In August, we celebrate Black Philanthropy Month and take time to recognize the lives, gifts, and sacrifices of Black people who embody a love for humanity, a pursuit for social change, and advancement for equity for those less fortunate.
It’s important to celebrate as well as contribute to Black Philanthropy Month. When looking at the numbers closely and looking at the hearts of those giving – both past and present – it wasn’t simply to get a tax break or leverage political power. Black people give with the thought of surviving and thriving. Whether it’s collecting love offerings at the church, awarding scholarships to our youth, or funding the Civil Rights Movement and its leaders, Black communities understand the necessity of giving.
I believe the love of humanity and giving is not just a past notion; “Giving Black” and Black philanthropy is vigorous and vibrant. Arkansas has and will benefit from a collaborative effort of the Black community giving to the most strenuous needs of the state and affecting social change. When united, Black philanthropy can be used as a catalyst for change in all communities in the state, regardless of geographical location, race, or creed.
We celebrate you for being a constant reminder that we need to be living epistles to the gospel of giving. Happy Black Philanthropy Month.
Derek Lewis II
President, Derek Lewis Foundation
Chair, Arkansas Black Philanthropy Collaborative