The
Iconic Impact Series

Bridge Philanthropic Consulting’s Iconic Impact series explores 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 direct contributions, but innovating ways to empower worthwhile causes.

BPC is the only African American-owned full-service philanthropy and strategy firm worldwide. It has extensive experience with the African American and Hispanic American market , 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. 

Pearl Carina Bowden Anderson

by Dwayne Ashley, Dr. Tammy Smithers, and Sylvia White. Special Introduction by Dr. Gleniece Robinson, Chair, National Juneteenth Museum, Tonya Veasey, CEO, OCG+, and Helen Giddings, Former Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives

During Black Philanthropy Month, we celebrate Pearl C. Anderson who, without fanfare, made her first major donation in 1955 to the Dallas Community Chest Trust Fund, known today as Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT). That contribution of $325,000 grew to$2 million in grantmaking and strengthened the organization’s early commitment to support programs and institutions that help individuals throughout the community. Grants continue to be made today through the Pearl C. Anderson Fund at CFT.

Civil Rights Attorneys

By Tashion Macon, Ph.D., Jennifer Jiles, Sylvia White, and Dwayne Ashley

In 1954, Thurgood Marshall changed the American landscape by leading the team in Brown v. Board of Education that persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that school segregation violated the Constitution. That landmark triumph by the future Supreme Court justice, along with the victories of the Martin Luther King led civil rights movement in the 1960s, spelled the end of overt discrimination in our nation’s laws. But racism merely proved a shapeshifter. It did not go anywhere, instead persisting through means that are less blatant but pernicious all the same, existing in the spaces between the lines of our laws. Most prominently, it lives on in our criminal justice system.

Aretha Franklin

By Tashion Macon, Ph.D., Sylvia White, Jennifer Jiles, and Dwayne Ashley

In its Iconic Impact Series, Bridge Philanthropic Consulting expands the definition of philanthropy beyond financial generosity to include the willingness to risk one’s career and reputation to fight for social justice. Few, however, checked off every box the way Franklin did. Generous to the extreme, she was willing to sacrifice everything to elevate African Americans from oppression and secondclass citizenship. A year after the killing of George Floyd by police and the ensuing social justice protests, with efforts to suppress Black votes at renewed heights, the release this month of the biopic “Respect” could not have come at a better time, reminding us not only what we are fighting for, but how to fight.

Highlighting Pioneers and Champions of the LGBTQIA+ Movement

By Dwayne Ashley, Sylvia White, Tashion Macon, Ph.D., and Jennifer Jiles

At Bridge Philanthropic Consulting (BPC), we know that the fight cannot only be about money. Philanthropy is also about those who are willing to sacrifice, often at great personal cost, but for the greater good. Many African Americans among the LGBTQ community have fought for gay rights, yet rarely get the recognition deserved. We celebrate Pride Month by saluting them here.

Series #7 - Jazz & Philanthropy

By Tashion Macon, Ph.D., Jennifer Jiles, and Dwayne Ashley Special Introduction by Jackie Harris and Nicole Henry

Jazz artists were integral to the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The Congress of Racial Equality’s release of a jazz album was just one example, raising funds to bail out jailed demonstrators, host workshops on Martin Luther King’s brand of nonviolent action, and organize voter registration drives. The 24-song album, “A Jazz Salute to Freedom,” included songs by Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, and others.

Series #6 - Cicely Tyson

By Tashion Macon, Ph.D., Jennifer Jiles, and Dwayne Ashley Special Introduction by Reginald Van Lee, Noted Philanthropist and Chair, BPC Advisory Board

The line to pay respects at Ms. Cicely Tyson’s public viewing outside Abyssinian Baptist Church was blocks long. She grew up just a short distance away in East Harlem, the youngest of three children of poor immigrants from the island of Nevis in the West Indies. 

So many in her section of Manhattan lived and died in anonymity. But Ms. Tyson broke through the any sense of security. She rose up to become a fearless, groundbreaking actress, fighting through deep-seated systemic racism to emerge as Hollywood royalty. And throughout her 60-year career, she never forgot from whence she came, relentlessly serving as a role model and inspiration. When she died in January at age 96, the size of the crowd that came out reflected those truths and how much she meant to Harlem and the entire African American community.

Series #5 - NBA All Stars of Philanthropy

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

The year 2020 revealed Blacks needed their leaders to up their game beyond just generosity—they needed to fight for social justice fearlessly and publicly. The demand became clear as George Floyd and Breonna Taylor died at the hands of police, triggering nationwide racial justice protests, while COVID-19 was killing nearly three times as many Blacks as whites, with Blacks at greater risk because so many work at low-income, frontline jobs. Fortunately, the new generation of NBA stars has been up to the challenge. We proudly recognize the NBA All-Stars of Philanthropy as part of our Iconic Impact Initiative series. This series installment is our way of spreading awareness
during the league’s All-Star Game celebration that African Americans’ contributions should be known to Americans of every color, not just their own.

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.

BPC Writing And Research Team

We have the honor to power the sector championing social justice, equality, and a host of other issues. If you are interested in presenting a concept, idea or innovative writing opportunities through our Iconic Impact Series papers, we welcome the chance to work with you.

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