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About Us

The Soul of Philanthropy

The Soul of Philanthropy (TSOP) reframes portraits of philanthropy. It comprises highly innovative presentations of over a dozen vignette stories and more than 50 black-and-white images. Created by Valaida Fullwood and photographer Charles W. Thomas, the exhibition conjures philanthropic musings across generations.


A robust offering of talks, panel discussions and public forums accompany the exhibition. It allows groups to explore a broad range of topics igniting a movement of conscious philanthropy by empowering a generation of Americans to recognize their power and responsibility to give back.

The Soul of Philanthropy Cleveland

The characteristics, impact, and legacy of African-American charitable giving is an untold narrative in the story of American philanthropy. Black communities have significant giving power. Two-thirds of Black households give $11 billion charitable dollars. Despite Black households just having six percent of the wealth of white households, they give 25 percent more than their white counterparts. Traditional philanthropy does not account for the many informal giving pathways in which African-American communities participate, and tend to overlook people of color in traditional giving spaces.


The Soul of Philanthropy Cleveland (TSOPCLE) is a collaboration of civic and community leaders, volunteer activists and philanthropists in Greater Cleveland. They united to create a vehicle that will educate and inform audiences about the rich history of African-American charitable giving. Inspired by TSOP, the TSOPCLE Exhibition will create a vehicle to tell the stories of philanthropy and empower communities of color.

TSOPCLE Exhibition —

Celebrate Those Who Give Black

TSOPCLE exhibition, Celebrate Those Who Give Black, will present a collection of historic and contemporary stories and images about Black philanthropy in our region. The Celebrate Those Who Give Black exhibit will remain on display after the national TSOP exhibition. This inaugural Cleveland exhibition is designed to tell the story of Black philanthropy in Cleveland by honoring the past, celebrating the present and inspiring the future. We will enlist the community to nominate emerging philanthropists, young philanthropists, and hidden philanthropists. Through the many faces and stories of community generosity, we celebrate those who give Black.

TSOPCLE Committees



Connie Hill-Johnson, Managing Director, Visiting Angels

Teleangé Thomas, Director, Foundation Center Midwest

Cecil Lipscomb, Executive Director, United Black Fund

Susan Hall, Coordinator of African-American History, Indiana Historical Society
Kevin Johnson, Managing Partner, NexGen Interactive
Arlene Watson, TSOPCLE Program Director





Development Committee Chair

Marvin Montgomery, The Sales Doctor,  Montgomery & Associates


Marketing and Communications Committee Chair

Lauren R. Welch, Karamu, Director, Marketing + Communications


Programming Committee Chair

Cheryl Perez, President, B.I.G.- HR


Community Engagement Chair

Tim Tramble, Sr., Executive Director, Burten Bell Carr Development Corporation


Exhibition Committee Chair

Belva Denmark Tibbs, Board of Directors,  immediate past Board Chair, Saint Luke’s Foundation of Cleveland




Teresa Metcalf Beasley

Alexandria Boone

Caprice Bragg

J. Burner Crew

NeCole and Orlando Cumberlander

Robert Gilmore

Debra Green

Cynthia Moore Hardy

Michael and Areli Jeans

Peter Lawson Jones

Angie Kazi

Ariane Kirkpatrick

Jennifer and Ray Leach

Ndeda Letson

Franklin Martin

Randell McShepard

Steven Minter*

Margaret Mitchell

Dr. Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew

David Reynolds

Robyn Minter Smyers

Alton Tinker

Lee Trotter and Lolly McDavid

Vanessa Whiting

E. Mark Young

Jill Miller Zimon


Cleveland Black Equity & Humanity Fund

The Cleveland Black Equity and Humanity Fund (CBEHF) is one of a number of sustainable outcomes resulting from the 2019 Soul of Philanthropy Cleveland exhibition. The vision is a sustainable fund, seeded by African-Americans and community allies that can support and facilitate philanthropic investment in causes and issues that promote and support Black-led social and economic change throughout northeast Ohio.

The fund endeavors to encourage the development and focus of institutional, political, and philanthropic influence in Cleveland’s Black community. The CBEHF intends to address the specific issues impacting the Black community, while expanding the capacity for multiracial coalitions to engage in issues of racial, social, and economic justice. The desired outcome of the CBEHF’s activities and investments is an empowered, thriving Black community. It’s a community positioned to be an active, impactful partner, joined with those entities involved in planning and executing the resurgence of community in and around Cleveland, Ohio.

The CBEHF will be managed by, and funds distributed at the direction of, a group of local civic leaders and community stakeholders. The fund will be professionally invested by local investment managers and disbursed by United Black Fund.

Cleveland History Center: Exhibit Location

The Cleveland History Center of the Western Reserve Historical Society houses exhibits that tell the story of Northeast Ohio through items, documents and artifacts. Through the use of the Western Reserve Historical Society’s extensive collections, the Cleveland History Center provides the public with a much-needed sense of place in today’s mobile society. Each document and artifact tells a story that personally engages individuals, young and old, to make these stories come alive. The Cleveland History Center is the long-time home to Cleveland’s African-American archives.