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Introducing the Giving Black RVA Legacy & Ingenuity Awards

The Community Foundation, in partnership with the SisterFund and Ujima Legacy Fund giving circles, is pleased to announce the inaugural Giving Black RVA Legacy & Ingenuity Awards, which recognize distinguished leaders in local philanthropy. This year’s awards acknowledge two outstanding individuals whose dedication and innovations have been instrumental in strengthening grantmaking institutions and advancing philanthropy as a means of social change, especially for Black communities. The recipients of the 2021 Legacy & Ingenuity Awards are L. Robert Bolling and Veronica Fleming.


From left: Stephanie Glenn, Vice President of Diversity and Engagement with the Community Foundation; Veronica Fleming, Principal with Veronica Fleming Consulting; and L. Robert Bolling, Chief Executive Officer of ChildSavers

 

L. Robert Bolling - Chief Executive Officer, ChildSavers

Mr. Bolling was instrumental in connecting the Richmond region with the Giving Black®  study, which analyzed the trends, impact and capacity of Black philanthropy in Greater Richmond. As an active member of Ujima Legacy Fund, Mr. Bolling served as co-chair of the study’s steering committee and led 30 community members in their roles on the project’s advisory council. He has also acted as a mentor and coach to Stephanie Glenn, Vice President of Diversity and Engagement at the Community Foundation, as she directed the study.

“I wanted Richmond, my home community, to be a space where we recognize that Black folks do in fact give, and our giving is purely collective. We think about ourselves in light of who we are and who we are connected to,” Mr. Bolling said. “I am touched by the fact that we were the third city to focus on Black giving in this way, and I was equally impressed that 600 people came forward to give us some insight on how Black people give. Black giving in its collective form is the giving of time and talent, as well as the giving of our treasure, and Black giving is central to the uplift of our community, but also the uplift of all communities.”

 

Veronica Fleming – Principal, Veronica Fleming Consulting

Ms. Fleming is a co-founder of SisterFund, known for uniting 75+ civic-minded African American women’s ideas and actions through philanthropy and collective giving. Her long-standing commitment to the wellbeing of Richmond has been demonstrated through numerous leadership roles she has held for some of our region’s excellent nonprofit organizations impacting children and communities of color. Ms. Fleming also lent her passion and expertise to serving as the Giving Black steering committee co-chair alongside Mr. Bolling and as a mentor to Ms. Glenn. Her calming spirit and great intellect have been influential in developing strategies to reshape the current relationship between philanthropy and the Black community, and in developing new connections to strengthen the power of Black philanthropy in our region.

“To receive an award for anything that I think is my obligation and duty is truly amazing,” Ms. Fleming said. “This report was a labor of love. It felt essential to complete this work and share this inspiring story of the legacy of Black giving to this community.”

“This work and this investment must be sustained over time to have any meaningful impact,” Ms. Fleming added. “We must continue building upon the momentum of the study to strengthen Black donor networks, promote the leadership of young black philanthropists, and build resources to enhance the capacity of Black givers to increase their knowledge about building philanthropic wealth and economic equity. We need to amplify Black-led organizations who are deeply addressing the needs of our community, support Black churches as major institutions for Black philanthropy, and invest in programs that teach young people how to shape public policy.”

These awards were first announced during the third annual Black Philanthropy Month Celebration, held each year by the Community Foundation, SisterFund and Ujima Legacy Fund on the last Thursday in August. This event highlights the breadth and depth of Black giving in Greater Richmond through storytelling, education and giving initiatives. The next recipients of the Legacy & Ingenuity Awards will be announced in August 2022. To join the mailing list for future Black Philanthropy Month events, contact us at diversity@cfrichmond.org.




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