Black Philanthropy Month (BPM), today a program of The Women Invested to Save Earth Fund (WISE), culminating in a multinational summit every August, is a global celebration and concerted campaign to elevate African-descent giving and funding equity. Incubated starting in 2001 by its Founder Dr. Jackie Bouvier Copeland, with the support of Reunity, formerly the Pan-African Women’s Philanthropy Network, BPM launched in 2011 with its first official global summit to commemorate the United Nations Year and Decade of People of African Descent.
BPM has gone from its initial 8 million in-person and online participants in 20 countries in 2006 to more than 19 million engaged across 60 countries—more countries than celebrate Black History Month. The collective effort has made Dr. Copeland’s founding vision and designs a reality. BPM is now the world’s only global Diasporan community coalition and movement to celebrate and empower Black funding in all its forms, from philanthropy to venture and business investment. BPM acknowledges and honors the participation of all current, past, and future BPM leaders and our sponsors and advisors, making equity real for our communities today and for generations to come.
The Covid pandemic, recession, racial injustices, and climate change are decimating Black communities everywhere. Despite high levels of entrepreneurialism and giving, Black people do not have equitable access to the private capital necessary for community recovery and wellness. In response, this year Black Philanthropy Month pivoted to call on philanthropic and business funders to increase and improve funding to Black communities. Building on BPM 2020 Summit attendee polling and subsequent surveys, BPM has identified10 Global Black Funding Principles. Philanthropy, social investment and ventures are encouraged to sign the BPM-Pledge which includes the following:
- Public, transparent annual Black funding goals for impact
- Long-term, multi-year funding
- Remember small- to medium-sized businesses and start-ups
- Trust us for a change
- Flexible, general support for operations
- Funding with a social justice lens
- Preservation of the Black philanthropy practice of self-reliance and mutual support
- Supporting Black innovation and creativity
- Supporting an intersectional human rights agenda
- Inclusive and mutually supportive funding across the global Black community
Black Philanthropy Month 2023 – Love In Action
Inspired by the times and the late scholar-activist bell hooks’ writings on love as a necessary foundation for true social change. Love In Action moves beyond the rhetoric of philanthropy as love for humanity to make it real in Black communities.
The 2023 theme focuses attention on the root meaning of philanthropy as love for all humanity, including Black people. In the context of Black giving, they will highlight the power of Black self-love as an act of universal human rights that promotes racial, social, economic, gender, and environmental justice for our communities and the entire world.
The hope is to remind their constituents and the world that Black philanthropy and funding equity are not just about money. BPM 2023 will highlight the efficacy and innovation of “Black Love in Action” in these hopeful but crisis times through creative philanthropy, business investment, and racial equity advocacy worldwide.
BPM’s core organizing questions are:
What would philanthropy look like if it were driven by love of all humanity including Black people?
What would Black-led philanthropy look like if it were driven by self-love?
Building on our equity principles, how can the movement expand love of Black humanity and equity?
For more information – Love In Action
Allen Esrock is the Founder of NxtGen Nexus, a platform for the next generation of family business owners which is based on his experience of growing up in a family business. Prior to that he started Jitter Fingers, the first safe, social networking website for tween girls and their bffs with Jitter Finger clubs in 12+ countries and 250+ cities in the US.