.

In a moving tribute to the legacy of Beth Young, Evidence Founder and Artistic Director, Ronald K. Brown presented Karin Young, twin sister of Beth, with the posthumous 2013 Community Activist Award.  Beth studied with the dance company for over 15 years before losing her battle with cancer on January 6, 2012.

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Karin Young (L) accepts the Evidence Community Activist award on behalf of her sister Beth Young from Artistic Director Ronald K Brown

Choreographed by internationally-acclaimed Brown in Young’s honor and in homage to other friends and family who have passed away, Evidence dancers performed the deeply spiritual work, Torch, to the music of various artists including DJ Zinhle.  The dance company blends African, modern, ballet and social dance styles to tell stories about the human experience.  Brown was the choreographer for Tony Award-winning THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS on Broadway where he won the Fred and Adele Astaire Award for Outstanding Choreographer for a Broadway Musical.

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Julianne Malveaux, Susan L. Taylor and Jeanine Downie
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Alicia Bythewood, Julia Sergeon, Brie Bythewood and Jenn Goldson; Evidence's Associate Artistic Director Arcell Cabuag and Loida Nicolas Lewis 
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Lola West, Ian Fuller and Andrea Hoffman

Gala sponsors include Goldman, Sachs & Co., The Reginald Van Lee Foundation, Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida, Alvin Adell, MD; BET Networks, and Larry Satterfield and Sabir Amen.

A live auction and bricks and mortar auction raised nearly $55,000 to support the dance company. Until April 4, Evidence supporters have an opportunity to bid on auction items on CharityBuzz.  Auction items include private dinners, tickets to a taping of BET’s “Black Girls Rock 2013,” and a shadow day with Susan L. Taylor, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Essence Magazine, among others. The auction can be viewed at

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Evidence, A Dance Company dancers with Ronald K. Brown

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Evidence, A Dance Company board members Dwayne Ashley, Gail Monroe-Perry, Dr. Alvin Adell, Artistic Director Ronald K. Brown, Larry Satterfield, Leslie Mays and Chairman Emeritus, of the board of the Evidence Dance Company Reginald Van Lee
Learn more about Evidence, A Dance Company by visiting

Photos by Thos Robinson/Getty Images


Jack and Jill of America Westchester, NY Chapter Hosts Cirque du Jour: A Night of Escape

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Cirque du Jour: A Night of Escape co-chairs with host Norm Lewis

New Rochelle, NY – The stars were out in New Rochelle on Saturday, March 9th, as the Westchester Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Inc. hosted Cirque du Jour: A Night of Escape.   This elegant fundraiser at The Fountainhead included an abundant silent auction, 50/50 raffle, live Cirque performance, dinner and dancing.  The Master of Ceremonies was Tony Award Nominee Norm Lewis, and noted actress and television talk show host Sherri Shepherd was honored for her outstanding commitment to the community.   Among attendees were NYS Senator Andrea Stuart-Cousins and New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson.

The event raised upwards of $20,000 that will benefit local not-for-profit organizations within the communities served by Westchester Chapter of Jack & Jill, as well as the Jack & Jill of America, Inc. Foundation.   The philanthropic arm of Jack & Jill of America, Inc. supports programs aimed at improving academic test scores, raising literacy and mathematical competencies, encouraging cultural consciousness, and instilling moral and social responsibility in America’s youth. Since its inception in 1968, the Jack & Jill of America Foundation has distributed millions of dollars to communities all across America.

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Ammie Felder-Williams, president of Jack and Jill of America Westchester chapter; event host Norm Lewis and Senator Andrea Stuart-Cousins

To learn more, visit Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and Jack and Jill of America Foundation.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New York Urban League Shows Over 150 Young Men How Technology is Changing the World

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SportsNet New York (SNY)’s Brian Custer, NY State Senator Kevin Parker, President & CEO of the New York Urban League, Arva Rice and CyberSynch’s CEO Amos Winbush participate in the New York Urban League's 3rd Annual Young Men's Empowerment Day.

New York, NY - The New York Urban League's 3rd annual Young Men's Empowerment Day held on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, gave students the opportunity to engage in one-on-one and group conversations with powerful men in business from companies as diverse as Bloomberg to ConEdison to Microsoft.   The day was sponsored by Time Warner Cable and ConEdison.

“The Empowerment Days give students an opportunity to peek behind the curtain and gain an insider’s view of the day-to-day happenings at some of New York’s most elite organizations.  It’s these small but meaningful interactions that have the greatest impact on young people,” said Arva R. Rice, President and CEO of the New York Urban League.  “So many of the students that have participated in the past have walked away with new insights and inspiration for their future.  Thanks to our corporate partners, we can continue to expose more young people to some of the possible careers available to them.”

Young Men's Empowerment Day focused on how technology is changing work and shaping emerging career fields.  This year's hosts for the day included: BET, Bloomberg, LP, ConEdison, FDNY, Harlem Hospital, Interpublic, JPMorganChase, Office of the Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Microsoft, NBC, Time Warner Cable and UPS.  At the sites, young men toured the facilities, and met individuals from the corporations who shared their career path.

For the afternoon session, the young men were joined by 18 additional male professionals.   These men facilitated conversations about the young men's experiences and provided further career counseling and mentoring.  The day concluded at ConEdison where Brian Custer, Anchor, SNY, facilitated a conversation with Amos Winbush, CEO of Cybersynch, and NY State Senator Kevin Parker.  These gentlemen inspired the crowd by sharing stories of struggles and success on their career paths.

