News Release

News Release
For Immediate Release
Dr. Camillia Rodgers, Executive Director
Buffalo Soldier National Museum
3816 Caroline, Houston, TX
Tel: 713.942.8920
Philanthropic experience and giving traditions of African Americans to be
explored in new exhibition at Buffalo Soldiers Museum
HOUSTON, TX (Sept. 22, 2015) — The groundbreaking exhibition Giving Back: The Soul
of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited will open on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at the
Buffalo Soldiers National Museum. The touring exhibition will explore the AfricanAmerican philanthropy experience and giving traditions grounded in faith, mutuality,
responsibility and social justice.
The exhibition illustrates Black philanthropy through highly innovative presentations,
including luminous photographic prints on metal, iPad kiosks, video and interactive
digital apps featuring music, poetry, photography, narratives and more. It comprises
over a dozen vignette stories and more than 50 black-and-white images that depict
facets of giving across generations.
Images and stories composing the exhibit are from the book “Giving Back: A Tribute to
Generations of African American Philanthropists” by author Valaida Fullwood and
photographer Charles W. Thomas Jr. Monika Rhue, library director at Johnson C. Smith
University, serves as project manager for the exhibit’s grant-funded tour, and Prairie
View A&M University Office of Development and Buffalo Soldiers Museum are the host.
“Centuries-old cultural customs and beliefs about giving, though rarely acknowledged
as ‘philanthropy’ in African-American communities, have long been an integral and
transformational force in lives and communities throughout American society,” Fullwood
“African Americans are often left out of the conversation around philanthropy unless
fame and wealth are associated, or they are being portrayed only as beneficiaries or
people in need,” said Fullwood. “But African Americans actually give a higher percentage
of their discretionary income to charitable causes than any other racial group in this
country. This exhibition will help reframe the discussion and reclaim the root meaning of
the word philanthropy, which is ‘love of what it means to be human.’”
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The exhibition will be on display through November 13th before continuing traveling to
several Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and cultural institutions
across the South and other regions. In addition to the exhibition, corresponding public
programs will allow groups to explore a broad range of topics related to philanthropy,
including the Historical Characteristics of Philanthropy in the African American
Community (October 13th), Next Generation Giving (October 27th), and the Corporate
Impact on Philanthropy (November 10th) at Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, 6pm. To
schedule a guided tour and learn more about programs and educational forums, email
the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum at [email protected]
Exhibition Sponsor and Partners
Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited is made possible by a
$96,665 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and $124,494 in
matching funds and resources. The James B. Duke Memorial Library at Johnson C. Smith
University, in partnership with author Valaida Fullwood, photographer Charles W.
Thomas Jr. and New Generation of African American Philanthropists giving circle, will
manage the exhibition’s grant-funded national tour through June 2016.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal
support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Its mission is to
inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural
and civic engagement.
Johnson C. Smith University, founded April 7, 1867, is an independent urban
university located in Charlotte. Under the leadership of Dr. Ronald L. Carter, the
University continues to evolve into a 21st century higher education institution,
building upon its long legacy of producing compassionate and forward-thinking
leaders. Ranked 17th among Historically Black Colleges and Universities by U. S.
News & World Report (2014), it is recognized as one of the best comprehensive
colleges in the South.
New Generation of African American Philanthropists is a giving circle founded in
2006 that promotes philanthropy—the giving of time, talent and treasure—among
African Americans in the Charlotte region, with the goal of enhancing the quality of
life within our communities.
Additional sponsors and partners include, the Houston Arts Alliance, City of Houston,
Association of Fundraising Professionals, Divinely Inspired Events, Ujima South, HiMac
Center for Creative Thinking, Prairie View A&M School of Architecture, and the Office of
Exhibition-related Programs • Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Exhibit Grand Opening Reception, Buffalo Soldiers Museum
6:00pm – 9:00pm
Music by Kathleen Harrell and
Award Winning Song Writer, Kathy Burrell, of Yourweh Music
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After events on opening day, a series of scheduled programs at the museum will
accompany the exhibition during its local run through November 13th. Dr. Lason Hines,
Captain Paul Matthews, Dr. Camillia Rodgers, Phyllis Darden-Caldwell, Carmetha
Williams, Nelson Bowman, and Dr. Lauretta Byars, the exhibit’s Houston Planning Team,
is responsible for exhibit program development and coordination.
The Historical Characteristics of Philanthropy in the African American Community,
Buffalo Soldier National Museum
October 13th at 6:00pm
Sponsored By: The HiMac Center for Creative Thinking, Entrepreneur Innovation &
Organizational Development; and Divinely Inspired Events
This discussion will center on the historical perspective of giving in the African American
community, and the characteristics of giving back. The discussion moderator is Jeffrey
L. Boney, Entrepreneur and Radio host.
The Next Generation of Giving,
Buffalo Soldier National Museum
October 27th at 6:00pm
Sponsored By: Ujima South
This discussion will focus on the charitable habits and engagement of generations Y and
Z in giving within their communities.