Press Release

Black Philanthropy Month to Kick Off Its 10th Anniversary with 2021 Global Summit Series!

Celebrating Black Giving and Advocating Racial Funding Equity Worldwide with a Caribbean Panel with participation from Puerto Rico, Haiti and St. Croix.

BPM is supported by a growing list of sponsors and partners, including our Signature Charity Partner, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; The b’elle group; Indiana University’s Women’s Philanthropy Institute at The Lilly School of Philanthropy; Foundation for Black Communities (Canada); Afrigrants Foundation (Africa); The Puerto Rico Community Foundation (Caribbean); and The Bãobá Fund (Brazil). 

Black Philanthropy Month (BPM) is set to mark its 10th anniversary with the BPM 2021 Global Summit Series, which kicks off August 3, 11:00am to 3:00pm EDT, in the U.S. with virtual events continuing in Africa, Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean, and worldwide. The Caribbean will be featured on August 4, 1:00pm-5:00pm AST. The series will culminate on August 31st with Reunity, an international Black women funder’s power and wellness summit 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 Representatives, Bakari Sellers; ABC News senior legal correspondent and co-host of The View, Sunny Hostin; Nobel Peace Laureate and founder of 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.”

The Caribbean panel convened by the Puerto Rico Community Foundation (FCPR), will be on August 4 and will include the participation of Dr. Nelson I. Colón Tarrats, president and chief executive officer of the FCPR, as main speaker. His message will focus on the Institute of Racial Equity for the Americas (REBIA), a philanthropic program that will extend from Puerto Rico to the Caribbean, Latin America and their corresponding diasporas in the United States, as a solid platform to invest in equity, specifically racial equity and including the intersectionality between race and gender. In addition, a panel with representation from the Caribbean will take place with: Dra. Palmira Ríos – Puerto Rico; Dr. Paul Latortue – Haiti; and Deanna James – president of the St. Croix Community Foundation. “The problem of access to philanthropic capital is exacerbated for the Caribbean islands and even more so for those of us that are the territory of the United States, since we are not considered as domestic institutions by some, nor as international by others. However, we can join forces to focus the world’s gaze on issues of common concern. We’ll be presenting racial equity as an opportunity to come together, because of its importance to our Caribbean Islands but also to present the opportunity to philanthropic investors from around the world as a common platform to invest.  Also, each island participating in the panel will be able to expose the inequities and opportunities that prevail in each one. I am infinitely grateful to Dr. Jackie Bouvier Copeland for her tenacious effort in raising the issue for so many years and this time, for including Puerto Rico and entrusting us with developing this panel focused on the Caribbean,” mentioned Dr. Nelson I. Colón Tarrats.

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.”

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.  Mojubaolu Okome, City University of New York professor and African diaspora giving scholar, asserts “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.” 

The Reverend Naomi Tutu, faith leader and activist, 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.”

BPM is supported by a growing list of sponsors and partners, including our Signature Charity Partner, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; 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).  The full sponsor and partner roster list will be released in early July. Registration for the BPM 2021 Global Summit Series opens today!

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About Black Philanthropy Month

Supported by its backbone organization, The Women Invested to Save Earth Fund, partners, as well as generous sponsors, Black Philanthropy Month is a global celebration and collective action coalition founded by Dr. Jackie Bouvier Copeland in 2011 to celebrate and empower Black giving in all its forms, and advance funding (donations and investments) to strengthen Black communities everywhere.  Recognized by the United Nations and 30 other governmental bodies, BPM continues to grow, building on the 18 million people from 60 countries that have celebrated it from inception.  Contact us at info@blackphilanthropymonth.com and learn more at blackphilanthropymonth.com. Register for the BPM 10th Anniversary Summit Series, TENacity:  Making Equity Real, here.

About The Puerto Rico Community Foundation | Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico is a philanthropic organization with a 35-year history of collaboration with donors and communities. It is the first of its kind in the Caribbean and Latin America and the only one of its kind in Puerto Rico. It holds the 1101.1 status from the Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code, and the 501 (c) (3) certifications from the United States Internal Revenue Code.

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