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Panelists Senator Kevin Parker and Amos Winbush

Winbush encouraged the audience to take advantage of experiences such as Empowerment Days because they help to clarify interest and passion.   He went on to say, “Find your purpose at an early age.  After you find your purpose, the work begins.”  Senator Parker added that whatever the students decide to take on, become a master: “Read about, study, seek mentors in your area, and seek to be the very best.”

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Event chaperones

About NYUL
The New York Urban League was founded in 1919 by a group of prominent New Yorkers concerned with the poor state of blacks migrating to New York City from the south.  From its inception it provided employment and connections for migrating blacks bridging the adjustment from the agricultural/rural life to the industrial urban center.  Each decade following, “The League” provided critical services such as emergency aid for the unemployed during the Great Depression; formed the Committee for Interracial Voluntary Hospitals to provide care and work in local hospitals; negotiated the opening of employment for blacks in the airline, brewing, and baking industries; created “Street Academies” which became a national model for high school students; published the first State of Black New York report; and created its signature events including the Frederick Douglass Dinner, Whitney M. Young Jr. Classic, and Champion of Diversity Breakfast among many other milestones.  

Source and photos:  NYUL/Photo credit:  Gerald Peart

Liberty Hill Foundation to Host Annual Upton Sinclair Dinner Honoring Philanthropist Charles F. Johnson

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Liberty Hill Foundation President and CEO, Kafi D. Blumenfield

LOS ANGELES, CA - The Liberty Hill Foundation is among the country’s most admired social change foundations, best known for their investments in community organizing - the process of bringing people together and helping them realize their power.  With a near 40-year track record, Liberty Hill achieves its mission by identifying community leaders on the ground, strengthening their work through grant investments and intensive on-the-job training, and building strategic alliances so they can advance a common agenda for change. Their work is concentrated in three main areas:  Environment, Lesbian and Gay Rights, and Poverty and Economic Justice.  Kafi D. Blumenfield spearheads this work as the foundation’s president and CEO.

During her tenure, Ms. Blumenfield has overseen several critical aspects of Liberty Hill’s work, including the launch of the Wally Marks Leadership Institute for Change, an intensive on-the-job training for local community organizers; initiatives to increase donor diversity in social justice philanthropy including Change L.A., which is building millennial-generation giving; and a strategic refocusing of Liberty Hill's nearly $5 million annual grant investments.

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Honorees of Liberty Hill Foundation's Uplifting Change Summit:  Virgil Roberts, entertainment lawyer; Maddie McFadden Lawson, artist; and Jesse Williams, actor.  Held on February 28, 2013, the summit is an initiative to connect local donor-activists and help them leverage community assets to strengthen Black Los Angeles through philanthropic investment in grassroots community organizing.

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Fundamentals of Strategic Giving panel at Uplifting Change Summit: Rene Nourse, Urban Wealth Management; Anne Marie Jones, The California Endowment; Ange-Marie Hancock, University of Southern California; Mia Gorman, The Gorman Group and Kafi Blumenfield.

On the evening of April 23, 2013 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, Liberty Hill will host its signature event, the annual Upton Sinclair Dinner.   This year, the foundation is honoring philanthropist and successful film and television producer Charles F. Johnson with their Creative Vision award.   As producer on such television shows as “NCIS,” “Magnum, P.I.,” “The Rockford Files,” “B.L. Stryker,” “Quantum Leap,” and “JAG,” Charles F. Johnson has built pathways within the entertainment industry to create innovative stories, imbuing characters with depth and vitality through his nuanced understanding of history, the artistic power of his chosen media, and his commitment to racial equality on and off screen.  In 2012, he produced the NAACP Image Award-winning feature film Red Tails.  

Charles’s activism began in the late 1960s, when he attended Howard University alongside such classmates as Stokely Carmichael.  During the Civil Rights Movement, he was active in protests and marches, and later was involved in John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign.  Deeply committed to social justice, education, and the power of community engagement, Charles advances social change through creativity, passion, and philanthropic investment in a broad range of organizations, including his leadership as a Trustee of the Art Center College in Pasadena.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

One-Night-Only Benefit Event Pairs Theatre Legend with Rising Star

‘Lou, Q and You at e2’ set to raise funds for On Q, Charlotte’s black theatre company

By Valaida Fullwood, Contributor

Charlotte, NC – The evening of Tuesday, April 9, an intimate dinner and theatre experience is scheduled at Emeril’s Eatery, better known as e2, to benefit On Q Performing Arts.  In the spotlight will be an unscripted dialogue between Quentin "Q" Talley (pictured right), founder and artistic director of On Q theatre company, and his mentor Lou Bellamy (left), founder and artistic director of the renowned Penumbra Theatre in St Paul, MN.

Last summer, Talley became one of only six theatre professionals, nationwide, awarded a Leadership U fellowship, made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Theatre Communications Group.  During the 2012-13 fellowship, Talley is in residence at Penumbra and benefits from professional coaching from the legendary Bellamy.

