The holiday season is more than happiness in the air and chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Whether you celebrate Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas or all of the above, uplifting those who are less fortunate is a common practice of most end-of-the-year festivities.
Before you write a check or empty the cans in your pantry for an organization whose history and clear purpose is diluted, serving a large, private-sector company, let me make a suggestion.
Consider sharing your donations, time and holiday spirit with black-owned charities, schools and foundations established by those who received their education from none other than a historically black college or university. Support, for the culture:
7. Taraji P. Henson
Henson attended North Carolina A&T State University and is a proud graduate of Howard University. In 2018, she launched The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation (BLHF) in honor of her father who suffered mental health challenges because of his service to the United Stated in the Vietnam War. The organization’s vision is to eradicate the stigma around mental health issues in the African-American community. BLHF partners with other nonprofit organizations who offer programs that educate, celebrate, and make visible the positive impact of mental health wellness. Support today.
6. Tom Joyner
Joyner is a proud graduate of Tuskegee University. In 1998, “The Tom Joyner Foundation was founded in 1998 as the brainchild of nationally syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner. The mission of the Foundation is to support historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with scholarships, endowments and capacity-building enhancements. The Foundation has provided necessary support to every HBCU in its 20-year history to help sustain and preserve the legacies of these valuable institutions. Through fundraising and donor development initiatives, $65 million has been raised to support more than 29,000 students attending HBCUs. Additionally, the Foundation has recommended internships, offered matching grant support, and career development to deserving students,” shares the official website. Support today.
5. Oprah Winfrey
Tennessee State University alumna Oprah Winfrey is no stranger to changing lives and building communities from the “ground-up.” The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation (OWLAF) funds the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls (OWLAG), which was established “through a generous personal investment by Ms. Oprah Winfrey…” reads the school’s official website. Learn more about Winfrey’s movement through this South African school and support today.
4. Sean “P. Diddy” Combs
“Instead of me complaining about education,” he said, “I want to do something about it. So that’s why I’m starting this school,” says Diddy when asked how he feels about partnering to open Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School. In 2016, the Howard Bison made a longtime dream a reality.
The school serves “160 students in grades 6 & 7, adding a grade per year to full capacity of 700 students. The Capital Preparatory Bronx Charter School is approved to open in 2020, to serve 160 students in 6th-7th grade. The school will grow to serve 600 students in 6th-11th grade during an initial five-year term, and 12th grade in it’s 6th year… Students are admitted to the schools by random lottery in order to ensure equal access to all students regardless of socioeconomic status or academic history,” shares the schools official website. Support today.
3. Keshia Knight Pulliam
Spelman College’s very own Keshia Knight Pulliam established Kamp Kizzy, “a non-profit organization that’s goal is to inspire, empower and develop youth between the ages of 11-16 into confident and successful young women. Youth of all socioeconomic backgrounds, races and religions are brought together to learn from each other, grow with each other and empower one another,” shares the official website. The camp’s curriculum includes various workshops in performing arts, sensitivity and cultural diversity training, team building exercises, creative writing, etiquette and public speaking. Support Kamp Kizzy today.
These schools and foundations were established with a goal of increasing opportunity for African Americans and minorities and are all transparent about how donations are used. Donate to support worthwhile causes today.
2. Samuel L. Jackson
The Samuel and LaTanya R. Jackson Foundation was established in 1999 by Morehouse Man Samuel L. Jackson and his wife, spelman woman LaTanya R. Jackson. The family foundation supports a range of philanthropic issues in the United States and Africa. The Jackson’s foundation is one that prioritizes voluntarism and grantmaking.
1. Debbie Allen
Allen is a proud graduate of the Howard University. She opened the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in 2001 and it was founded with “the belief that arts education defines discipline, creativity and self-confidence. These principles empower individuals whether they pursue a professional performing arts career or not. This is for LIFE,” shares its official website. The Los Angeles academy is a non-profit organization offering comprehensive dance curriculum to students ages 4+. Support today.