Discussing philanthropic equity at the 2022 African American Philanthropy Summit

Hundreds of change-makers gathered to discuss philanthropic equity and creating impact in communities at the 2022 Cleveland Foundation African American Philanthropy Summit on April 30. Attendees had the opportunity to network and dive into deep conversations around pressing topics in philanthropy at breakout sessions throughout the day. They also heard insights from featured speakers Kevin Clayton, vice president of diversity, inclusion & engagement for the Cleveland Cavaliers; and Michele Ghee, CEO of EBONY and JET magazines. Mellody Hobson, co-CEO & president of Ariel Investments and vice chair of Starbucks, also shared remarks via Zoom.  

Breakout session topics included vibrant discussions around multi-level engagement in philanthropy; financial equity in philanthropy; and the growth of environmental, social and governance (ESG) in the sector. Moderators, panelists and attendees shared insights on how to better engage community members directly in social change work, how to ensure equity in giving, integrating sustainability and social impact into investments, and more. 

The Cleveland Foundation African American Philanthropy Committee convenes the African American Philanthropy Summit every two years to raise the visibility of African American philanthropy in the region and to honor local African American philanthropists who are making a lasting and significant impact. 

Check out summit highlights here.


Featured morning speaker Kevin Clayton discussed his own journey working in the field of diversity, equity & inclusion (DE&I). In his current role, he is responsible for developing and leading the D&I strategic plan for all Cleveland Cavaliers properties.  

Ghee delivered the event’s luncheon keynote address.  

“The power of giving has truly changed a lot of lives, but none more than mine,” Ghee said, as she shared insights on leadership, resilience, and her role as a servant-leader with summit attendees.  

“If you can only change one person, you can change a community,” she said.  

After her formal address, she discussed her passion for supporting Black-owned businesses, her vision for the iconic EBONY & JET brands and the importance of Black journalism in a keynote conversation with Russ Mitchell, managing editor and lead anchor at WKYC.  

“It’s so important that our history be documented through a truthful lens,” she said.  

During the summit, newly elected Cleveland Foundation Board Chairperson Constance Hill-Johnson announced that the foundation and its partners awarded $1,575,000 to 43 Black-led and Black-serving nonprofit organizations in Greater Cleveland in the second round of grantmaking from the Cleveland Black Futures Fund. Learn more and see the full list of grantees here 

Interested in making an impact in your community? You can give to the African American Philanthropy Committee Legacy Fund, establish your own fund or establish a planned gift. You can also learn more about the Cleveland Foundation African American Philanthropy Committee and how you can get involved here. 


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