An Obie Award-winning director, accomplished actor and sought-after scholar, Bellamy has led Penumbra in producing 23 world premieres, including August Wilson's first professional production. Penumbra has the proud distinction of having produced more of Wilson's plays than any other theatre in the world.  In addition to his theatre company, Bellamy has been a faculty member at the University of Minnesota for 32 years and is currently associate professor in the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance.

Talley, an award-winning next-gen theatre professional, is a poet, actor, director and producer.  In 2006, he founded the theatre company, On Q Performing Arts.  He earned the 2008 Emerging Artist of the Year Award from Metrolina Theatre Association and was named a Roundtable Artist by Americans for the Arts National Arts Policy Roundtable at the Sundance Institute.  As part of his current fellowship, he is working nationwide in major regional theatres.

Tickets for the benefit are $100 per person, which includes a three-course New Orleans-inspired meal and wine at the restaurant e2.  Located in uptown Charlotte, e2 sustains Chef Emeril Lagasse’s reputation for comfort, warm service and delicious food.

Support of this fundraiser and ongoing attendance at On Q performances are vital to sustain the nonprofit theatre company’s vision, mission and extraordinary storytelling.

To purchase a ticket, go to for information or call 704-589-9146.

About On Q Performing Arts, Inc.
Founded in 2006, On Q Performing Arts is a 501(c)(3) non-profit theatre company dedicated to educating and producing classic, contemporary and original performance works that reflect the black experience, especially that of the African American.   For additional information, visit and for media inquiries, call 704.261.5290 or email    

Story submitted by Valaida Fullwood
Described an “idea whisperer,” Valaida brings unbridled imagination and a gift for harnessing wild ideas to her work as a writer and project strategist.  She is a founding member of Charlotte’s New Generation of African American Philanthropists and author of “Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists.”  She also serves on the founding board of On Q Performing Arts.  On Twitter, follow @ValaidaF and @BlkGivesBackCLT.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

California Community Foundation Hosts Luncheon for South L.A. Business Leaders To Support Black Male Youth

Actor Larenz Tate and BLOOM Director Robert Lewis among the Speakers at the Luncheon Held at the California African American Museum

LOS ANGELES, CA – On March 25, 2013, the California Community Foundation (CCF) hosted A Better Future, A Better Community BLOOM luncheon at the California African American Museum (CAAM) for South Los Angeles business leaders and owners.   The luncheon was developed to encourage South L.A. business leaders and owners to support the BLOOM initiative through possible internships, job placements and mentoring for the BLOOM youth.

BLOOM is a five-year grantmaking initiative designed to guide black male youth residing in South L.A., (14-18 years old) who have been involved with the probation system, toward a path of improved educational and employment opportunities. “Young black men of South Los Angeles deserve true equity and equality in order to gain employment,” said BLOOM Initiative Director, Robert Lewis.

During a panel discussion, Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise Owner Karim Webb; UPS Area Human Resource Manager LaShawn Stanford; and Lazarrius Taylor, a BLOOM youth from Brotherhood Crusade, shared with guests their reasons for becoming involved with BLOOM.

Actor/BLOOM Spokesperson Larenz Tate also spoke about the importance of the BLOOM initiative, regarding it as a necessity for black male youth who want to be heard. Tate recently directed the video for R&B singer Melanie Fiona’s new single, “Wrong Side of a Love Song,” where he allowed two BLOOM youth to be production assistants for the day.   Tate also spoke of his time with the youth on-set and the importance of them learning what it takes behind the scenes to build characters on-screen.

For more information about BLOOM, visit,, and  follow on Facebook at

In photo:(Left to Right) BLOOM Director, Robert Lewis; actor/spokesman Larenz Tate; Brotherhood Crusade Advocate, Eric Aguiar; BLOOM Youth Lazarrius Taylor; Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise Owner, Karim Webb; Brotherhood Crusade VP of Programs & Operations, Dr. Nathan J. Sessoms; and UPS Area Human Resource Manager, LaShawn Stanford.

About the California Community Foundation
California Community Foundation (CCF) is a public, charitable organization serving Los Angeles County since 1915. It encourages philanthropy by individuals, families, companies and organizations, and serves as a steward of their charitable funds and legacies. It also makes grants to nonprofits and collaborates in addressing the needs of vulnerable members of the community. In addition, it engages in community problem solving with business, civic, government and other
organizations. For more information, visit and follow on Facebook at

Source:  Press release

Monday, March 25, 2013

Alvin Ailey Young Patrons Circle Hosts “Behind the Scenes of Ailey II” Event

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Ailey Young Patrons Circle Steering Committee members Jenny Obiaya and Kara Hollis, Paige Fraser, Steering Committee member Natalie Ginsberg, Edward Spots, Gentry George and Steering Committee member Prentice Onayemi. Photo by Claudia Schreier

By Ebonie Johnson Cooper

NEW YORK, NY - On Tuesday, March 12, The Alvin Ailey Young Patrons and their guests gathered for a cocktail reception at The Joan Weill Center for Dance following Behind-The-Scenes of Ailey II.

Behind-the-Scenes of Ailey II was an opportunity for the Young Patrons Circle, Ailey donors between the ages of 25- 40 who give $250 or more, and their invited guests to view the final dress rehearsal of the second company.  Attendees previewed three dance pieces from the Ailey II spring season in the Ailey Citigroup Theater, the same theater where the performance run began on March 16.  Many of the guests spoke highly of the performances and couldn't wait to see more!

