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The 2020 Black Philanthropy Month is about Building a Just Future in a COVID-19 World

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August 2020 begins the 9th year of Black Philanthropy Month (BPM) founded by Jackie Bouvier Copeland as a global celebration, revival and mobilization of Black giving in all its forms to advance Black communities everywhere.

Now co-organized with Valaida Fullwood of The Soul of Philanthropy and Tracey Webb of Black Benefactors, Black Philanthropy Month has become an innational movement. The United Nations and over 30 governmental bodies have declared every August Black Philanthropy Month. Combining sophisticated social media with in-person and virtual events organized by changemakers in cities all over the world, to date 17 million people have celebrated BPM.

Today, BPM is more important than ever, as the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and anti-Black racism have decimated communities everywhere. This global celebration and social action initiative promotes a culture of giving and mutual support year-round to buoy the spirits and capacity of stressed Black communities to recover and rebuild.

Black people worldwide give billions in philanthropy, and there is a growing social impact investing and venture funding movement, too. Despite our longstanding and determined leadership to help ourselves, it is well documented that our Black-led nonprofits and businesses have been chronically underfunded by the private sector. Equitable funding is a racial justice issue. A monumental funding investment will be required for Black communities to rebuild post-COVID.

In response, BPM organizers are convening a series of three virtual events over four dates during August 2020. These convenings, and every discussion, are designed to mobilize Black philanthropists, social and angel investors, venture capitalists as well as non-Black allies, along with leaders of nonprofits, businesses, communities and movements to create a set of shared funding guidelines for effective Black community rebuilding. The WISE Fund will coordinate follow-up implementation of BPM Summit recommendations and action steps in collaboration with partners and attendees over the next year.


The Summit uses a high-tech, interactive platform that simulates a global Black conference location to provide an Afro-futuristic sense of place that stirs an immersive visceral experience and healing. The platform and design elements are crucial for Black people experiencing social isolation, severe illness, death, financial distress, heightened anxiety and anti-Black hostilities during the COVID era.

Summit Series

Black Giving and Beyond is a global, virtual convening with three distinct events over four dates (August 1st, 4th, 5th and 29th). Each event is designed to cultivate community and identify actionable principles for equitable, impactful funding of Black communities ravaged by racism and COVID. Live events based on US and African time zones, along with recordings accessible after each live event, allow the entire world and Black Diaspora to participate.

Day 1: Global BPM Kickoff, August 1st, 2020 (12:30 PM – 8:30 PM EDT/9:30 AM – 5:30 PM PDT)
Three influential leaders deliver keynotes with respondent panel discussions. Each of these is followed by audience engagement and polling to develop new Black funding principles. Intermittent cultural performances will lift spirits and stimulate new thinking, while a virtual expo hall, breakouts and a networking lounge will allow participants to delve deeper into the issues and create new connections.

Days 2 and 3: Black Philanthropy Month – Africa, August 4th and 5th, 2020 (2 PM – 6 PM WAT)
Led by the continent’s most prominent funders, a keynote and respondent panel will spotlight strategies that are working to address COVID and leapfrog Africa’s development. Cultural performances, the virtual expo and networking halls will enhance the Summit’s community building impact. Polling during panel discussions will enable attendees of all backgrounds to create Africa’s version of The New Black Funding Principles that are the anticipated Summit

Day 4: Reunity™: The Pan-African Women’s Philanthropy Network Summit, August 29th, 2020 (12 – 7 PM EDT/9 AM – 5 PM PDT)
A convening of Black women funders and innovators from philanthropy, social impact investing and venture capital, Reunity™ is a women’s empowerment rally designed to build networks, learning, energy and spirits to support diverse Black women as they lead the social justice movement while working and caring for families, especially in the uniquely stressful conditions of the pandemic recession’s impact on our communities. Organized a series of keynotes, with interactive audience-speaker conversations, Reunity™ will operate as a master coaching session for Black women. An innovation panel focused on next generation Black Diaspora Giving will be a highlight of the event.

A Call to Action

This is a turning point for Black communities. The Summit calls on all Black funders and our allies to ask and answer the question: What are YOU willing to do to heal and fund Black communities for post-COVID recovery and rebuilding? The time is now. The future is ours. Thank you to all participants, partners and sponsors for joining us to create a safe and just world at Black Giving and Beyond: The Black Philanthropy Month 2020 Summit Series. Registration is open HERE

August 4, 2020 from 12 PM-7 PM WAT
Black Philanthropy Month 2020 – Africa (Day 1)

Session 1
Our Time: Building Africa’s Post-COVID Future
We all know that the COVID-19 crisis has brought the unique social, economic, health and environmental issues facing Black people in Africa and its Global Diaspora into sharp relief. At the same time, promising Indigenous solutions have emerged from Black-led and serving organizations. The opening session speakers will highlight ways that funders (philanthropic, social impact and others) can best sustain and even scale the many promising homegrown approaches and organizations that have emerged, using the crisis as an opportunity to promote equitable development.

Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode, Founder and CEO, Murtala Mohammad Foundation

Dr. Bheki Moyo, Director of African Centre for Philanthropy and Social Investment, Wits University Business School

Respondent Panel:
Toyin Abegbite-Moore, Executive Director (West Africa Region), African Venture Philanthropy Alliance
Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli, Founder and CEO, LEAP Africa and Board Member, African Philanthropy Forum
Dr. Nana Twum Dano, Managing Director, Health Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation

August 5, 2020 from 2 PM-6 WAT

Global Black Philanthropy Month 2020 – Africa (Day 2)

Our Future Now: Leapfrogging through COVID
Throughout human history equitable development, however defined, often results from the complex convergence of crisis and opportunity. COVID-19 and the resulting pandemic recession could turn back the clock on Africa’s development, or it could be used as a unique chance to accelerate and scale African-made solutions to the continent’s greatest challenges. The choice is ours. Day 2 of BPM 2020’s Africa Summit will highlight how COVID Era innovations from Africa and its Diaspora today can create a better future for tomorrow. To survive and thrive through the global pandemic and recession, Black communities everywhere need an integrated COVID-19 funding approach with a culturally specific lens that uses philanthropy and social investment to rebuild our communities and economies. The Summit will end with recommendation of New Black Funding Principles for just, sustainable post-COVID recovery in Africa and its Diaspora.

Dikembe Mutombo, Founder and President, The Dikembe Mutombo Foundation

Mosun Layode (Confirmed), Executive Director, African Philanthropy Forum

Closing Remarks

New Africa Rising: From COVID to Equitable Development

The Honorable Dame Graca Michel, Minister for Education and Culture, Mozambique (Invited but not Confirmed)

Pandemics highlight both the strengths and weaknesses of societies. COVID has generated promising innovations in Africa’s and its global diaspora’s civic and business sector. Madame Michel will close BPM 2020 Africa by suggesting how Africa, its diaspora and allies must advocate for change to ensure the continent arises from COVID with stronger infrastructure and opportunity structure for all its people, especially those who are most disadvantaged.


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