What’s Informing Us

This February, Black History Month is guiding our learning to inform our work deeper, drive conversations internally, and prompt more reflection and action.

The Black community and its history and culture are celebrated every February in the U.S. and Canada, so we wanted to gain a deeper appreciation for Black cultural achievements and contributions as well as comprehend current issues affecting the community as it relates to philanthropy and Black-led organizations.

Resources we are finding especially relevant and informative this month are:


Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) | 2024 Black History Theme: African Americans and the Arts

We’re excited for ASALH’s 2024 theme for Black History, which focuses on African American art. Despite historical denial and appropriation, African American contributions to arts, music, literature, and social and political movements have been pivotal in the U.S and around the globe. These contributions have shaped contemporary cultural and social landscapes and inspired generations of Black leaders. ASALH’s choice of this year-long theme reminds us that we must celebrate and uplift African American people, history, and culture all year—not just during February.

The Associated Press | As DEI policies come under legal attack, philanthropic donors consider how to adapt

We have been following developments after the 2023 Supreme Court case that overruled race-conscious college admissions. Now, major donors and foundations are actively responding to legal challenges targeting affirmative action, corporate diversity programs, and grants for Black women entrepreneurs. One of these cases involves the Fearless Fund, whose grant program for Black women-owned businesses faced a federal appeals court order to halt temporarily due to discrimination claims in a legal challenge led by Edward Blum, who also led the efforts that led to the Supreme Court overturning affirmative action. Despite the contentious atmosphere, we are glad to see organizations like the Council on Foundations continue to support race-conscious giving, emphasizing the importance of upholding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts amidst mounting pressure and attacks.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy | During Black History Month, Philanthropy Should Focus on the Future

As we celebrate Black History Month and as the attacks on DEI programs continue, Cora Daniels invites us to embrace a Black Future Month mindset in this opinion piece. She emphasizes the importance of ensuring a prosperous and equitable future for all Black people through philanthropy and argues that this effort requires a long-term commitment to supporting Black-led organizations, allowing for dreaming, creativity, and collaboration. Daniels exhorts us to envision a just future and to rethink risk and what investment in the well-being of leaders can look like to foster systemic change and advance racial justice.

Mount Holyoke College | Jamia Wilson on storytelling

We were so excited to read this news from Talent Citizen client Mount Holyoke College. As Black History Month approached, the College hosted Jamia Wilson, an award-winning feminist activist, writer, speaker, and podcaster, for its annual Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King Commemorative Keynote. Wilson and Mount Holyoke President Danielle R. Holley discussed the significant role of storytelling in social justice activism and before her visit, Wilson shared insights with Mount Holyoke through an interview captured in this article. Wilson shared updates on her current efforts and emphasized the importance of storytelling as “the way that we build empathy. It’s the way we move people to take collective action.” Leaders such as Jamia Wilson and clients like Mount Holyoke inspire us to continue to listen, learn, and deepen our work as search professionals.