How Madam CJ Walker Empowered Black Giving in the Time of Jim Crow

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 20, 2020. We are resharing in celebration of Black Philanthropy Month.

On October 12, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI celebrated the launch of Dr. Tyrone McKinley Freeman’s new book, Madam C.J. Walker’s Gospel of Giving: Black Women’s Philanthropy During Jim Crow. Moderated by Bob Grimm, Philanthropy Historian at the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute, the event featured conversations with Freeman, as well as Madam Walker’s great-great granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles, who also wrote the foreword for the book.

The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy celebrated the launch of Dr. Tyrone McKinley Freeman’s book about the life and legacy of Madam C.J. Walker in an event featuring the author, the chair of the Do Good Institute, and Walker’s great-great granddaughter. (Image Credit: University of Illinois Press)

The event opened with a welcome from Bob Grimm, the night’s moderator. He began by introducing Dr. Freeman, a professor at the Lilly School, and a prolific author whose work has been featured in a wide range of outlets. Grimm also introduced A’Lelia Bundles, Madam Walker’s great-great granddaughter and author of many books about Madam Walker and her legacy.

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Intersectional Philanthropy: A Conversation with Suzanne Lerner

Editor’s Note: This Q&A was created with the assistance and guidance of Claudia Carasso, Founder and Principal of Elastic Minds. This post was originally published on September 10, 2020.

After our July webinar, “Lack of Funding for Women and Girls of Color: What Donors Can Do,” we had a chance to speak further with our guest, Suzanne Lerner, on her approach to intersectional gender lens philanthropy.

Suzanne Lerner, Co-Founder of clothing brand Michael Stars, is an activist entrepreneur with a primary focus on gender & racial equality, and the economic empowerment of women & girls. (Image Credit: Suzanne Lerner)

The conversation below explores Lerner’s experience as a philanthropist, business leader, and activist entrepreneur, as well as what other funders and company leaders can do to advance an intersectional focus in their approaches to philanthropy.

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Philanthropy or Investing: Why Not Both?

Editor’s Note: The following article was originally published on February 17, 2021.

When it comes to maximizing our financial impact, there is often an “either/or” approach to leveraging wealth. Do we use our dollars to fund a philanthropic effort, like a campaign or organization dedicated to women and girls, or do we turn our funds toward investment opportunities, like supporting companies with a strong commitment to diversity?

Ellen Remmer is a Senior Partner at The Philanthropic Institute (TPI) and Champion of Invest for Better. (Image Credit: Invest for Better/Ellen Remmer)

As new forms of giving spring up to meet the challenges — and opportunities — of a digital society, we are able to move further away from that attitude of “either/or.” There are ways to stretch our donor dollars further — through two types of collectives that maximize impact.

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GLSEN Board Adds New Experts Imara Jones and Malachi Garza

On July 14th, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) welcomed Imara Jones and Malachi Garza to their Board of Directors. Jones, recently announced as a Nathan Cummings Fellow, and Garza, organizing director of Solidaire Network, join a robust team of educators, funders, and educator advocates devoted to creating affirming educational environments for LGBTQ+ youth.

Image Credit: GLSEN, Twitter

About GLSEN

Founded in 1990 by a group of teachers who identified educators’ role in creating a safe and learning-conducive environment for LGBTQ+ students, GLSEN leverages educational activism, extensive research, and student-led movements to uplift evidence-based solutions for LGBTQ+ youth.

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Returning to the Stage: “Prothero” at Great Salt Lake Fringe

For a group of self-described “theater kids”, putting away onstage personalities and shutting the door may have been more difficult than most. But as we move closer to “normal”, one of the first returns we’re eager to see is the return to the stage — and not just the return of the classics, but the start of something new and incredible building its way out of the pandemic.

At The Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival, held this July and August in Salt Lake City, Utah, the return to the stage is more than just a celebration of live performance. Fringe, as an arts movement, is known for themes and stories on the edges — and this year, the rise of marginalized directors, all-female casts, and feminist narratives is more apparent than ever.

