Cleveland Foundation to host fifth biennial African-American Philanthropy Summit

Bestselling author, social entrepreneur and Robin Hood CEO Wes Moore to deliver keynote address

Release Date: 2.9.2018

CLEVELAND – The fifth biennial African-American Philanthropy Summit and luncheon, presented by the African-American Philanthropy Committee of the Cleveland Foundation, will take place Saturday, April 28, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Landerhaven. This year’s Summit, “CLE for Life, Giving for Life,” will focus on the importance of giving back to Greater Cleveland through sustained philanthropy. Dominion Energy, KeyBank and University Hospitals are serving as lead sponsors of this year’s Summit.

“The Summit continues to be a powerful way to highlight the legacy of African-American philanthropy in our community and to recognize donors who are truly making an impact,” said Ronn Richard, Cleveland Foundation president and CEO. “We are honored to celebrate the 25th anniversary of this outstanding volunteer-led committee, and to be stewards of $9 million in African-American charitable funds.”

The 2018 African-American Philanthropy Summit keynote will be delivered by Wes Moore, the CEO at Robin Hood – New York City’s largest poverty-fighting organization, providing nonprofits with financial, real estate, and management support. An acclaimed author and a social entrepreneur, Moore’s books, “The Other Wes Moore” and “The Work,” became New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers, capturing the nation’s attention on the fine line between success and failure in our communities.

Before becoming CEO at Robin Hood, Moore was the founder and CEO at BridgeEdU, an innovative platform to address the college completion and job placement crisis. Moore also serves as the host of Oprah Winfrey Network’s “Beyond Belief” and PBS’ “American Graduate Day.” Growing up in Baltimore and the Bronx, Moore went on to become a Rhodes Scholar and served as a captain and paratrooper with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne, including a combat deployment to Afghanistan. He also served as a White House Fellow to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The half-day Summit will kick off with an inspiring presentation from Christal M. Jackson, founder of Head and Heart Philanthropy. As the leader of this social impact agency focused on improving social, economic and educational outcomes for communities of color, Jackson was recognized by Essence Magazine for her ability to convene and curate the best and brightest in this sector. She also founded Mosaic Genius, which is focused on building a sustainable ecosystem for wealth-building in communities of color around the world.

Following the opening presentation, attendees will have an opportunity to participate in “Philanthropy Matchmaker” and hear pitches from collaborative non-profit teams that have paired up to present a case for support around an existing or new endeavor. Summit attendees will vote for the winner of a $5,000 first-place cash award and tiered cash awards for second- and third-place nonprofit teams. (Participating teams have been pre-selected by the African-American Philanthropy Committee from a pool of applicants.)

JumpStart Inc. will also present on how individuals and organizations can join together to celebrate, support, and accelerate the success of our region’s minority entrepreneurs and city-based small businesses.

The African-American Philanthropy Committee was created as an advisory committee of the Cleveland Foundation in 1993 under the leadership of former Cleveland Foundation Executive Director and President Steven A. Minter. It has served as a national model in community engagement. The committee launched the Summit in 2010 as a signature event to engage the African-American community on charitable giving and honor African-American philanthropists in the region. The Committee also maintains a legacy fund at the Cleveland Foundation to help support a variety of non-profit organizations within the African-American community of Greater Cleveland. 

The Summit is open to the public, but tickets are required. Early-bird registration is $30 for those signing up by March 23 (registration will continue until the Summit is sold out for $40 per ticket). Lunch-only ($25) and young adult ($20) options are also available. More details are available at or by calling 216-615-7199.

Summit Schedule Highlights

  8:30 a.m. – Welcome & Morning Speaker: Christal M. Jackson, Founder Head and Heart Philanthropy

  9:30 a.m. – Philanthropy Matchmaker Breakout Sessions: Arts & Culture, Economic Development and Education

10:30 a.m. – JumpStart Inc. Presentation

12:15 p.m. – Keynote Address: Wes Moore, CEO Robin Hood Foundation

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