Welcome to the Give Black Blog! In collaboration with our monthly newsletter, The Spirit of Black Philanthropy, we'll use this space to share news and information about Black philanthropy in Arkansas and bring attention to the individuals and organizations working toward Black-led solutions for social change across the state.
So what is philanthropy and how can we change the narrative around what it means to be a philanthropist?
The term philanthropy is derived from the Greek words philos, meaning “love,” and anthropos, meaning “humankind,” so it literally means “love of humankind.” In the spirit of philanthropy, we show love for other humans through our acts and gifts. The act can be small; the gift doesn’t have to be millions. But in the spirit of philanthropy, it must be thoughtful and intentional so that the beneficiary is better than they were before the philanthropic gesture.
Organized Black philanthropy is desperately needed in the state of Arkansas as well as across the country. Studies continue to report that nonprofits led by Black people and other people of color receive less funding than those led by whites. This fact raises the urgency and the necessity for collaboration in Black communities and among Black-led organizations.
The question that is being asked of the Arkansas Black Philanthropy Collaborative and its partners is this: How do we operate in the spirit of philanthropy in the context of lifting up Black communities and Black-led organizations? Specifically, lifting up communities of color and Black-led organizations that have not always been the objective of philanthropy (love of humankind).
ABPC will house the spirit of philanthropic activism that includes community capacity building, leveraging access and equity, and mobilizing faith-based leaders and community leaders to address issues facing Black communities in an organized, collaborative way. ABPC hopes to be the conduit of philanthropic resources, an incubator of philanthropic thought leaders, and a voice for those who have not traditionally been at the table to help influence change.
We look forward to working alongside you all.
Derek Lewis II
President, Derek Lewis Foundation
Chair, Arkansas Black Philanthropy Collaborative