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The Black Philanthropy Circle of Howard County
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The Black Philanthropy Circle of Howard County

In today’s world, philanthropy plays a crucial role in addressing the unmet needs of communities around the globe. However, it is vital to recognize that different communities have unique challenges and requirements. That is why initiatives like the Black Philanthropy Circle of Howard County are so significant. This giving circle, established at the Community Foundation of Howard County, aims to promote philanthropy, advance equity, and support nonprofit organizations that provide services to the African diaspora residing in Howard County.


A giving circle is a form of collective giving in which a group of individuals pool their resources, knowledge, and expertise to support worthy causes. By combining individual donations, giving circles amplify their impact and create a stronger philanthropic presence in their communities. These circles often focus on specific areas of interest, such as education, healthcare, or social justice.


The power of giving circles lies in their ability to create collective impact. By joining forces, members of a giving circle can leverage their resources to bring about transformative change. They can identify and support organizations that align with their mission, ensuring that their donations are used effectively and efficiently to address unmet needs. The collective impact approach fosters collaboration, ensures diverse perspectives are considered, and maximizes the ripple effect of each contribution.

“The tradition of collective giving by African Americans dates back hundreds of years and can be traced to West African Culture. The African concept of Ubuntu states, ‘I am because you are,’ and ‘No me without you.’ Ubuntu is the foundation that the Black Philanthropy Circle is standing on.”

Derrick Leak, Chair, BPC Advisory Board


The establishment of the Black Philanthropy Circle of Howard County is a significant step towards supporting the local African diaspora. This circle recognizes the unique challenges faced by this community and aims to address them through strategic philanthropy. By focusing on the needs of Howard County residents with African diaspora heritage, the circle aims to bridge the gaps in access to resources, education, healthcare and more.


The mission of the Black Philanthropy Circle encompasses two crucial components: promoting philanthropy and advancing equity. This initiative not only encourages members to contribute financially but also provides them with opportunities to get involved on a personal level. By actively engaging in philanthropy, individuals can make a meaningful impact on the lives of their fellow community members. Additionally, the circle strives to advance equity by prioritizing the needs of the African diaspora population and supporting organizations that work towards reducing disparities in Howard County.


The Black Philanthropy Circle of Howard County, operating under the umbrella of the Community Foundation, represents a powerful initiative that aims to uplift and empower the African diaspora in Howard County. By fostering collective giving and promoting philanthropy, this circle is making a significant impact on the community. Through their strategic support of nonprofit organizations addressing unmet needs, members of the Black Philanthropy Circle are paving the way for a more equitable and inclusive Howard County.


The Community Foundation of Howard County serves as a facilitator and steward of philanthropy in Howard County. “I am so thrilled to be working with my fellow advisory board members and the Community Foundation of Howard County to launch such an important and needed initiative,” said Black Philanthropy Circle chair, Derrick Leak. “Guidance from the team at CFHoCo has been crucial to the success we have had so far.” The Community Foundation also ensures transparency, accountability, and effective grant distribution, creating a trusted platform for philanthropic endeavors.

The initial focus of the Black Philanthropy Circle is to support the following:

  • Legal and Social Justice
  • Health & Wellness
  • Economic Empowerment
  • Education

The BPC will be guided by a volunteer advisory board consisting of like-minded leaders from throughout Howard County. “The goal of the initial advisory board of the BPC is to create a resource that will be around long after we are all gone that will continue to empower and uplift those who have been historically underserved and marginalized,” stated Leak.

BLACK PHILANTHROPY CIRCLE ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS

  • Derrick Leak, chair
  • Frank Turner II, vice chair
  • Kia Payne, treasurer
  • Nia Leak, secretary
  • Sharon Barnes
  • Nicole Brown
  • Leon Caldwell
  • Candace Dodson-Reed
  • Andrea Harvery
  • Daryl Howard
  • Damani Ingram
  • Jennifer Jones
  • Richard Shepherd
  • Tara Turner
  • Lucinda Ware
  • Beverly White-Seals