Thursday, April 4, 2013

Association of Black Foundation Executives Challenges Philanthropic Leaders to be Unconventional in Addressing Needs of the Black Community

 photo ABFE2012_zps8cdb18fc.jpg

ABFE 2013 Conference Hits Chicago Streets; Addresses Community Violence, Black Male Stereotypes and Celebrity Foundations

Chicago, IL - Over 225 leaders and professionals in philanthropy including presidents, trustees, program officers, athletes and donors are expected to attend The Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) fourth annual conference on April 4-7, 2013, at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in Chicago.  The conference offers attendees strategic philanthropic solutions that impact Black communities.  It puts a spotlight on violence, negative images of Black males in the media, and innovative community re-development initiatives.  The rarely engaged and often misunderstood topic of foundation operations, specifically finance, investment and grants management, provides a 101 course in institutional investing.   There is also a session designed to help sports and entertainment philanthropists increase their understanding of the mainstream grantmaking process, an issue recently portrayed negatively in an ESPN news story.

Representatives of several organizations founded by athletes and entertainers are expected to attend, including Chicago Bears linebacker James Anderson.  Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and CEO of The California Endowment will receive this year’s prestigious James A. Joseph Lecturer Award and John W. Rogers, Jr., Founder, Chairman and CEO of Ariel Investments will receive the 2013 Trailblazer Award.  Maya Wiley, Founder and President of the Center for Social Inclusion will give a keynote address and Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President, University of Maryland Baltimore County will close the plenary session.

The theme: "Innovation + Investment = Impact" sets the tone for a conference that encourages members to leverage the power of philanthropy to address critical needs facing Black communities, including economic, educational and social inequalities. “Foundations move money,” said Susan Taylor Batten, President and CEO of ABFE, “and philanthropy is a powerful tool for positive, enduring social change.”

With Chicago as the backdrop, the four-day conference opens with a plenary session that addresses violence in Black communities across the country.  Visits to Dorchester Projects and other Rebuild Foundation sites demonstrate how arts and culture have revived formerly abandoned spaces on Chicago’s South side.  Additionally, the impact of negative Black male images in the media will be addressed along with philanthropic solutions, including, a new web portal launched by ABFE members The Foundation Center and the Open Society Foundations, providing resources for those working to strengthen black male achievement.

For a complete schedule and list of award recipients, speakers and panelists, visit

About The Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE)
The Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) is an independent membership organization that counts among its members the most influential staff, trustees and donors of grant making institutions that promote effective and responsive philanthropy in Black communities.  The first organization formed as part of the Council on Foundations 38 member Affinity Groups Network, ABFE was established in 1971 and has been a trailblazer for championing the interests of Black communities within the philanthropic sector. For more info, visit

Top photo:  Panel session from the 2012 ABFE conference in Los Angeles, CA.

Source:  Press release

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