Black Philanthropy: When We Give

by: Kenneth J. Brewer, Sr. Special to the AFRO
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Kenneth J Brewer Sr
Kenneth J. Brewer, Sr.

If you’ve ever bought a brownie at a PTA bake sale, a chocolate bar wrapped in foil from a collegiate team player, or placed money in a collection plate on Sunday morning, you have participated in philanthropy– the generous donation of money to good causes. Although many black people do not regard our historical generosity to causes worthy of our hard earned monies among the elitist category of philanthropy, black people giving to the good of our community is philanthropy.

August has been designated as Black Philanthropy Month by the Pan-African Women’s Philanthropy Network to increase visibility of black philanthropists and philanthropic opportunities. Global Scholars Foundation (GSF), the educational nonprofit of H Street Community Development Corporation (HSCDC), is one such opportunity for which black philanthropists and our community partners have made changing the lives of District youth possible.

Just weeks ago, GSF returned from an 11-day cultural immersion trip to Spain and Morocco with an entourage of 30 students and 13 adults. During this two country and eight city experience, District youth had the opportunity to use the Spanish language, enjoy Moroccan culture, and reflect on the similarities and differences to America. Most importantly, students acknowledged the impact of seeing themselves as part of a global community beyond their familiar wards. Investing in the lives of District youth for the next decade ensures GSF sustainability and equips leaders from within the black community. GSF is evidence of black philanthropy done well.

Our goal is to redefine black philanthropy in the District and beyond. As a people familiar with ethnic philanthropy of mutual aid societies, fraternal orders, and churches, GSF pioneers black foundations as a viable means through which to strengthen and empower black communities.

Philanthropy– giving unreserved for millionaires– secures the future of District youth. Giving to Global Scholars Foundation multiplies the human capital of black philanthropic dollars for generations to come.

Kenneth J. Brewer, Sr. is Chairman of the Global Scholars Foundation, an academic nonprofit cultural competency program in Washington, DC.

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