Saturday, April 13, 2024



In August we will be focusing attention on Black philanthropy, philanthropists

August 7, 2020 Category: FeaturedPurposeShort


Update: The underwriting disclosure was updated to reflect that "Black Philanthropists" editorial calendar month is being underwritten by Equally Informed Philly, a free service of Resolve Philly. (8/17/20 at 5:50 a.m.)
“The West African people put into slavery brought cultures of giving and sharing with them across the Atlantic.”

The quote above is from a guest column written by Tyrone Freeman, a professor at the Lily School of Philanthropy at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, which we published in January of this year.

Freeman follows that statement with this stunning example: “In 1847, for example, enslaved Africans in Richmond, Virginia, donated money through their church to Ireland’s potato famine relief efforts.”

“Despite the toll that four centuries of slavery and discrimination have taken on Black earnings,” Freeman continues, “African Americans regardless of their economic status have long given generously of their money and time.”

Looking through Generocity‘s archived articles offers empirical evidence of just that. In the Philadelphia area, the dynamism and commitment of Black philanthropic organizations and Black philanthropists is undeniable.

We pretty much abandoned the editorial calendar topics we had announced back in December 2019 as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. As we pivoted (with everyone else) to cover that, the ensuing economic downturn, and then, the historic uprising demanding long-overdue racial and economic justice, we seemed never to get back to the forgotten editorial calendar.

It seems fitting, then, to resume it with the original August topic: Black Philanthropists — those whose dedication to looking after others and pooling resources to effect change add a local note to the 400-year history of Black giving in America.

Here is a bit of a preview:

Monique Curry-Mims. (Courtesy photo)

Early next week we will feature a guest column on Black women in philanthropy, written by Monique Curry-Mims, founder and principal of Civic Capital Consulting and herself a Black philanthropist.

From our Partners

Black sororities and fraternities are important philanthropic entities, even though we have rarely written about them in that way at Generocity. Next week, Greg DeShields, executive director of PHLDiversity, will remedy that for us as he takes look at Black philanthropy and the Divine Nine.

Greg DeShields. (Courtesy photo)

At the 2020 PHL Diversity Annual Luncheon in February, Valerie Hollingsworth Baker, the international president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, spoke about that group’s National Boule scheduled to take place in Philadelphia July 20-24 in 2022.

“Valerie spoke about Zeta’s 100 years celebration and the $100,000 Founders’ Centennial Scholarship,” DeShields told Generocity. “This is the largest single recipient scholarship awarded by a historically Black Greek-lettered sorority or fraternity.”

And this is just the beginning of what we have planned for August. Look for Q&As, profiles and newsy features that highlight the diversity of Black philanthropy in our city and region.

In the interim, here are some articles written by, or about, the leading voices in Black philanthropy pictured in our header graphic:

As always, we welcome your suggestions of folks and organizations you’d like us to talk to during this month. Email us at and let us know!



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