As we mark the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. there is much to reflect on and much to look forward to. Our reflections can be a source of inspiration for what we can accomplish together moving forward into the future. We can embrace the “fierce urgency of now” that Dr. King spoke of.
“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there ‘is’ such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time.”
The work of social justice and social change continues through churches, local and national organizations, partnerships, shared learning, persistent advocacy, social organizing, lawsuits, and through advancing policy agendas. And, it continues with support of foundations, many of whom are members of ABFE.
Who, you may ask, is ABFE? ABFE is a philanthropic partnership for black communities. It is a membership organization established in 1971 that advocates for responsive and transformative investments in Black communities. ABFE partners with foundations, nonprofits and philanthropists, providing professional development and technical assistance resources that further the philanthropic sector’s connection and responsiveness to issues of equity, diversity and inclusion.
Early on ABFE advocated for the inclusion of African Americans within the leadership ranks of philanthropic foundations. They have consistently advocated for an awareness of issues facing the black community and the importance of investing in African American communities, institutions and leadership. Now, 45 years later, there are African Americans in leadership at major foundations. And there continues to be a consistent push for responsiveness, education, and dialog on how both philanthropy – and a lack of philanthropic investments – impact Black communities. ABFE encourages research and shared learnings, all with the goal of promoting effective and responsive philanthropy in Black communities. It is an influential network.
ABFE will host its 2018 annual conference – The Fierce Urgency of Now – in Memphis April 14th through the 17th. The opening plenary is fittingly named A Call to action for Philanthropy and Black Communities. It is all about increasing private and public investment in Black communities. The agenda is diverse and impressive. It includes sessions that focus on Black immigrants, the LGBTQ community, Black men and boys, and Black women and girls. Fortifying Black-Led Organizations: Strategies and Tactics is one session of the many sessions that has caught our attention.
Learn more at www.abfe-conference.org.
Copyright 2017 – Mel and Pearl Shaw
Mel and Pearl Shaw are authors of four books on fundraising available on Amazon.com. For help growing your fundraising visit www.saadandshaw.com or call (901) 522-8727.