BWAC Episode 5 - Adrienne Taylor and Lauren Jones - August is Black Philanthropy Month
We had a blast recording this one! In this episode, I sit down with two phenomenal Cincinnatians leading some of the most social-justice aimed and impact-driven initiatives at the Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF)- Adrienne Taylor, Development Director of the Women's Fund, and Lauren Jones, Inclusive Giving Advisor. Three black women talking about fundraising and the unique aspects of existing in this space- WHAAAAAT! You won't want to miss this one.
You'll hear about Lauren's pathway to philanthropy through her work with the 2012 re-election campaign for Barak Obama and how she was able to leverage her community organizing expertise to create new links between Cincinnati's donors and meaningful causes. Adrienne shares her earliest forays into fundraising as a professional dancer, turned stockbroker, turned MBA. Their stories relate a deeply ingrained passion for helping people and serving the greater good.
Our conversation covers many distinct yet connected topical threads related to the history of black philanthropy showcased in an illuminating research report spearheaded by GCF, the great work that the Greater Cincinnati Foundation is doing to advance equity via all of their funding channels, and the browning of the US population and how increased mentoring emerging black and brown fundraisers is the key to preparedness for these tectonic demographic shifts.
I moved this episode up in the production schedule to align with Black Philanthropy Month which is observed in this, the month of August. Lauren and Adrienne both contextualize the wide spectrum of black philanthropy and paint a very vivid picture of the many ways that black and brown people have had to help one another when confronted with institutionalized racism, Jim Crow era horrors, and lingering conditions of inequity.
The most moving parts of our discussion come when we learn about Lauren and Adrienne's hopes for emerging black and brown fundraisers and what they wish organizations who employ black philanthropy professionals knew about how best to set them up for success.
As is our practice, the conversation ends with deeply personal thoughts about the weight of existing at the intersection of race and gender- that is to say- what it means to be both black and a woman. We learn about the self-care routines they both use to stay centered in the fast-paced world of philanthropy. Adrienne's talks about her journaling routine and how it keeps her accountable to the awesome things she wants to accomplish. Lauren talks about how she has come to identify the 'feeding and care' of the joy in her life as the key to sustained happiness.
We were very fortunate to be given space to record this episode at the first free-standing black-owned bookstore- Smith and Hannon which recently relocated to the Over The Rhine neighborhood in Cincinnati. We urge all listeners in the Cincinnati area to visit owner Joyce Smith at her beautiful store. You'll want to buy everything in sight when you see the amazing literary offerings on display.
Podcast Sponsor: Co-Pilot Strategies
Intro Music Credit Music Title: A City Called Heaven Composer: Courtney Bryan You Can find this and other works by Courtney on iTunes
Bawse Action and Outro Music Credit Music Title: It's On Composer/Producer: Abdullah Powell