Nikki Giovanni Hosts African Americans in Philanthropy Event in Chicago

Nikki Giovanni Hosts African Americans in Philanthropy Event in Chicago

Nikki Giovanni
Nikki Giovanni University Distinguished Professor, English.

This article was originally published on BLAC Detroit.

Chicago African Americans in Philanthropy (CAAIP) will host a special Black Philanthropy Month event featuring the legendary and beloved poet Nikki Giovanni. Additionally, the evening will offer guests a special preview of  The Soul of Philanthropy – Reframed and Exhibited, a groundbreaking exhibition and multimedia presentation that has captivated visitors across the country. The exhibition tells the comprehensive story of centuries-old generosity among Americans of African descent. This special one-night only pop-up event and keynote by Giovanni will be held Thursday, August 25, at Chicago History Museum, 1601 North Clark Street. The invitation only VIP Reception begins at 6:00 p.m. followed by the program at 7:00 p.m.  The Soul of Philanthropy – Reframed and Exhibited returns to Chicago February through April 2023.

Giovanni is a world renowned poet and one of America’s most widely read authors. She continues to teach, write, and publish books, the most recent is A Good Cry.  Her newest collection, Make Me Rain, was released in October 2020.

This pop-up of The Soul of Philanthropy – Reframed and Exhibition provides those attending a first look at this groundbreaking exhibition. In total, it includes 23 black-and-white photographs and narratives providing insight to cultural customs and beliefs about giving and generosity. Though rarely referred to as “philanthropy” in Black communities, viewers will begin to understand the role of African Americans in philanthropy and the changing face of giving in our communities. The exhibition will return February through April 2023 at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., and will include talks, panel discussions, and public forums throughout the Chicagoland community.

The Soul of Philanthropy – Rooted in Chicago tells the story of philanthropy from a uniquely Chicago perspective. Events will be curated in a manner that consciously considers Black philanthropic giving and how it has evolved throughout generations. The Soul of Philanthropy – Rooted in Chicago is about empowering a new generation to recognize their influence and their responsibility to give back. This specially-curated, local component of the national Soul of Philanthropy exhibition also will be held at the Chicago Cultural Center.


“Giving of one’s time, talent, and treasure is at the heart of philanthropy,” says Jessyca Dudley, CAAIP Director. “African American giving has been an integral and transformational force sustaining our communities throughout our country’s history. This exhibition will bring this giving into perspective in a way that has not been seen before.”

The exhibition was developed in conjunction with Valaida Fullwood’s award–winning book, “Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists.” Developed with photographer Charles Thomas, the 400–page hardcover book profiles stories of philanthropy among African Americans. Giving Back was named one of the 10 Best Black Books of 2011 and received the prestigious 2012 McAdam Book Award. Since 2015, The Soul of Philanthropy has traveled the country and been shown at sites including the Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina; Concordia University in Portland, Oregon; the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library in Denver, Colorado; and, most recently, in Cleveland, OH.

For ticket information, contact

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