[GUEST BLOGGER] 3 African Americans in Philanthropy You Need to Know

by Cheyenne Cochrane, Guest Blogger

Power philanthropy couple, Eddie & Sylvia Brown with Gayle King

When we think of philanthropy, we envision an altruistic concern for human welfare and advancement by providing resources (often monetary) to a scarce environment. Although the act is hardly new, social responsibility has gained attention over the years as billion dollar companies found themselves waging a war between profits and ethics. The importance of effective giving practices is on the rise!

As young, black, aspiring change agents, there are numerous paths to becoming a force in the philanthropic community. Whether your goal is to found and lead a non-profit or foundation, become an expert in development, or simply a successful individual with means to give back, you must align yourself properly early on. After all, powerful philanthropy doesn’t happen overnight.

These three (one is a couple) philanthropy gurus are people who have created successful and impactful models through their work. Their inspiring philanthropic journeys have touched thousands of lives along the way, and the effects of their efforts are exponential.

Michele Courton Brown

MicheleCBrownWhile she served as Vice President and National Practice Director for Bank of America’s Philanthropic Management Group, Ms. Brown advised high net-worth clients in their philanthropic giving decisions. She carries with her a seasoned history of leadership in the banking sector, while maintaining a focus on social impact and ethical responsibility. She has been praised for her role and expertise in the grant-making decisions of numerous corporate foundations for over 20 years. Ms. Brown is an executive leader, but also a trusted development professional who has helped direct the contributions of countless individuals and organizations.

Darryl Lester

Photo_Lester_DarrylMr. Lester is a prime example of a social entrepreneur who channeled his passion for giving toward founding the Community Investment Network.  He’s dedicated his work to helping African American’s understand philanthropy from a broader perspective and has helped organize giving circles around the country. Not only have his individual efforts impacted the lives of many in the black community, but he’s empowered and taught others how to do the same. Mr. Lester successfully harnesses the power of collective action to ignite change, teaching us that if enough people are led together under a common goal, the amount of money in one person’s pocket will never be a barrier.

Eddie and Sylvia Brown

Eddie_Sylvia_Brown_495x300Eddie and Sylvia Brown have been hailed as heroes in the State of Maryland. They established the C. Sylvia and Eddie C. Brown Family Foundation in 1996 and have contributed over $22 million to various causes over the last 15 years. After working as an investment manager at T. Rowe Price, Mr. Brown founded Brown Capital Management and led his company to acquire an extensive client list, managing billions of dollars in client assets. The Browns continue to donate millions to various causes from education to public health. Although their contributions are only granted in Maryland, the impact of their generosity is widespread.
cheyenne_photoCheyenne Cochrane is a millennial leader with a passion for connecting her peers through leadership development. As the Founder and CEO of Transcend Consulting, Cheyenne creates pathways and cultivates leadership through giving, development, and innovation. She is also a proud Chicagoan. Keep up with Cheyenne on Twitter @LivLifeLavishhh.

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