Black-led Giving Circles have inspired a movement and define what it means to democratize philanthropy
By Akira Barclay
The New York Times’ 1619 Project places the contributions of Black Americans at the center of the story we tell ourselves about the United States. Journalist and MacArthur genius Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote, “Our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written. Black Americans have fought to make them true.” The same could be understood about the story we tell ourselves about philanthropy — spanning the personal practice to the institutional sector. For quite some time, the idea of democratizing philanthropy has been discussed as a want and a need in a field that struggles to be defined as anything other than a bastion of the Gilded Age. Democratizing philanthropy means embracing the idea that giving time, talent and treasure is not limited to the wealthiest and most powerful of society, but open to everyone. Every giver. …
By Valaida Fullwood
Originally released in April 2019, posted for Black Giving 365 on Medium to mark the June 8th founding date of New Generation of African American Philanthropists giving circle.
Jolted by a stream of recent events, I have been reminded of the value and myriad benefits of Black-led giving circles and why I am a member of one. Hardly alone in this consciousness, I joined two chroniclers and members of giving circles to write The Sweetness of Circles. In that opinion piece, we share our collective views on why giving circles have growing appeal among Black Americans in these trying times. …
Black-led giving circles hold deep social significance for both benefactors and beneficiaries. Why we need more now
By Akira Barclay, Valaida Fullwood and Tracey Webb
I have found that among its other benefits,
giving liberates the soul of the giver. — Maya Angelou
April 4th marks the birthday of the late Maya Angelou, whose wise counsel remains as legacy. Endowed with countless gifts, Ms. Angelou is known for uncommon insight and expressiveness on many topics, perhaps a surprising one: the power of philanthropy.
In a high-stakes era, where anti-Black racism is mounting and economic rifts are widening, philanthropy through participation in giving circles is attracting growing numbers of Black Americans. Ms. Angelou’s essay, “The Sweetness of Charity,” delves dynamics between the giver and the receiver. And though the term “charity” stirs many connotations, the essay focuses in on the bond of shared humanity revealed through giving. The sweetness recounted in the essay evokes the liberating appeal of giving circles. …