During the cocktail hour, guests mixed and mingled over music, wine and light fare.  Curtistine Walden-Hoes, Director of Patron Relations, shared her excitement and gratitude on behalf of the Ailey family to have so many young professionals gathered in support of the legendary performing arts organization.  The Alvin Ailey Young Patrons Circle is an opportunity for young philanthropists with an affinity for the performing arts to invest in the longevity of The Alvin Ailey Dance Theater.

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Young Patrons Circle Steering Committee member Kara Hollis speaks at the Ailey II event.

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Genese Cage, Jennifer Swayne, Leleah Robinson, T. Nicole Merritt, Ailey II dancer- Daphne Lee, Jovian Irvin, Jaquelynn Griffin and Young Patrons Circle member Ebonie Johnson Cooper

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Prospective Young Patrons can find more information about the circle and join by visiting:

Photos: Claudia Schreier

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Picture Reframed: New TEDx Talk Reveals the Stories Behind the Award Winning Book, ‘Giving Back’

Charlotte, NC — “Ideas worth spreading” is the slogan of the wildly popular conferences, and with that sentiment is pleased to premiere a new video, capturing a recent TEDx Talk on identity, epiphany and philanthropy.

On stage before a sold-out crowd of 500, Valaida Fullwood and Charles W. Thomas, author and photographer of Giving Back, co-presented at TEDxCharlotte 2013 on February 15. Charlotte’s third in a series of annual symposia was titled UNLIMITED:  Ideas Take Shape and took place at Silver Hammer Studios.

“The TEDx program, an extension of TED's vision of ‘ideas worth spreading,’ offers people an incredible global platform from which to share their experience, vision, insight, research and of course, ideas,” says Candice Langston, chief organizer of TEDxCharlotte. While an initial focus on technology, entertainment and design produced the acronym TED, today the conferences feature far more topics and have spun off the TEDx brand of self-organized local forums.

Presenting in tag-team fashion, Fullwood opened with the statement: “Reframing portraits of philanthropy—that was my big idea six years ago.” She recounted her observations about mainstream philanthropy, her inspiration for Giving Back and her struggle to realize a long-envisioned dream to tell stories of black philanthropy.

“I was born a statistic. Black male. Single mom. Absent father,” began Thomas about a life of breaking frames. He spoke of the power of image and identity and of his resistance to preconceived limitations.

Mike Watson, the event’s host and emcee remarked, “What often is lacking in our daily conversations is authenticity, so many people talk but few genuinely communicate. However, this year at TEDxCharlotte, Valaida and Charles spoke with depth and passion, clarity and insight all the while engaging the audience in a genuine manner that needs to once again be a part of our daily social interaction.”

“Speaking at TEDxCharlotte was both exhausting and exhilarating,” said Fullwood when asked about the event. “It was exhausting because we had to dig up our rawest fears and memories and then craft a 15-minute speech about them. And it was exhilarating, because audience members seemed to connect with what we shared and were moved by it.”

Watch “A Picture Reframed” by Fullwood and Thomas, premiering here today.

Photo credit: Deborah Triplett Photography

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Society, Incorporated Bonds Women in Friendship, Service and the Arts

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Members of The Society, Incorporated Greater Atlanta Chapter Photo: Rick Cash

ATLANTA, GA - Thirty years ago in Washington, DC, four women became concerned about budget cuts in arts programs impacting the school system.   As a result, Celeste Burton, Davetta Madison, Dorothy Patton and Myrtle Roan founded The Society, Incorporated, an organization of women bonded by friendship and service that is dedicated to exposing, supporting and promoting youth in the arts.   Today, the organization has grown to 25 chapters with over 500 members in cities such as Baltimore, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dallas. 

In 2000, the Greater Atlanta chapter was founded by Leanora Davis and Patricia Stokes, and this year the chapter launched its 2013 year of friendship and service to youth in the arts with the induction of four new members.  For the past 13 years, the chapter has provided annual awards and support to young people pursuing interests in the literary, visual and performing arts.  Members are collectively and individually strong supporters of the arts within the metropolitan Atlanta community.

Over the past few years, the organization has awarded close to $30,000 in scholarship awards and support to students and arts organizations.  The chapter has collegiate volunteers and many community partners including the Hammonds House Museum, Southwest Arts Center, Woodruff Library- AUC, Azira Hill’s TDP with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and visual artist Kevin Cole.   In June, the chapter will host its annual High Tea to celebrate the recipients of the Aline Rivers Jones Scholarship in memory of Lady Aline Rivers Jones that will be a rich experience in the visual and performing arts.

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College volunteers at the Holiday Art Tour for the Greater Atlanta chapter of The Society, Incorporated

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Summertime fun at "Art in the Gardens"

Members of the Greater Atlanta chapter are: Alfreda Mayes, President; Yolanda Head, Vice President; Karon Williams, Treasurer; Lucy Allen, Financial Secretary; Annita Stokes Thomas, Corresponding Secretary; Kimberly Lewis, Recording Secretary; Sylvia Brewer, Parliamentarian; Beverly Williams, Historian; Darlene Charles, Kaneta Cuffie, D. Jea Delsarte, Leanora Davis, Michele Gandy, Lisa Glanville, Joyce Johnson, Rubye McClendon, Yvonne Mayes- Moales, Bucilla Petross, Loretta O. Parham, Fawn Shelton, Renee Sanders and Kami L. Strickland. Life members are Delores Shelton and Joanna Sutton.

