Black-led Giving Circles have inspired a movement and define what it means to democratize philanthropy

By Akira Barclay

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A quilt depicts social justice issues from the Heritage Quilters 2019 Exhibition “Stay Woke”

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.

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Black Giving 365

Stories that illuminate Black giving. blackgiving365@gmail.com

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