“This is my class, 2019 and my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans.”
Billionaire and founder Vista Equity Partners, Robert F. Smith, pledged to pay off student loans for the entire graduating class of 2019 at Morehouse College. The announcement was made during Smith’s Morehouse College commencement speech, Sunday May 19, 2019, and it took the entire crowd, to include the college’s administration, by surprise.
Read the full story here in this article from the New York Times.
“A majority of black adults say they have been discriminated against because of their race, but this varies by education.”
A Fact Tank article by Monica Anderson highlights discrimination patterns found in a new Pew Research Center survey as it relates to race, gender, and education level.
“Roughly eight-in-ten blacks with at least some college experience (81%) say they’ve experienced racial discrimination, at least from time to time, including 17% who say this happens regularly. Among blacks with a high school education or less, these shares are lower – 69% and 9%, respectively.”
“Black and Hispanic males who earn a bachelor’s degree or higher hold an employment-population ratio of 77.3 percent and 83.7 percent, respectively. Of those who only have a high school diploma and no college, Black males had an employment-population ratio of 59.7 percent, while Hispanic males had a ratio of 78.2 percent.”
An article by Tiffany Pennamon in Diverse Issues in Higher Education highlights research on Black and Hispanic male educational attainment. New data from the Charles H. Houston Center for the Study of the Black Experience in Education at Clemson University indicates African-American and Hispanic males’ employment attainment can be improved if educators and policymakers implement “practices and policies that drive the underrepresented group’s educational persistence and completion”. The center released an infographic revealing some key research findings.
A message from Edgar Villanueva, vice president at the Schott Foundation for Public Education:
“Time and time again, we have learned that trauma cannot be healed from the outside in; for healing to take place, the people who have been harmed must have the resources they need to be agents in their own recovery. This is why philanthropic institutions must follow in the steps of organizations like NoVo Foundation, which is asking people who live in poverty to share their needs instead of telling these communities what to do.
This National Day of Racial Healing, it is necessary to acknowledge powerful moments of reckoning and opportunities to join together across lines of race, class, and gender in important arenas: sexual abuse and sexual harassment survivors saying #MeToo, #MuteRKelly, and #TimesUp; black Americans continuing to remind us that #BlackLivesMatter; anti-gun-violence advocates crying out for #NotOneMore; climate scientists pleading #WeToldYouSo. An inescapable fact is that our nation is being pushed to confront and deal with uncomfortable truths.”
Read the full article here.
Things are changing for the better for black-led nonprofits, who typically “have less access to funding sources, and have fewer cash reserves to use to support their missions”, according to a study organized by the Philadelphia African American Leadership Forum.
“Earlier this year, local civic leaders and philanthropy professionals launched the Philadelphia Black Giving Circle to distribute pooled funds to nonprofits in the Philadelphia area that are black-led and black serving. Sidney Hargro, ED of Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia, said:
Historically, the black community has always valued the giving of money, goods, and time to support worthy causes, though the term “philanthropy” was not necessarily used to describe these efforts. The Philadelphia Black Giving Circle will be a formal catalyst that builds on this rich tradition to create and scale social change in our region.”
Read the full story by Alyssa Ochs in Inside Philanthropy.
This article in Forbes, titled Blacks Are Financially Struggling: Here’s How We Can Help Them, discusses the plight of the African American community and what can and is being done to support it.
“With all the statistics, reports, and negative news surrounding the Black community, this isn’t a time to get caught up in the media, or for any one person or company to turn their backs on these issues. This is a time for philanthropic endeavors to increase, and individuals like Susan Taylor Batten, the Chief Executive Officer of ABFE, are standing strong and continuing to promote effective philanthropy in Black communities. True impact comes from both our minds and our bank accounts, and organizations like ABFE are here to provide guidance and support to individuals and foundations who are interested in building black economic power.”
“’It’s not a single program, or a series of programs. It’s an initiative that sets to change the narrative about boys and young men of color,’ said Kyle Strickland, senior legal analyst for the Kirwan Institute. ‘That they deserve to have the opportunity to achieve their dreams, regardless of circumstance, regardless of background.’. . . He added that My Brother’s Keeper Ohio evolved from Kirwan’s own I Am My Brother’s Keeper program, which included hands-on services, such as mentoring and tutoring.”
Read this news article in The Lantern by Attiyya Toure discussing the launch of My Brother’s Keeper Ohio.
Read about Living Cities’ new racial equity lens. Living Cities, better known for its work on affordable housing, is doubling down on entrepreneurs of color. It aims to help entrepreneurs of color access capital, grow revenues and create good jobs.
Read the news about Robert F. Smith, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, and his $2.5 million donation to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) to focus research on African-American men who are 73 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer than any other race or ethnicity. The donation will also launch The Robert Frederick Smith Center of Precision Oncology Excellence in Chicago, Illinois – to aid veterans in the metropolitan area and beyond – who are battling prostate cancer.
Watch the trio team up to participate in the public service announcement We Are the Ones, an urgent rallying cry to young Americans from all backgrounds to take action, join the conversation and join the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBK Alliance).