To learn more about The Society, Incorporated, visit

Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation and Open Society Foundations’ Campaign for Black Male Achievement Kick Off Call for Mentors in NY and NJ

Steve Harvey talks Dream Building and Manhood with boys at the Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men in Los Angeles in 2011.

National Steve Harvey Mentoring Campaign Partners for March 23rd Initiative with the Metropolitan Baptist Church Straight Talk for Men Fellowship in Newark, NJ

Newark, NJ – On Saturday March 23, 2013, radio host, author, talk show and Family Feud host Steve Harvey’s powerful initiative, the Steve Harvey Mentoring Campaign, will come to the New York metro area.   Created in partnership between The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation and the Open Society Foundation’s Campaign for Black Male Achievement, the Steve Harvey Mentoring Campaign is leading the way to create and expand stronger mentoring relationships impacting African-American boys around the country, with nationwide events to inspire men to become mentors.   Driving the ongoing need for mentoring, the Steve Harvey Mentoring Campaign will partner with the leading faith-based mentoring initiative Trinity Mentoring, under the auspices of Straight Talk for Men Fellowship led by Rev. Dr. David Jefferson, Sr., as they host a major mentor recruitment drive for the New York/New Jersey area at Metropolitan Baptist Church – 149 Springfield Avenue, Newark, New Jersey on March 23rd.

An unforgettable experience that creates a lasting impact on both mentors and their mentees, The Steve Harvey Mentoring Campaign is launching a call to action in the New York/New Jersey area, for men ages 18 and older to:

  • Join the Campaign initiative, and local partners for the March 23rd drive
  • Become a mentor and inspire African-American boys to achieve their maximum potential, empower their communities, and develop their purpose and leadership.

Featuring informational sessions and more at the mentor recruitment drives, the Steve Harvey Mentoring Campaign continues to expand upon The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation’s mentoring initiatives, which has served over 1,000 young men and women around the country to date with their cornerstone mentoring programs for young men and young women.

Steve Harvey says, “I’ve seen first-hand what a powerful impact mentoring can have on our youth. To empower the next generation, the guidance and wisdom that mentors provide is a one-of-a-kind experience that can’t be found in any classroom.  Anyone has the power to become a mentor, and one person can spark a change in the lives of young men now, building a brighter future together with the next generation.”

Addressing the economic, social, and educational needs of everyday life, the partnership between The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation and the Open Society Foundation’s Campaign for Black Male Achievement on the Steve Harvey Mentoring Campaign, in Newark with Metropolitan Baptist Church’s Straight Talk for Men Fellowship will also feature national and local partner support from NBC, Big Brothers Big Sisters, National CARES Mentoring Movement, Mentoring USA, The Newark Mentoring Movement, historically black fraternities, local faith-based partners, local community and youth service organizations, local and national radio stations, and interviews on The Steve Harvey Morning Show between Steve Harvey and Shawn Dove, Campaign Manager for the Campaign for Black Male Achievement.

Steve Harvey Mentoring Campaign Event 2013 – New York
Saturday, March 23 – Metropolitan Baptist Church
149 Springfield Avenue – Newark, NJ – 10 AM to 1 PM

For more information on the Steve Harvey Mentoring Campaign and getting involved, stay tuned to The Steve Harvey Morning Show and visit The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation’s website,, for updates on Steve Harvey Mentoring Campaign event dates for 2013.

Source:  Press release

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

UNCF Annual “A Mind Is” Gala Celebrated Those Changing the Face of Education

Event Honored Ingrid Saunders Jones and Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts

New York, NY – UNCF (United Negro College Fund), the nation’s largest education organization and national advocate for education reform, was joined by over 1,000 educators, business and civic leaders, and supporters of education from across the country on March 7 at its annual UNCF “A Mind Is” Gala at the Hilton New York. 

The event, hosted by WNBC/New York anchor David Ushery, raised funds to benefit more than 60,000 students who receive UNCF scholarships and attend UNCF’s 38 member historically black colleges and universities and more than 900 colleges and universities across the country.

“We are deeply grateful to everyone whose support and participation has made this year’s UNCF “A Mind Is” Gala such a success. That success is not just about one night, but about walking the walk and investing in a new kind of philanthropy; one that proves an investment in our young people today will pay dividends tomorrow, not just for them, but for all of us,” said Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., president and CEO, UNCF.

In addition to electrifying performances by Tony Award winner and longtime UNCF supporter Jennifer Holliday, presidents from UNCF’s 38 member institutions were honored for their work and the partnership these institutions have with UNCF to ensure that HBCUs remain a cornerstone of UNCF’s mission to increase the number of qualified African American college graduates who are ready to become tomorrow’s leaders.

The UNCF “A Mind Is” Gala also continued its tradition of honoring noted civic, education, and business leaders for their game changing advocacy on behalf of education through partnerships with UNCF and their own work.   This year, two longtime advocates on behalf of UNCF’s mission to strengthen a college going culture received the organization’s highest awards.

Ingrid Saunders Jones, vice president for Global Community Connections of the Coca-Cola Company and chair of the Coca-Cola Foundation, was honored with the UNCF President’s Award for her work with and support of UNCF.  Ms. Saunders Jones is a member of the Board of Trustees of UNCF member institution Clark Atlanta University and the national chair of the National Council of Negro Women.

Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, pastor of the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church, was honored with the UNCF Shirley Chisholm Community Service Award.  Named for the former New York Congresswoman and the first major-party presidential candidate, the award was presented to Dr. Butts in honor of his longtime work addressing and solving educational challenges in Harlem and New York City.  Russell Short, a student at a UNCF member HBCU and member of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, assisted in presenting Rev. Butts with his award.   Past honorees have included Teach for America Corp members, Vernon E. Jordan, Young & Rubicam and the Ad Council.  David Sable, global CEO, Young & Rubicam, and Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council were present at the event to discuss their longstanding partnership with UNCF.

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Dr. Calvin Butts accepts award from UNCF; Dr. Lomax and Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, President of Spelman College

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Jennifer Holliday performs for guests at Gala.

The gala gave supporters an opportunity to contribute to UNCF’s Campaign for Emergency Student Aid (CESA.)   Created in 2009, CESA provides scholarships that aid students facing financial shortfalls that threaten their ability to stay in college and graduate.   To date, more than 6,000 donors have contributed more than $14 million to help more than 8,000 students stay in school.  Javon Phillips, a UNCF member college graduate who received an inaugural CESA scholarship, is now the Basketball Operations Coordinator at Excel Sports Management in New York who represented the scholarship students.

The UNCF “A Mind Is” Gala was co-chaired by Ian M. Cook, chairman and CEO, Colgate-Palmolive Company, and David Sable, global chief executive officer, Young & Rubicam, and UNCF board member.

Since its founding in 1944, UNCF has raised more than $3.6 billion and helped more than 400,000 students secure college degrees.   Each year, in addition to supporting its member institutions and their students, UNCF awards more than 13,000 scholarships and advocates for the right of low income and minority students to receive a good education from preschool through college graduation. Learn more at

Top photo:  Ingrid Saunders Jones and Dr. Lomax

Source:  Press release/UNCF; Photo credit: Earl Gibson III

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

NYC Discussion Conveys Beauty of Black Philanthropy

On February 28, 2013, BlackGivesBack hosted its first event presented by JPMorgan Chase and its Black Organization for Leadership Development (BOLD) group in New York City.  

Held during Black History Month, the featured speaker was Christina Lewis Halpern, author, journalist and heiress of the late African American billionaire and philanthropist Reginald F. Lewis, who was interviewed by Valaida Fullwood, author of the award-winning book, Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists.

The Community Investment Network blog features a guest blog post from Ebonie Johnson Cooper (pictured), founder of Friends of Ebonie, and her account of the event. She shares her thoughts about the interview between Valaida and Christina:

"The conversation between she and Valaida was also about her cultivation as a philanthropist at a very young age.  “I’ve been a board member of my family’s foundation since I was 12 years old—well not officially until I was 18—but I learned early the importance of family giving.  I’ve also reviewed lots of grants in my life,” she told the audience with a laugh.   Listening first hand to an heiress—a black heiress—I believe was both exciting and awe-inspiring for most of us.  It’s not very often we see a young person of color speak with such detail and passion about giving at such a high capacity."
Read the full post here.

Joyce Awards Celebrates 10 Years of Championing Artists of Color

By Sandra Davis
Chicago Contributor,

The 2014 Joyce Awards Application Now Open

CHICAGO, IL – For a decade, the Joyce Foundation has championed artists of color with the Joyce Awards, which commissions new works of art from artists of color in Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Detroit, Milwaukee and Minneapolis/St. Paul.    Awards are given to artists and collaborating nonprofit organizations that receive $50,000 to support their project and the process of engaging people in its creation.   In total, $1.8 million has been granted. 

This year, the Joyce Awards increased the scope of the award: “The 2013 artists are the first to receive the awards under revised criteria, meaning that their art can take place anywhere and use any media.  Additionally, artists may choose to collaborate with any non-profit group, not just art institutions,” explained Angelique Power, The Joyce Foundation’s Senior Program Officer for Culture.

2013 Joyce Awards Winners:

  • Eduardo Zuñiga is collaborating with Luna Negra Dance Theater to present AGORA, a free-to-the-public multimedia dance, video and public art piece in Grant Park, IL.
  • Reginald Baylor is collaborating with Art Milwaukee to present TypeFace, a series of outdoor paintings affixed to boarded-up abandoned homes, store fronts and buildings in some of Milwaukee's most blighted neighborhoods.
  • Emily Johnson is collaborating with University of Minnesota’s Northrop Auditorium to present SHORE, the third and final work in a trilogy of Johnson’s performances.
  • Seitu Jones is collaborating with Public Art St. Paul to present The Community Meal, a dinner stretching a half-mile-long across the city of St.Paul where 2,000 participants will dine.

The 2014 Joyce Awards application period is now open. Download the criteria here. The deadline is April 1, 2013.

About the Joyce Foundation

The Joyce Foundation supports policies that improve the quality of life for people in the Great Lakes region and that can serve as models for the country.  Efforts are focused on addressing today’s most pressing problems while also shaping the public policy decisions critical to achieving long-term solutions and creating opportunity.  The foundation encourages new, forward thinking and innovative approaches with a regional focus and the potential for a national reach.