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Shira Ruderman: Show With Actions, Not Just Words

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Shira Ruderman, Executive Director of the Ruderman Family Foundation, a private family foundation that invests in three primary areas of focus: advocating for and advancing the inclusion of people with disabilities throughout our society, strengthening the relationship between Israel and the American Jewish community, and modeling the practice of strategic philanthropy worldwide.

Shira Ruderman is the Executive Director of the Ruderman Family Foundation. (Image Credit: Ruderman Family Foundation)

1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

I wish I knew philanthropy is a life journey that you cannot get separated from. I view it like parenthood, you learn as you go. Philanthropy makes you recognize your passions, skills, views on life.

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Teresa Bonner on Ageism, Othering, and Ending Broken Systems

 Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Teresa Bonner, Executive Director of Aroha Philanthropies.

Teresa Bonner, Executive Director of Aroha Philanthropies. (Image Credit: Teresa Bonner)

What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

The short answer is “everything!” By the time I began working for foundations, I had spent about ten years on the public charity side of the table, and prior to that, I worked as an attorney for a number of years. When I reached the philanthropic stage of my career, I had quite a bit of experience in the workplace and in the nonprofit sector. Despite that, I had no idea that private foundations were subject to many more rules and requirements than public charities are, or that institutional philanthropy had its own established culture and norms.

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Educating a New Tech Generation in Cambodia with Sisters of Code

Sisters of Code is the first female coding club in Cambodia, where the field of technology is heavily male-dominated. The program was established in 2019 to empower female students and support them through education so that they can reach their full potential and grow a new generation of digital creators. 

sisters of code
Sisters of Code is bringing coding skills to young women in Cambodia. (Image Credit: Sisters of Code)

“Girls can often hear that technology is not a career path for a lady,” said Mrs. Natalja Rodinova, Sisters of Code founder. “But why would we exclude 50% of the population not even giving a chance? That is what Sisters of Code wants to challenge.”

Women often feel unwelcome in the tech industry. They get negative comments about their skills, they don’t have enough role models, and they don’t get enough support. Sisters of Code helps girls grow confidence and challenges long-held gender stereotypes by providing an environment where young women can learn directly from other female instructors, encourage each other, and share in their accomplishments.

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After the Forum: How Do We Ensure Results from #GenerationEquality?

This summer saw the return of events around the world dedicated to feminist funding, and chief among them was the annual #GenerationEquality Forum, held online and in Paris from June 3oth to July 2nd.

generation equality
Image Credit: UN Women, Facebook

Topics ranged from progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the pandemic’s impact on women’s empowerment to notes on our progress from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The ultimate attitude of the Forum was one of anticipation and excitement: as the impact of the pandemic lessens around the world, we can look forward to a time of progress toward #GenerationEquality goals and recoup the social losses from COVID-19.

Over the three days of the #GenerationEquality Forum, a combination of fundraising efforts, corporate pledges, nonprofit campaign announcements, and other donations resulted in a total of $40 billion pledged to women and girls.

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Chiefly Female Healthcare Jobs Get Boost from Goodwill and Anthem

If this last year taught us anything, it’s that qualified healthcare workers are needed now more than ever. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry is expected to add 2.4 million new jobs, which is more than any other occupational group. And as we know, healthcare jobs are predominantly held by women, with women representing about 76% of healthcare professionals.

As we recover from the pandemic in America, Goodwill is teaming with the Anthem Foundation to introduce Rising Together and the Goodwill Healthcare CareerLaunch.

The Rising Together coalition will use its combined hiring strength to support the holistic needs of job seekers, from providing essential transportation and broadband access to offering training opportunities and job search skills. (Image Credit: Goodwill)

The Anthem Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc., focuses on funding critical initiates that improve lives and communities. Anthem is committing $750,000 for providing the necessary resources and training needed for individuals interested in working in the healthcare industryThe program is part of the new Rising Together coalition, which gives people support to access healthcare jobs that will lead to sustaining careers. 

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