The Iconic Impact Initiative

Bridge Philanthropic Consulting (BPC) is publishing a series of position papers called The Iconic Impact Initiative to explore the historical nature of multi-cultural philanthropy and the foundations of giving that were built by modern-day leaders of color—from ordinary individuals to the most famous pop-culture icons. While often not given credit, African Americans and Hispanic Americans have been leaders in charitable giving, not only providing generous monetary contributions but innovating ways to empower worthwhile causes.

BPC is the only African American-owned philanthropy and strategy firm worldwide. It has extensive experience with the African American and Hispanic American market and media organizations and broad relationships within the multi-cultural community, leading the way in advising organizations seeking positive strategic outcomes inclusive of communities of color. This is the launch of the series.

Series #4 - 12 Top Pioneers Of Black Philanthropy

By Dwayne Ashley, Tashion Macon, Ph.D, Jennifer Jiles

Bridge Philanthropic Consultants felt it was critical to release 12 Top Pioneers of Black Philanthropy as its way to commemorate Black History Month. Black philanthropy has always existed. But Blacks were brought to America as slaves, were obstructed from achieving the American dream after emancipation by systemic racism, and have seen their philanthropic achievements receive little to no attention outside their own community. We are here to shine the spotlight on them not just to give the recognition they deserve but to set them out as role models.

Series #3 - Robert F. Smith

By Dwayne Ashley, Tashion Macon, Ph.D., Jennifer Jiles, Delphia York Ridley, Esq. and Tammy Smithers, Ed.D.

As CEO and Founder of Bridge Philanthropic Consultants LLC. (BPC), the only full-service African American-owned and led social justice and philanthropic firm in the U.S., I see African-American generosity and social consciousness firsthand every day. If that were not the case, we could not have raised nearly $1 billion to enable organizations of color to  realize their dreams and fulfill their missions.

What African Americans deserve and expect now is recognition for the charitableness they have always demonstrated but have not been given recognition for at parity with their generosity or with equal reverence as White donors. Billionaire philanthropist Robert F. Smith is igniting social change with bold strokes, while “liberating the human spirit,” words he frequently uses to describe his ideological viewpoint on helping people who traditionally have had few or no resources available to them.  Black philanthropists like Robert Smith don’t need the broader America to recognize them but they do deserve it; they have earned it.

Series #2 - WAP: Women and Protest

By Tashion Macon, Jennifer Jiles and Dwayne Ashley,

Before renowned philanthropists Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, and John D. Rockefeller were even born, Black women were philanthropic leaders, and though unsung, were often at the forefront of social change. Women such as Julia Williams, Bridget “Biddy” Mason, and Sarah Mapps Douglass organized and funded anti-slavery movements in 19th century America. As Maya Angelou said in 1978, “Out of the huts of history’s shame, I rise. Up from a past that’s rooted in pain, I rise.” And, today, as showcased in this position paper, W.A.P.: Women and Protest, Black women are leveraging their platform on the world stage to build a culture of philanthropy and advocacy for social justice.

Series #1 - The Man And His Philanthropy

By Dwayne Ashley, Tashion Macon, Ph.D, Steve Manning, Karen Hunte and Jennifer Jiles

Wherever Michael Jackson traveled, he fit a hospital visit or an orphanage into this schedule. During Jackson’s HIStory World Tour in 1996, he spent two hours at a Sydney hospital playing “Father Christmas,” as one Australian newscaster described it, giving out thousands of dollars worth of dolls, toys, and computer games to bedridden children whose faces lit up with smiles. Two years earlier, a visit to a Hungarian hospital during a break from a video shoot led him to pay for a liver transplant for a 4-year-old boy … and treatment for the next 10 years.