For more information on the Joyce Awards, please visit:

Friday, March 15, 2013

DuSable Museum Honors Legendary Artists Geoffrey Holder and Carmen DeLavallade with “A Memoir in Four Movements” Exhibition

Dr. Carol Adams, President and CEO of DuSable Museum;  Richard Gamble, Publisher and General Manager, Chicago Magazine;  Tony Smith, PNC Bank;  Desirée Rogers, Honorary Event Chair and CEO of Johnson Publishing Company;  Carmen Delavallade; C larence Bourne, DuSable Museum Board Chairman;  Marsha Jones, SVP PNC Bank and Joe Gregoire,  PNC Bank, State Chairman for Illinois Banking at the opening exhibition gala for Geoffrey and Carmen: A Memoir in Four Movements “Theatre,” “Art,” “Dance” and “Design” on February 9, 2013 in Chicago.

By Sandra C. Davis, Chicago Contributor

CHICAGO, IL – The DuSable Museum of African American History in association with the California African American Museum (CAAM) celebrated the love, lives and legacies of award-winning artists Geoffrey Holder (dancer/director/choreographer/fashion designer/artist/actor/author) and Carmen DeLavallade (dancer/actress/choreographer/professor/sculptor) with their newest exhibit Geoffrey and Carmen: A Memoir in Four Movements “Theatre,” “Art,” “Dance” and “Design.”  The exhibit kicked-off with an exclusive exhibition extravaganza: “A Conversation With Geoffrey Holder and Carmen DeLavallade” moderated by Susan Taylor, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Essence magazine and founder of National CARES Mentoring, on Saturday, February 9, 2013.

Desirée Rogers, CEO of Johnson Publishing Company and honorary chairman of the opening night premiere, welcomed the audience with warm remarks and introduced Susan L. Taylor, who presented Carmen DeLavallade, Leo Holder, and Geoffrey Holder (via Skype) to the stage. “Carmen is not my wife.  She is my goddess,” said Holder. Incredibly, both Holder and DeLavallade’s renowned careers combined has lasted over a century and traversed the worlds of art, dance, design and theatre.  Radiantly, Carmen offered the audience her philosophy on remaining vivacious at 81 sharing, “Stay curious.”

A tony jazz band provided the soundtrack to the exhibition gala featuring appetizers, salad, satay and dessert bars located across two floors with drinks provided by Moët & Chandon.

Carmen Delavallade and Dr. Carol Adams, DuSable Museum President and CEO

Other events held in conjunction with the exhibition opening included a welcome reception hosted by advertising innovator and philanthropist Tom Burrell and his wife, Madeleine, a noted marketing maven and philanthropist at their Afrocentric, art-filled home that introduced Ms. DeLavallade to Chicago’s arts and philanthropic communities. “The Welcome Dinner By The Burrells” featured a conversation with Dr. Carol Adams, President and CEO of the DuSable Museum and exhibition muse Carmen DeLavallade.

Madeleine Burrell, Carmen DeLavallade and Tom Burrell

Linda Johnson Rice, president and CEO of Johnson Publishing Company and Sandra Rand of the Rand Family Foundation

Fostering Geoffrey and Carmen’s love of dance, Carmen DeLavallade held a dance workshop in conjunction with the DuSable Museum at the Joffrey Academy of Dance, the official school of the Joffrey Ballet for students of color. Carmen bestowed the students with wisdom, techniques and antidotes equally.

Carmen DeLavallade at Joffrey Academy of Dance with dance students.

Leo Holder, Geoffrey and Carmen’s son who also serves as Exhibition Consultant, led students/artists and their parents in an art workshop.  Leo later conducted a tour of the exhibit that bears his parents’ names that showcases an extensive collection of their work including 90 paintings, sculptures, photographs, costumes, books and designs that span: “Theatre,” ”Art,” “Dance” and “Design.”  Noted works include archival footage of ballets and dances created and choreographed for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, The Metropolitan Opera, and American Ballet Theatre; and costumes and sketches of “The Wiz,” “Timbuktu,” “Dougla,” “The Prodigal Prince” and “The Red Shoe.” Charles Bethea curated the exhibit which runs through May 5, 2013.

The Opening Night Premiere Committee included honorary chairman Desirée Rogers, with honorary co-chairs Diane Dinkins Carr & Louis Carr, Janet Langhart Cohen & The Honorable William Cohen, Dr. Camille O. Cosby & Dr. William H. Cosby, Chaz Hammel-Smith Ebert & Roger Ebert and Carolyn Rush & Congressman Bobby L. Rush.

Exhibition sponsors are California African American Museum, Chicago Magazine, NBC 5 Chicago, The Chicago Community Trust, The Chicago Park District, The Joyce Foundation, PNC Bank, The Richard Driehaus Foundation, University Of Illinois At Chicago, Ariel Investments and United Airlines, the official airline of The Dusable Museum.

Visit the exhibition website at

About the DuSable Museum of African American History
Founded in 1961 by teacher and art historian Dr. Margaret Burroughs and other leading Chicago citizens, the DuSable Museum is one of the few independent institutions of its kind in the United States.  Developed to preserve and interpret the experiences and achievements of people of African descent, it is dedicated to the collection, documentation, preservation and study of the history and culture of Africans and African Americans.   For more information, please visit

Herb Alpert Recognized for Transformational Gift to Harlem School of the Arts

Yvette L. Campbell, Lani Hall Alpert, Herb Alpert, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg cut the ribbon to The Herb Alpert Center in Harlem, NY.

