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Philanthropic experience and giving traditions of African Americans to be explored in new exhibition at Buffalo Soldiers Museum

HOUSTON, TX  — The groundbreaking exhibition Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited will open on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum. The touring exhibition will explore the African-American philanthropy experience and giving traditions grounded in faith, mutuality, responsibility and social justice.
The exhibition illustrates Black philanthropy through highly innovative presentations, including luminous photographic prints on metal, iPad kiosks, video and interactive digital apps featuring music, poetry, photography, narratives and more. It comprises over a dozen vignette stories and more than 50 black-and-white images that depict facets of giving across generations. Images and stories composing the exhibit are from the book “Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists” by author Valaida Fullwood and photographer Charles W. Thomas Jr. Monika Rhue, library director at Johnson C. Smith University, serves as project manager for the exhibit’s grant-funded tour, and Prairie View A&M University Office of Development and Buffalo Soldiers Museum are the host. “Centuries-old cultural customs and beliefs about giving, though rarely acknowledged as ‘philanthropy’ in African-American communities, have long been an integral and transformational force in lives and communities throughout American society,” Fullwood said.

“African Americans are often left out of the conversation around philanthropy unless fame and wealth are associated, or they are being portrayed only as beneficiaries or people in need,” said Fullwood. “But African Americans actually give a higher percentage of their discretionary income to charitable causes than any other racial group in this country. This exhibition will help reframe the discussion and reclaim the root meaning of the word philanthropy, which is ‘love of what it means to be human.’” News Release For Immediate Release Contact: Dr. Camillia Rodgers, Executive Director Buffalo Soldier National Museum 3816 Caroline, Houston, TX Tel: 713.942.8920.
The exhibition will be on display through November 13th before continuing traveling to several Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and cultural institutions across the South and other regions. In addition to the exhibition, corresponding public programs will allow groups to explore a broad range of topics related to philanthropy, including the Historical Characteristics of Philanthropy in the African American Community (October 13th), Next Generation Giving (October 27th), and the Corporate Impact on Philanthropy (November 10th) at Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, 6pm. To schedule a guided tour and learn more about programs and educational forums, email the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum at info@buffalosoldiermuseum.com Exhibition Sponsor and Partners Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited is made possible by a $96,665 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and $124,494 in matching funds and resources.

The James B. Duke Memorial Library at Johnson C. Smith University, in partnership with author Valaida Fullwood, photographer Charles W. Thomas Jr. and New Generation of African American Philanthropists giving circle, will manage the exhibition’s grant-funded national tour through June 2016.  The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Its mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement.  Johnson C. Smith University, founded April 7, 1867, is an independent urban university located in Charlotte. Under the leadership of Dr. Ronald L. Carter, the University continues to evolve into a 21st century higher education institution, building upon its long legacy of producing compassionate and forward-thinking leaders. Ranked 17th among Historically Black Colleges and Universities by U. S. News & World Report (2014), it is recognized as one of the best comprehensive colleges in the South.  New Generation of African American Philanthropists is a giving circle founded in 2006 that promotes philanthropy—the giving of time, talent and treasure—among African Americans in the Charlotte region, with the goal of enhancing the quality of life within our communities. Additional sponsors and partners include, the Houston Arts Alliance, City of Houston, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Divinely Inspired Events, Ujima South, HiMac Center for Creative Thinking, Prairie View A&M School of Architecture, and the Office of Development.
Exhibition-related Programs • Tuesday, October 6, 2015 Exhibit Grand Opening Reception, Buffalo Soldiers Museum 6:00pm – 9:00pm Music by Kathleen Harrell and Award Winning Song Writer, Kathy Burrell, of Yourweh Music – more – After events on opening day, a series of scheduled programs at the museum will accompany the exhibition during its local run through November 13th. Dr. Lason Hines, Captain Paul Matthews, Dr. Camillia Rodgers, Phyllis Darden-Caldwell, Carmetha Williams, Nelson Bowman, and Dr. Lauretta Byars, the exhibit’s Houston Planning Team, is responsible for exhibit program development and coordination.

The Historical Characteristics of Philanthropy in the African American Community, Buffalo Soldier National Museum October 13th at 6:00pm Sponsored By: The HiMac Center for Creative Thinking, Entrepreneur Innovation & Organizational Development; and Divinely Inspired Events This discussion will center on the historical perspective of giving in the African American community, and the characteristics of giving back. The discussion moderator is Jeffrey L. Boney, Entrepreneur and Radio host.

The Next Generation of Giving, Buffalo Soldier National Museum October 27th at 6:00pm Sponsored By: Ujima South This discussion will focus on the charitable habits and engagement of generations Y and Z in giving within their communities

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