Celebrating Black Philanthropy Month with The Prosperity Foundation
Community leaders Rolan Joni Young Smith (L) and Howard K. Hill (R) serve on The Prosperity Foundation's Board of Directors and are former Board members of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.
Building, Re-building and Healing through Philanthropy
Going into our third year of establishing circles of giving, The Prosperity Foundation (TPF) has a focused mission "on improving the lives of Connecticut's Black families…to address critical social and economic issues facing the Black Community."
Our reason for supporting and promoting Black Philanthropy is to save, sustain and seed success for our people from generation to generation. Despite the statistics about our social and economic condition in urban and rural black centers across the United States, Black Philanthropy is on the rise.
An inspiring example the whole Nation (and arguably the world) witnessed was the philanthropic outpouring for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). It was a juggernaut display of African American wealth, power, and influence coming forth as one force to contribute to an historic legacy about our ancestry, history and culture.
To celebrate and preserve our history in this magnitude was manifested with a long overdue display of Black Diasporic cultural excellence denied us for over 400-years - Now, a significant showcase about who we are is under one giant roof.
This large-scale example of Black Philanthropy is awe-inspiring for our people from diverse social and economic backgrounds to transform communities by cultivating an ethos of giving. In parallel to TPF, all our efforts must be captured to fully harness our collective resources for community change under one umbrella.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation did a study and found although Black households have less wealth than Whites, we give away 25% more of our income annually than our White counterparts.
The Prosperity Foundation understands the generosity of our people and the potential of doing more for our community with less to generate wealth is possible. TPF's purpose and programs for the benefit of our people has an undivided attention in three areas - Education, Health and Economics:
- Education is from the perspective of having an authentic knowledge of self about our beginnings, our oppression due to past to present racism, and taking our rightful place in history.
- Health is coming from knowing and understanding our Black Emotional Quotient. To heal, it is addressing our disparity when it comes to our mental health/state, our Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and psychological impact that affects how we love ourselves, trust and engage one another.
- Economics is how we practice Group Economics to transform a community.
Our destiny requires a cooperative or (in Kiswahili), Ujamaa discovery of economic development and self-determination. It is controlling our economic inputs and outputs and arresting predatory economics/business against our people.
The Prosperity Foundation ardently believes in taking on a fiduciary role and responsibility for being about the business of philanthropy. Since our beginning in 2015, we have successfully provided grants to 22 impressive Connecticut non-profit entities that are in alignment with the TPF vision. These grantee organizations are realizing their dreams to build, re-build, and heal our community through TPF.
Thank you to Howard K. Hill, founder and president of The Prosperity Foundation, for being a contributing blogger in August as our community celebrates Black Philanthropy Month. The Prosperity Foundation was launched in 2014 with a $300,000 grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to support TPF's start-up and early-stage growth; the grant was applied for and secured by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.