By Akira Barclay, NY Contributor

HARLEM, NY - On March 11, 2013, the home of the Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) was named The Herb Alpert Center honoring the gift of American music icons Herb and his wife Lani Hall Alpert.  A renowned musician and co-founder of A&M Records, Herb Alpert has given Harlem School of the Arts $6 million in grants through The Herb Alpert Foundation.

The impact of the grants has been transformational, helping to rebuild and change the trajectory of the school after a temporary closure.  “Harlem School of the Arts did close for a minute before my time and the fantastic thing is that this gift eliminated its inheritance debt,” said Yvette L. Campbell the school’s Executive Director.  “But this gift not only has eliminated its debt but increased endowment for scholarships for students who want to study music, dance, theater and visual arts. Especially for those students who can't afford it,  Mr. Alpert is making these dreams come true.  We are really excited.”

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and an array of theater and music celebrities were on hand as the new name was unveiled.  Performances included HSA alumna N’Kenge, who stars in “Motown: The Musical,” and current HSA students.  Other special guests included HSA Board Chair Charles Hamilton and Vice Chair Janice Savin Williams, Actress Tamara Tunie and Charles Rangel.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Yvette L. Campbell and Herb Alpert

Student performers

For nearly a half-century, HSA has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of young people. Located in Harlem’s historic Hamilton Heights, this pioneering, world-class institution brings together music, dance, theatre, visual arts, and musical theatre instruction under one roof.  Serving young people, ages 2 to 18, from the under-served communities of Harlem, across New York City, New Jersey and Westchester County, HSA leverages its reputation for excellence and roster of celebrated alumni to empower youths and constantly revitalize its surrounding community.

Bob Levinson, Yvette L. Campbell, Janice Savin Williams, Charles J. Hamilton, Rona Sebastian (President, Herb Alpert Foundation), Lani Hall, Herb Albert, 
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, N'Kenge, Charles B. Rangel, Busisiwe Zamisa and HSA students

For more information about Harlem School of the Arts, visit

About The Herb Alpert Foundation
The Herb Alpert Foundation, a non-profit, private foundation established in the early 1980’s, makes significant annual contributions to a range of programs in the fields of Arts, Arts Education and Compassion and Well Being.  Its funding is directed toward projects in which Herb and Lani Alpert and Foundation President Rona Sebastian play an active role.  [The Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.]

Thursday, March 14, 2013

DC Nonprofits Pitch Young African American Philanthropists for $10,000 in Community Grants

WASHINGTON, DC - On Saturday, March 16, 2013, five DC nonprofits will compete for $10,000 in grants funded by 50 Capital Cause Young Philanthropists, many of whom are entry-level professionals.  Nonprofits will present innovative projects that if funded, will creatively address the issues of educational disparity and unemployment in the Washington, DC area. Young Philanthropists will democratically select the top three projects that demonstrate the capacity to provide lasting but measurable impact in the Washington, DC community.

Young Philanthropist Giving Circles are emerging as a new way to involve young people in creating change in the Washington, DC community.  The brainchild of Capital Cause - a nonprofit that enables a new generation of young philanthropists to maximize their charitable impact through collective giving - Giving Circles Projects were launched in 2012 as a way to build capacity in start-up and mid-level nonprofits.

Last year, Capital Cause Young Philanthropists (18 – 30 years) funded $5,000 in grants to nonprofits serving six of DC’s eight Wards. They also contributed 3,600 hours in skills-based support to nonprofits seeking professional assistance on projects.

Before supporting their selected nonprofit, Young Philanthropists will participate in three power sessions designed to teach best practices on funding sustainable organizations through planned giving.  Nonprofit leaders facilitating power sessions include Pat Pasqual, Executive Director of the Foundation Center and Glen O'Gilvie, CEO of the Center for Nonprofit Advancement.

Darla Bunting, Capital Cause Director, will manage this year’s Giving Circles Projects.

“It is my goal to successfully equip this cycle's Giving Circles Project participants with a variety of tools and skill sets that will empower them to be young philanthropists that affect change in their communities through collective giving and service,” says Bunting.  For More Information About Giving Circles Projects:

About Capital Cause

Capital Cause is a fiscally-sponsored 501c3 nonprofit that enables a new generation of young philanthropists to maximize their charitable impact through collective giving.  Capital Cause was founded in 2009 by five women who wanted to involve young people in transforming their communities through philanthropic acts.  The brainchild of Kezia M. Williams - who volunteered in 2008 for a grassroots group supporting President Obama's 2008 campaign - Capital Cause has grown to 5,000 supporters invested in the idea of young philanthropy.  The Young Philanthropists reject the notion that you have to be wealthy, older and well-established in order to be called a “philanthropist.”  For example:
  • 100% of Capital Cause Young Philanthropists are 21 – 35 years of age
  • 65% of Capital Cause Young Philanthropists are entry-level young professionals (less than 3 years’ work experience)
  • 70% of Capital Cause Young Philanthropists make less than $50,000

To learn more, visit

Related Post:  DC Young Professionals Honor Local Heroes During CBC Annual Conference

Photo:  Capital Cause board, volunteers and grant recipients at their Young Philanthropist Industry Brunch event held in June 2012.