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Philanthropy meets black America at new Cleveland History Center exhibit: Leon Bibb reports

The accent is on black, and there is a reason for that.

CLEVELAND — Finishing touches are being put on a new exhibit about giving, especially in the black community.

A national travelling exhibit—"The Soul Of Philanthropy"—combined with a local one—"Celebrate those who give black"—shows the importance of giving.

Valaida Fullwood is the creator of The Soul of Philanthropy.

"It’s meant to shed light on the rich traditions of giving and philanthropy in black communities,” she said.

Throughout black America are the stories. Average people are the centerpoints, and there are also local stories of the philanthropists who have helped make better communities.

The accent is on black, and there is a reason for that, according to Telange Thomas.

“Quite often, that story was rooted in wealth. White male wealth in particular. It’s important that we also lift up the stories and traditions of all communities,” Thomas said. 

The Cleveland History Center exhibit is designed to capture both the viewers’ eyes and hearts.

Stories of average people making differences in the lives of others.

The message is clear: the giver helps others and more.

“Allows you to go beyond yourself and see yourself in others and try to do your part,” Thomas shared.

Stories of giving on Cleveland History Center walls. But there are more stories of philanthropy in the streets of Northeast Ohio. Most of us can do something for someone else. Those behind the philanthropy exhibit suggest you give that some thought.

Chantal Brown, a member of Empowering Youth, Exploring Justice was honored as The Soul of Philanthropy Youth Philanthropist Honoree in the local exhibit, Celebrate Those Who Give Black. You can see her story in the following video:

The exhibit at the Cleveland History Center of the Western Reserve Historical Society starts Sept. 6 and runs through Dec. 6.

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