Reinventing Philanthropy at Givewell
Client Values Questionnaire for King Lear and Isabel Archer

Black Gives Back

I have been an admirer of Black Gives Back: A Blog Dedicated to Philanthropy in the Black Community. Recently, I had a chance to interview its editor, Tracey, by email.

Phil: What got you blogging?

Tracey: I initially planned to create a blog for Black Benefactors, the giving circle I started, highlighting programs funded and pertinent issues impacting blacks in the D.C. area, but then I realized, why not create a blog highlighting philanthropy in the black community for everyone?

Phil: What got you interested in philanthropy?

Tracey: I've always had an interest in philanthropy, since I was very young.  I come from a family of givers (foster parents, teachers, etc.) so that's where my 'giving nature' comes from.   On one particular day I'll never forget, I attended a forum on the black male.  The forum featured workshops on the plight of the black male, recent statistics, etc.  One speaker in particular, a black pastor of a well known church, started telling us what we (meaning the black community) needs to do to save black males.  He said he had written a book on what needs to be done.  A little elderly black woman stood up, interrupting him, asking, excuse me but what have you done?  Do you have a plan?  I'm tired of all this talk, we need action.  She received a standing ovation.  I too, am tired of all the talk and finger pointing.  I created the giving circle two years later (in 2005).

Phil: Tracey, you mentioned to me that your blog has had mean-spirited, even racist comments, that when comments get moderated or deleted, some commenters have sent you racist or stupid emails. What keeps you going?

Tracey: Because my blog is divinely driven, no matter how many racist and stupid comments/emails I get, I won't stop blogging.  I knew I would hit a nerve with some people.  In fact, I plan to move the blog from blogspot sometime this year and expand it.  I want people to see that there are individuals, of all colors, who are committed to making this world a better place.

Phil: Any final thoughts?

Tracy: If you or anyone else is interested in joining the Black Benefactors, founding membership (for individuals and businesses) ends next month.