Black philanthropy group holds night of generosity with gala

Attendees filled the Winston-Salem State University’s Anderson Center for the Black Philanthropy Initiative gala on Thursday, Oct. 20.

Black philanthropy group holds night of generosity with gala
October 27
06:30 2016

Photos by Todd Luck



A celebration of the history of giving in the African-American community was held at the Black Philanthropy Initiative (BPI) gala at the Anderson Center on Thursday, Oct. 20.

BPI is a fund of the Winston-Salem Foundation dedicated to supporting issues that impact African-Americans. The gala, which raised more than $25,000 last year, is its main fundraiser.

BPI Chairwoman Alison Ashe-Card said that the initiative hopes to highlight a history of giving in the black community that many African-Americans don’t even think about.

“We’ve given through church, but we don’t always see ourselves as philanthropists. We see that as someone else,” she said.

Ashe-Card said BPI lets donors make a difference through collective giving, so even individuals who can’t give a lot can contribute. People can also give their time, since it’s a volunteer-driven initiative run by its board and committees.

“In order to serve, especially on a board that has as much work as we do and we’re all volunteers, I think it comes from a passion of wanting to serve the community,” said BPI Vice Chairman Roger Hyman.

BPI is currently considering about 15 submissions for grants of up to $5,000 for projects that focus on education, parenting and financial literacy. The recipients will be determined later this year and announced in February.

Last year’s recipients included the Hanes Magnet School Girls of Distinction after-school program, a family program for young parents by Catholic Charities and Delta Fine Arts’ Arts Smart elementary school enrichment program.

Authoring Action, whose teen participants performed spoken word pieces during the gala, received a grant for its media workshops.

Donations for BPI go to either grants or to an endowment, which is currently $100,000, and is supported with matching fund from First Tennessee Bank. Other sponsors for the gala included Hanesbrand, Reynolds American, and Winston-Salem State University. Judge Denise Hartsfield was the gala’s mistress of ceremonies.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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