February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate the many contributions of Black Americans. As we look to celebrate this month and year-round, we’re sharing how CMF members are honoring and reflecting on Black history.
“When I reflect on Black History Month, this year I am seeking to understand and celebrate the BOTH AND of the Black community. This month is about the history and legacy of people who are proud to be both African and American. I plan to deepen my understanding of both the love and sacrifice of African American ancestors,” Camarrah Morgan, program partner at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation and co-chair of CMF’s Michigan Forum for African Americans in Philanthropy (MFAAP) Affinity Group said.
MFAAP is dedicated to encouraging philanthropy leadership in the African American community and supporting an emerging public policy agenda. This affinity group provides opportunities designed to help members grow and learn together through professional development, networking and educational seminars.
“I'm especially excited about Black History Month as an intentional opportunity to recognize and celebrate the richness of African American history and culture, and the legacy of self-determination that continues to anchor Black community progress,” Meredith Freeman director of Impact Investing and Alignment at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation and co-chair of MFAAP said.
Freeman shared how philanthropy can continue to support Black history throughout the year.
“As this month begins, I encourage all of my colleagues within philanthropy to similarly hold this priority of recognizing and supporting Black organizations and community leaders throughout the year and moving with intention to support and invest in them,” Freeman said.
CMF members are highlighting the impact of Black Americans within philanthropy.
All month the Rocket Community Fund is highlighting the perspectives of its Black team members who lead the strategies, programs and investments that are creating a more equitable Detroit.
“Too often in Detroit, important decisions about housing, economic mobility, public space and culture have been made by people who aren’t personally affected by the outcomes of those decisions. We are committed to doing better. A diverse team produces more informed, more strategic and more sustainable work. And on top of all of that, it’s the right thing to do,” Laura Grannemann, executive director of the Rocket Community Fund said.
The Kalamazoo Community Foundation shared a curated list of resources on social media focused on racial equity, healing and anti-racism.
The Kresge Foundation honored the start of this month of observance, highlighting The Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s (ASALH) theme for this year which explores how African Americans have resisted historical and ongoing oppression while continuing to build our nation and shared ASALH’s virtual Black History Month festival.
“As one serving the community through philanthropy, it’s important that we honor those who physically slaved a way for all of us to enjoy the freedoms we have today while also investing in the community members who work tirelessly towards equity and justice for all Americans,” Morgan said. “Black History is complex and beautiful. As is philanthropy. There is both joy in our ability to share resources and heartache for the continued obstacles plaguing Michigan communities.”
How CMF members are celebrating on social:
To mark the start of Black History Month, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation shared that its building will be illuminated to “honor the legacy, achievements and ongoing contributions of Black Americans to every aspect of human endeavor.”
The Joyce Foundation is celebrating the month and the contributions of its nonprofit partners.
The Rehmann Foundation is encouraging others to spend time honoring and learning more about the accomplishments of Black Americans throughout history.
Join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #BlackHistoryMonth
We invite you to share how you’re celebrating Black History Month with the CMF team.
Learning to Give (LTG), an endowed program of CMF, provides literature guides for books written by Black authors. LTG recently shared a guide for The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, a poem that celebrates the creativity, perseverance, grit and impact of Black Americans on the history of our country.
Learn more about CMF's Michigan Forum for African Americans in Philanthropy Affinity Group.