Friday, July 5, 2013

Changing the Face of Philanthropy Summit Places Spotlight on African American Millennials

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Ebonie Johnson Cooper, founder, (center) with summit speakers
Tony Lewis Jr. and Roderick Hardamon

NEW YORK CITY – A collective of nonprofit, corporate, foundation and other Black professionals gathered in Manhattan on Friday, June 14 and Saturday, June 15 for the inaugural Changing the Face of Philanthropy Summit, a convening for and about African American millennials.   The event, hosted by Friends of Ebonie in partnership with Head & Heart Philanthropy was held at MTV/Viacom and New York University (NYU) respectively and served as a forum to inform, strategize about and expand the dialogue on giving for this very important and influential demographic.

Friends of Ebonie, a for-profit social impact organization created by Ebonie Johnson Cooper provides research, programming, insight as well as access to, Black millennials who are giving back.

Workshops facilitated by industry leaders touched on timely topics; among them Aimée Laramore, Associate Director of Lake Institute on Faith & Giving on “Building Your Civic Engagement Plan – Tactics,” with Darryl Lester, Interim Assistant Director of the African American Cultural Center at North Carolina State University and Mike Muse, 2012 DNC Finance Committee Chair; and “Young Black Philanthropy Defined: Welcome& Kickoff Breakfast,” moderated by Valaida Fullwood, writer, creative consultant, and author of the 2012 McAdam Book Award winning Giving Back.

The opening night reception: “A Soirée In Harlem” on Friday evening was co-hosted by and held at the historic Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Attendees participated in a tour of the center, networked and danced during the affair and after-party with music provided by DJ Commish.

Keynote presenters for Saturday’s themed “Black Men Leading” included Kendrick Ashton, Managing Director for Perella Weinberg Partners and Board Chair for the Dance Theatre of Harlem; Roderick A. Hardamon, author and North America Head for Citi Alternative Investment Services; and Tony Lewis, Jr., advocate for children with incarcerated parents and founder of Sons of Life.

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Valaida Fullwood (right) signs copies of "Giving Back" at the opening night reception.
On Saturday, participants also attended a nonprofit fair at NYU and met representatives from several organizations to learn how to donate, volunteer their time or serve in other capacities, including board service.

Johnson Cooper also presented research about Black millennial giving via her New York University graduate thesis entitled: African American Millennials: Discovering The Next Generation of Black Philanthropy for the Effective Communication & Engagement of Non-Profit Organizations. Based on findings, forty percent of black millennials surveyed prefer to give back more in time and money; 67% of black millennials made donations of $100 or more in 2012; and an impressive 94% of black millennials volunteered in 2012.  “While we represent a small part of the larger millennial community, what we have to give to it is really important,” shared Johnson Cooper.

Watch video highlights from the summit courtesy of Camko Creative.

Summit sponsors included Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, The Fund Raising School at Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at Indiana University, Community Investment Network and Hindsight Consulting. Other support and partnership was provided by MTV Voices, Black Gives and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

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For more information on Friends of Ebonie and its’ upcoming programming, please visit:

Story and photos by Stacey Trammel

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