Leaders from Ferguson Commission, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture to discuss intersection of religion, generosity and social justice
National and regional leaders will discuss the intersections of faith, philanthropy and race during a panel discussion and public conversation in Indianapolis Nov. 6.
“Race Matters: Faith & Philanthropy in the African American Community” event will feature three panelists with significant expertise in these issues.
• Brad Braxton is the director of the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
• Aimée Laramore is the philanthropic strategist for the first Ph.D. program in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric at Christian Theological Seminary.
• Starsky Wilson has led congregational activism through his work at St. John’s Church in St. Louis, including leadership on the Ferguson Commission.
The discussion will be moderated by Rev. Dr. Leah Gunning Francis, who is vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty, and associate professor of Christian Education and Practical Theology at Christian Theological Seminary.
The event will be Tues., Nov. 6, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in Christian Theological Seminary’s Shelton Auditorium, 1000 West 42nd Street in Indianapolis. A part of the 2018 Spirit & Place Festival, it is free and open to the public. RSVPs are encouraged by Nov. 5. Walk-ins are welcome.
This Lake Distinguished Visitor Panel is presented by Lake Institute on Faith & Giving and the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI, and Christian Theological Seminary.
“Although it has long been an integral part of generosity in our communities, African American philanthropy and its relationship with faith have been underexplored topics in our society. The current cultural climate suggests this is the right time to have such conversations,” said David P. King, Karen Lake Buttrey Director of the institute. “All three panelists are experienced religious leaders who have navigated the work of philanthropy and social justice in their communities, and we are pleased to be able to bring this important contemporary dialogue to central Indiana.”
Braxton and Laramore shared some thoughts in advance of the panel discussion.
“At its best, philanthropy is a process of investing in imaginative people who have audacious ideas and a relentless capacity to ‘tangibilate’ those ideas for the betterment of the world. Philanthropic organizations and individuals should make more meaningful investments in grassroots public engagement by African American faith communities. Many grassroots African American faith communities—from congregations to community organizers—are frontline ‘doctors of the soul’ seeking to dispense healing balm in hurting communities,” Braxton said. “In many African American Christian traditions, religious worship is not an insular ‘other-worldly’ affair but rather a sacred gathering to empower faithful people to transform this world in the name of all that is good.”
“The challenges in the work at the intersection of faith and giving can be significant. It can at times be difficult to talk about philanthropy and giving, generosity and gratitude, vision and impact—when the messages that are affirmed in mainstream media and the world around us often do not affirm the value of African American lives,” Laramore said. “The racial wealth gap, a myriad of diverse social justice priorities, the inability to talk about money and death, and the changing religious landscape offer opportunities to rethink how we understand, recognize and celebrate the power of giving back.”
About Lake Institute on Faith & Giving
Lake Institute on Faith & Giving exists to serve the public good by exploring the multiple connections between philanthropy and faith within the major religious traditions. Its mission is to foster greater understanding of the ways in which faith inspires and informs giving. Lake Institute is a program of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Follow us on Twitter @LakeInstitute or “Like” us on Facebook.
The Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy
The Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy fosters a greater understanding of the ways in which underrepresented people are both inspired and informed donors by providing knowledge, education and training. The institute seeks to understand the perceptions, practices, experiences and needs of the individuals and institutions that operationalize philanthropy in underrepresented communities and develop programming and services to engage philanthropic practitioners, scholars and the public at large in conversations and activities to advance this field. Follow us on Twitter or “Like” us on Facebook.
About the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. Follow us on Twitter @LakeInstitute or “Like” us on Facebook.