Thursday, March 6, 2014

Inspiring 100 Acts of African American Philanthropy

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AAPC co-chairs and honorary co-chairs filming a Summit promo: Robert P. Madison, CEO, Robert P. Madison International;
Debra Green, Director, Community Relations, Medical Mutual; Ronald B. Richard, President and CEO, Cleveland Foundation;
Dr. R. A. Vernon, Senior Pastor, THE WORD Church; Connie Hill-Johnson, AAPC Co-Chair; and Justin Horton, AAPC Co-Chair

Cleveland committee powers up giving with 3rd biennial summit

By Valaida Fullwood, Contributor

The African American Philanthropy Committee (AAPC) at the Cleveland Foundation has announced its summit for 2014. On Saturday, April 26 in Cleveland, Ohio, the half-day event, sponsored by Medical Mutual, will open with an orientation, transition to an educational seminar and culminate with a luncheon and keynote address delivered by Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and American Research at Harvard University.

“The theme of the summit, Inspiring 100 Acts of African American Philanthropy, is tied to the Cleveland Foundation’s Centennial. The summit will be a celebration of existing philanthropists and a call to action for aspiring philanthropists,” says AAPC Co-Chair Justin Horton.

Since 2010, AAPC has held the African American Philanthropy Summit every two years. Prior summits have focused on inspiring philanthropy through the power of planned giving, giving circles and various other charitable planning vehicles. Past keynote luncheon speakers have included Earl W. Stafford, chairman and CEO of The Stafford Foundation, Inc., and Glinda Bridgforth, best-selling author and president of Bridgforth Financial & Associates.

Co-Chair Connie Hill-Johnson asserts, “One doesn’t have to have lots of money to be philanthropic. Get together with other like-minded people, pool your money and pick a cause or organization to support or contribute to.”

AAPC comprises volunteers—leaders in business and across the community—who organize the summit and support the Cleveland Foundation’s mission by promoting awareness and education among African Americans about the benefits of philanthropy and the vehicles donors can use to have an impact on their community and to create a legacy. In this video, Hill-Johnson and her husband Kevin Johnson talk about their decision to establish a donor-advised fund.

With 2014 marking the Cleveland Foundation’s Centennial, AAPC will encourage and document acts of African American philanthropy trailing up to the summit. In 1914, the Cleveland Foundation launched a global philanthropic movement as the world’s first community foundation. Today, the Foundation manages over $3 million of assets from African American donors.

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AAPC Co-Chairs Connie Hill-Johnson and Justin Horton 

Horton says, “Leading up to the summit we will add to the national discussion on African American Philanthropy by highlighting acts submitted via social media. Get inspired with the hashtag #GivingHasNoColor.”

Register for the Summit here and pose questions via

Contributed 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. For more, follow, @ValaidaF and @BlkGivesBackCLT.

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