Welcome to BlackGivesBack.com (BGB), the premier online destination for African American philanthropy. I created BGB in 2007 as an extension of my own charitable efforts in Washington, DC as the founder of the Black Benefactors, a giving circle that provides grants to nonprofit organizations serving African American children, youth and families in the DC region. I have nearly 20 years experience in philanthropy and the nonprofit sectors, serving in various roles.
BlackGivesBack features social entrepreneurs and everyday heroes, celebrity philanthropy, nonprofit organizations, news of interest to the black community, coverage of charity and community events, and more.
Although African Americans are viewed as passive recipients in philanthropy, my blog proves that we are active givers and major philanthropists, donating millions of dollars to issues impacting our community.
Since its inception, BGB has grown tremendously, with thousands of readers each month. I’ve been featured and have written for major media outlets, including the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Huffington Post's Black Voices, the NY Times, BlackEnterprise.com; Reuters, TheGrio.com, and in the premiere web episode of The Root.com's The Root Live.
I was also featured in the August 2011 'Black Wealth' issue of Ebony magazine in the article, "Where Wealthy Blacks Give...." along with my charity, The Black Benefactors.
View the press and media page HERE.
With my blog, I hope to inspire you….to volunteer, to donate, to join a board, to support programs in your community, to mentor … and to spread the word about black philanthropy and giving.
So be sure to visit often, subscribe, join the team on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and tell a friend!
To suggest a feature, provide feedback or to say hello, please feel free to contact me at blackgivesback [at] gmail [dot] com.
Yours in Giving,
Meet the BlackGivesBack Contributors!
Akira J. Barclay
@BlkGivesBackNY and @AkiraJB_
Akira J. Barclay is an experienced grantmaker and community philanthropy expert. She began her career as a social worker dedicated to youth and families in Washington, DC. Seeking a stronger budget to support her direct practice work, she built her skills in fundraising and spent over a decade raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for small nonprofit organizations including Everybody Wins! Metro Boston, Black Girls Rock! and Love Heals, the Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS Education.
While studying philanthropy at New York University, she transitioned from fundraising to grantmaking, managing a capacity building grants program and AT&T's Imagine Your STEM Future project with Girl Scouts of the USA. She has provided technical assistance and training to a network of youth organizations in New York City and coached Executive Directors and Board Members on philanthropic leadership.
Akira has writes extensively about Black Philanthropy, Community Foundations and Giving Circles. She is a member of the New York Women's Foundation Grants Advisory Committee and Circle of Sisters for Social Change. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and three children.
Tokiwa T. Smith
Founder and Executive Director, Science, Engineering and Mathematics Link, Inc. (SEM Link)
@Tokiwana and @SEMLink
Named as one of “10 Black Tech Twitter Tweeps to Watch” by Ebony.com in February 2013
Tokiwa T. Smith is the Founder and Executive Director of Science, Engineering and Mathematics Link Inc. (SEM Link), a non-profit organization that promotes student achievement and career exploration in math and science for K-12 students. SEM Link’s two core programs, Experimental Design Program and Math and Science Career Academy, enhance the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) educational experience for K-12 students by providing them with opportunities to engage in hands-on STEM activities, explore STEM careers and learn about real-world applications of STEM. Under her leadership SEM Link has grown from an organization that served one middle school in Atlanta, Georgia to a national nonprofit organization that has enhanced the STEM educational experiences for thousands of youth in Atlanta, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. SEM Link has served schools and community organizations such as the Aspire Public Schools, Atlanta Public Schools, California Alliance of African American Educators (CAAAE), Cool Girls, DeKalb County Public Schools, Fulton County Public Schools, Girls Inc., Oakland Unified School District, San Francisco Unified School District and West Contra Costa County Unified School District.
A native of Miami, Florida and an alumnus of Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, Tokiwa has over 10 years’ experience working in academia and non-profit organizations developing and managing educational programs and developing and implementing math and science curriculum for precollege and college students. She has worked for organizations such as Atlanta Public Schools, Georgia State University, Hands on Atlanta and Spelman College. Tokiwa is also the CEO and Principal Owner of Kemet Educational Services, a consulting firm which provides support to schools and community organizations in STEM education. Kemet Educational Services offers its clients STEM curriculum development, standardized test preparation, math and science theme special event planning, and educator professional development services.
