Photography, poetry and prose weave vivid stories and reveal the long and unsung legacy of Black philanthropists—from generous donors of wealth to ingenious givers carving a way out of no way.The exhibition draws evocative images and incisive narratives from the awardwinning book Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists, by Valaida Fullwood and photographer Charles W. Thomas Jr. Both the exhibition and book explore the African
American philanthropy experience and giving traditions grounded in faith, mutuality, responsibility and social justice. Voices and visages spanning ages and generations
illuminate transcendent truths and elicit new thinking
Love of what it means to be human, the root meaning of philanthropy, is reclaimed by the exhibit. The Soul of Philanthropy draws inspiration from that definition as well as from the literal and metaphorical description of photography: drawing with light.
Each a potent concept in and of itself, combined, these ideas fuel the exhibition’s design and programming. A powerful experience awaits gallery visitors and program participants. Expect a moving exhibition where the images glow, the stories enlighten and your soul is
The Soul of Philanthropy reframes portraits of philanthropy. Comprising highly innovative presentations of over a dozen vignette stories and more than 50 black-and-white images, the exhibition conjures philanthropic musings across generations. A robust offering of talks, panel discussions and public forums accompany the exhibition and allow groups to explore a broad range of topics to ignite a movement of conscious philanthropy by empowering a generation of Americans to recognize their power and responsibility to
Valaida Fullwood and photographer Charles W. Thomas Jr.
Giving Back, a 400-page hardcover book profiling stories of philanthropy among African Americans that was developed with photographer Charles Thomas. Giving Back, her first book, was named one of the 10 Best Black Books of 2011 and received the prestigious 2012 McAdam Book Award, which recognizes “the most inspirational and useful new book for the nonprofit sector.”
Organizations In The Leadership Role
The African American Development Officers organization under the leadership of Birgit Burton started making plans to bring the exhibit to Atlanta several years ago after meeting Valaida Fullwoood whose passion for spreading the philanthropic message in communities of color was infectious. Birgit started pitching the idea to key funders and her colleagues in the foundation world. Having served as a past board president of Hammonds House Museum she immediately reached out to the museum. Hammonds House Museum had recently formed a significant partnership with the Auburn Avenue Research Library which became the perfect venue for the focus and programming for this exhibition. The rest became "history in the making" quickly transforming time into the near future of Atlanta's welcoming of The Soul of Philanthropy in November. We are excited about and deeply grateful to The Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta for their major support and position as the Presenting Sponsor of this meaningful and dynamic exhibition.