Eleven years ago, Dr. Jacqueline Bouvier Copeland founded Black Philanthropy Month (BPM) to serve as "…a global celebration and concerted campaign to elevate African-descent giving and funding equity."
In 2022’s Black Philanthropy Month (#BPM22), more than 19 million people from 60 countries engage and participate both online and in-person.
Amongst those 19 million is Brandi Hudson, Empowerment Coach, Philanthropist, and Summer Search National Board Member. We're pleased to culminate this August with her thoughts, learnings, and reactions to #BPM22 and her tenure at Summer Search.
Afterwards, enjoy some well-scribed historical context on Black Philanthropy, its traditions, stories, and impact with two of its best literary resources, Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists and Madam C.J. Walker’s Gospel of Giving: Black Women’s Philanthropy during Jim Crow.
Today, Dr. Jacqueline Bouvier Copeland, our own Brandi Hudson, and many leaders like them carry the torch. We are grateful and inspired. Summer Search actively honors Black Philanthropy in August and its surrounding eleven months.
Question: How have you chosen to honor Black Philanthropy Month?
Brandi Hudson (BH): I have been part of discussions and interviews, including this one, to honor BPM. For me, the goal is truly about increasing awareness and, ultimately, community participation. While August is the BPM, it truly launches the year centering around a specific theme. I am a fan of this year's theme "Fierce Urgency of Now, From Dream to Reality." As philanthropy truly allows us to move from this ideal to implementation and change. I also encourage everyone to look at the BPM website to learn more about the intention of the month and sponsored events.
Q: How have you seen other organizations honor BPM?
BH: In their own way, each organization is increasing awareness around the importance of Black Philanthropy. Similar to Summer Search, many have leaned into interviews as a means of conveying just how important it is to nurture Black Philanthropy.
The Black community gives more as a percentage of their income than any other group of individuals. However, historically the Black community has not been the face of philanthropy. We have given in many ways to our community as a means of supporting our churches, families, and neighborhoods. However, as the wealth within the community is growing, we are seeing more institutional giving, and it is critical for organizations to recognize and cultivate that.
Q: How can Summer Search do better in this space?
BH: In addition to what I mentioned about engaging Black donors, I think it is critically important that as we build out strategies, we have people at the table who may have more first-hand insight into the issues that we are seeking to solve. This diversity of perspective will allow us to move forward faster.
Q: How do you show up for Summer Search?
BH: If you cannot tell, I believe deeply that it is our responsibility to lift as we climb and give back in ways that feel good and also allow others access to opportunities. I am particularly committed to diversifying the donor base of Summer Search and engaging more voices as a means of ensuring that we are thoughtful in the manner by which we solve issues. For me, that looks like engaging Black Philanthropists around the mission and vision of Summer Search.
Q: Why has your family invested time and financial resources into Summer Search?
BH: I think that BPM is a perfect time for people to really reflect on how and where they would like to make an impact on the world. We decided that Summer Search is a great fit for our family as the mission of Summer Search and the community that it impacts really aligns with the change we are looking to see in the world. The outcomes data for the students is incredibly compelling. I am grateful to be able to partner with an organization of this caliber.