Celebrating Black Giving and Advocating Racial Funding Equity Worldwide
In collaboration with BPM 2021 Signature Charity Partner St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®
Black Philanthropy Month (BPM) is set to mark its 10th anniversary with the BPM 2021 Global Summit Series, which kicks off August 3, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT, in the U.S. with virtual events continuing in Africa, Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean, and worldwide. The series will culminate on August 31st with Reunity, an international power and wellness summit for Black women of all identities and their allies, in collaboration with the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University.
Featured speakers include Ford Foundation President Darren Walker; CNN political analyst and former member of South Carolina House of Representative, Bakari Sellers; ABC News senior legal correspondent and co-host of The View, Sunny Hostin; Nobel Peace Laureate and founder of the Gbowee Peace Foundation, The Honorable Leymah Gbowee; and faith leader and activist, Reverend Naomi Tutu. Registration is open. Sign up and see the global keynote speaker line-up at bit.ly/FundBlackSummit2021.
Dr. Jackie Bouvier Copeland, founder of BPM, Reunity, and Women Invested to Save Earth (WISE) Fund says, “Our 10th anniversary is a testament to the tenacity of Black people worldwide. Our resolve is strong to advance our culture of giving and promote fair access to private capital, including philanthropy and venture investment. Economic justice is the last frontier in the Civil and Human Rights Movement. We hope the U.S. and entire world will join the celebration in August and press on to make equity real, starting by signing the BPM Global Black Funding Equity Pledge.”
With recognition at the outset from the United Nations as part of its Global Decade for People of African Descent and with proclamations from 30 governmental bodies, BPM has built momentum, having been celebrated by 18 million worldwide across 60 countries since 2011. Valaida Fullwood, creator of The Soul of Philanthropy and a BPM co-architect, notes, “BPM has used the power of social media to celebrate the community giving that binds Black culture everywhere, while also calling on the ‘powers that be’ to institute principles and practices that accelerate funding equity.”
The BPM 10th anniversary continues its tradition of using high-impact technology to convene influential Black civic, business, and funding leaders with people from all walks of life to build community and practical action plans for funding equity and impact. BPM co-architect, Tracey Webb, founder of the pioneering giving circle Black Benefactors, emphasizes that “BPM brings together Black and allied leaders of all backgrounds to remind the world that we too are philanthropists and that our giving traditions matter. We need funders from foundations and corporations to see and fund us too.”
BPM stands out for the diversity of Black people, worldwide, integral to its leadership and summit series. BPM Africa Chair Thelma Ekiyor, founder and chair of Afrigrants Foundation states, “Even though they manifest differently in the Motherland than in our Diaspora, anti-Black racism and neocolonialism on the continent still pose barriers to funding for effective recovery and development in our communities. We are proud to join with our brothers, sisters, and allies worldwide to celebrate our collective potential and call for Black funding equity. We are fortunate that Nobel Peace Laureate, the Honorable Leymah Gbowee, is our BPM Africa keynote speaker to inspire a new vision for 21st century Black funding equity.”
Reunity—the only global Black women’s funders network that inspired BPM and organized its first summit—has played a critical role in advancing the global Black philanthropy movement. Although not always acknowledged or written into the funding field’s history, Black women have been at the forefront of Black philanthropy as well as leading calls for racial and gender equity and intersectional funding. Dr. Mojubaolu Okome, City University of New York professor and African diaspora giving scholar, asserts “From esusus to the new Black-led venture funds, people of African descent throughout the U.S. and world continue a rich tradition of finance innovation that benefits all of society.” Okome, an original Reunity leader, adds, “As Reunity marks its 20th year of Black women’s innovation for all, we hope the world will join us as we work to build better from the continuing devastation of the Covid era.”
Faith leader and activist, Reverend Naomi Tutu, a Reunity co-founder and its inaugural keynote, has long participated in the summits and will return in 2021 with a session on spiritual wellness for women leaders. “When crisis hits, women are often hit first and hardest, as we give everything we have to care for our families, communities, and the world. Reunity is a time for us to be well, while doing good and to strengthen the global sisterhood as we work to advance humanity in this time of struggle and hope.”
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® is the BPM 2021 Signature Charity Partner. A growing list of sponsors and partners include the event talent partner, the b’elle group; Indiana University’s Women’s Philanthropy Institute at The Lilly School of Philanthropy; and global regional partners, Foundation for Black Communities (Canada); Afrigrants Foundation (Africa); The Puerto Rico Community Foundation (Caribbean); and The Bãobá Fund (Brazil). A full roster of sponsors and partners will be released in early July. Registration for the BPM 2021 Global Summit Series is now open!