In addition to her work with SEM Link and Kemet Educational Services, Tokiwa is an author and workshop speaker on STEM education and career exploration. Her blog, The Science Socialite, www.thesciencesocialite.wordpress.com, discusses her journey as a social entrepreneur and STEM educator. She has conducted workshops for school districts, STEM professional societies and community organizations. She has been featured in several publications, including Scientific American, for her work in STEM education and philanthropy. Tokiwa is also a member of the core of the Coalition of the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) http://www.copusproject.org/, a grassroots effort to engage the public in science and increase public understanding of the nature of science and its value to society. She currently resides in Oakland, California.
Project strategist and writer in the field of philanthropy; organizer of the Giving Back Project
@BlkGivesBackCLT and @ValaidaF
Fullwood is the award-winning author of Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists, a 400-page hardcover book profiling stories of philanthropy among African Americans that was developed with photographer Charles Thomas. Giving Back was named one of the “10 Best Black Books” of 2011 and the 2012 “Best New Book for the Nonprofit Sector.”
Since the book’s release, Fullwood is recognized a thought leader on African American philanthropy and is frequently invited by a variety of groups to write, speak and consult on the topic. Using her book as a springboard, Fullwood and the giving circle New Generation of African American Philanthropists have participated in civic engagement forums with audiences totaling 5000+ people in 17 communities across 10 states. Among these was a talk at TEDxCharlotte featuring Fullwood and Thomas. The Giving Back Project also has a robust social media following of 10,000+ via multiple digital platforms and channels.
Lake Institute on Faith and Giving at Indiana University Lilly Family of School of Philanthropy has named Fullwood its 2014 Distinguished Visitor—the first African American to receive the honor. She is a founding board member of Community Investment Network (CIN) and a founder of New Generation of African American Philanthropists, a CIN giving circle since 2006.
Sandra C. Davis
Creative Director, Lioness Communications
Sandra C. Davis is a certified values-centered leader, graduate of the Arts & Business Council of Chicago nonprofit board training program, an award-winning, Purpose-Driven Marketing Communications/Branding Strategist and Writer for both non-for-profit and for-profit organizations. Her most recent accolade: winning the Publicity Club of Chicago 2013 Trumpet Award for Marketing. Sandra created a cross-promotional outdoor marketing event with WTTW PBS Kids at Whole Foods Market and a Street Food Artistry (SFA) preview performance by M.A.D.D. Rhythms.
As the Chicago Contributor for BlackGivesBack.com, the premier website for African American philanthropy, Sandra provides local, regional and national coverage of the philanthropic sector. Ms. Davis has profiled the Art Institute of Chicago, Joyce Foundation, Chicago Urban League, DuSable Museum of African American History, Young Nonprofit Professionals Network and many more.
Sandra is also the Creative Director of Lioness Communications, an integrated marketing communications consulting firm specializing in developing strategic communications and socially impactful partnerships. In this role, Ms. Davis has successfully pitched national media outlets; created integrated marketing communications plans for and has worked with HGTV, South Shore Drill Team, African Festival of the Arts, Dreams for Kids, and the Metropolitan Board of the Chicago Urban League, etc.
In 2012, Sandra participated on a panel and spoke about nonprofits at the National Black Public Relations Society (NBPRS) Conference in Washington, D.C. Previously, Sandra served as the Organizer (Chief Design Enthusiast) for the Chicago Design Meetup and on the New Arts Forum (Junior Board) for Urban Gateways. Ms. Davis was recently selected to the Chicago Ideas Week Cooperative, and is currently a member of the Association of Consultants to Nonprofits, Net Impact Chicago and volunteers for Chicago Cares.
WASHINGTON, DC AREA
Stacey Trammel has a passion for volunteerism and making a difference in her surrounding community. Professionally, she’s worked in the human resources field for more than twelve years for established media organizations including Gannett and The Seattle Times Company, as well as within the technology sector.
She’s a member of The Black Benefactors, an innovative giving circle in Washington, DC, and has served as a Pro-bono HR consultant for Taproot, a well-known foundation that performs capacity building nationally. Stacey is a Co-chair of the HR Advisory Committee for Mentoring to Manhood (M2M), a Prince George’s County, MD organization that seeks to nurture African American young men via mentorship, academic support, spiritual development and scholarships, and is a contributor, graphic artist and photographer for BlackGivesBack.com, the premier site for African American philanthropy and charitable giving. Stacey’s work for BlackGivesBack.com has been featured in theRoot.com and Jet magazine.