Black Philanthropists in History

Famed television mogul Oprah Winfrey has donated more than $300 million by some estimates, collectively through the Oprah Winfrey Foundation, Oprah’s Angel Network and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation. Forty million dollars alone went toward the creation of Winfrey’s leadership academy for girls in South Africa. One hundred percent of proceeds from Winfrey’s Angel network funds charitable projects and grants globally.

The richest black American, Oprah Winfrey recently launched a miniseries Queen Sugar, co-produced with filmmaker Ava DuVernay, and megachurch drama Greenleaf. On the philanthropic end, she’s a top donor to the new National Museum of African American History and Culture, having contributed at least $20 million. Oprah’s Angel Network was established in the late 1990s, and had raised more than $80 million by 2010. At least $11 million of that went to relief efforts for hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and Oprah herself kicked in another $10 million.

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Black Philanthropists in History

Fourteen-time Grammy-award winner Alicia Keys has donated her time and funds to many charitable causes. She co-founded Keep a Child Alive with AIDS activist and film-television producer Leigh Blake in 2003. The organization is committed to providing life-saving AIDS medicine and care to children and families in India and Africa. Additionally, the organization lends support to AIDS orphans. The organization raises money annually through the Black Ball, and in 2010, Keys’ Digital Death campaign raised over $1 million for Keep a Child Alive through Twitter and Facebook donations, according to MTV.com.

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Kent State University Scholarship Recipient

Tyler Thompson

Standing: Junior
Major: Sports Administration
Minor: Business
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland

Goals: “I want to be a general manager in the National Football League – to put NFL teams together. I’ll start off as scout and work my way up to the player personnel department.”

What the scholarship has meant to him: “My mom is a single parent back in Baltimore. She has helped put both my sister and I through college, and is attending school herself, so tuition for all of us has taken a toll on her. Then she was laid off from her job and it put us in a last-minute financial bind. I needed to scrape tuition money together to be able to stay in school, otherwise I would have had to leave and move back home. I don’t really have words to describe how I was feeling — the place I was at was very sad. Then this scholarship happened, I’m not even really sure how, just that it showed up when I needed it most. I’m super thankful.”

How the scholarship affected his educational experience: “I was able to be more comfortable – I got the highest GPA ever that semester. I think that not having to worry about where I was going to get those funds from, once that was out of the way, I was just be able to focus on school.”

What he would say to you if he could meet you face-to-face: “I would say how much the scholarship meant to me. A lot of people might donate but they don’t get to see who it affects. The donors don’t know me at all, but their support has helped me continue my education. Somebody I don’t know helped me stay in school. With everything that was going on in Baltimore, there are so many ways to go down the wrong path. It meant the world to me to be able to stay.”

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Traveling & Studying Abroad

 

A few weeks ago we shared an article regarding the new First Passport Fund established by CCI! Senior Communication Studies major and FLASHanthropy Campus Relations Chair Jensen Hykes was the latest First Passport Fund scholarship recipient. Jensen will study at Kent State Florence this summer. How can you get a First Passport Fund scholarship? Just drop an email to ssmit149@kent.edu and share why you need a passport.

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