A groundbreaking touring exhibit, "Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited," debuts Jan. 20, 2017, 6-9 p.m. at Concordia University’s George R. White Library & Learning Center, 2800 NE Liberty St. in Portland, Ore.
The exhibit – presented by MRG Foundation and hosted by Concordia University – explores African-American philanthropy experiences and giving traditions, grounded in faith, mutuality, responsibility and social justice. The event opens the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and runs through March.
"Nurturing social change through giving is nothing new to Black communities,” said MRG Foundation’s executive director Roberta Phillip-Robbins. “This exhibit highlights the unique and valuable legacy of African American philanthropists.”
“We are honored to serve as the first host site outside of the SE United States for this touring exhibit to showcase the important contributions of African Americans in transforming society, a mission the university shares,” said Linda Church, Concordia’s Libraries’ Director of Multicultural Arts & Events program.
The exhibit illustrates Black philanthropy through luminous photographic prints on metal, iPad kiosks, video, and interactive digital apps featuring music, poetry, photography, narratives, and more. It comprises over a dozen vignette stories and more than 50 blackand-white images that depict facets of giving across generations. Images and stories are from the book “Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists” by author Valaida Fullwood and photographer Charles W. Thomas Jr.
MRG Foundation is uniquely positioned to not only bring this exhibit to the Pacific Northwest, but also to help the community understand, analyze, and take action on the repercussions of having this exhibit in our state and space. As a part of the exhibition’s run MRG Foundation will host community conversations, and other events to dig into the exhibitions themes and explore ways to take action. Since its inception, MRG has amplified the voices of those most affected by injustice and hosting this event will allow us continue this work. As a leader in racial equity and social justice, we are poised to bring this exhibit, the conversations it inspires, and real change to the Pacific Northwest.