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September Recap: Connecting With Our Community

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In many places, September marks the beginning of a new season. Whether it’s the leaves falling or the waters freezing over, it’s the start of change. At AVFund, September signified the close of our grantmaking cycle and the start of our final quarter of the year. 

September also reminded us of the joy of being in person again. It’s a feeling we’ve missed as the last few years had us floating in an orbit of disconnect and uncertainty. While the shift has been gradual, we’re fully embracing the move toward in-person conferences, meetings and community events.

September 2022 Recap

The whirlwind week of events started with a trip to São Paulo, Brazil. On Sept 15, Atti joined a panel session at the Brazilian Philanthropy Forum 2022, hosted by IDIS. During the Forum, enriching conversations about the challenges and opportunities for collaboration in philanthropy took place. You can read about Atti’s reflections on the Forum and her time in São Paulo in Alliance magazine and catch a recording of the Forum article and watch the entire event at any time.

From Ethiopia to Brazil, Atti’s journey continued on to NYC, where she served as a judge for the annual MIT Solve Challenge. Each year, MIT Solve calls for tech-based solutions to global challenges and selects the most promising pitches among thousands of applications. 40 innovators were inducted into this year’s Solver Class with solutions that fall within 5 specific challenges: 

To learn more about MIT Solve, visit ​​https://solve.mit.edu/.

As for Katie, her week began with a trip to the Boston University campus to attend NEID’s Toward an Antiracist Global Philanthropy. The event brought together Dr. Ibram Kendi, author of “How to Be Anti-Racist”, and Vilas Dhar, president of the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation (PJMF). Through neuroscience research and information technology, PJMF is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and the global community. PJMF serves a critical role in our organization as a funder and supporter of AVFund. 

Katie had the opportunity to chat with Dr. Kendi and share an interesting fact about the disbursement of funding to African organizations: 

Less than 5.2% of all US funding dedicated to the African continent goes to local organizations on the continent.

Dr. Kendi explained that proximate resource giving is the solution to dismantling racism in global philanthropy and empowering communities. There is a significant barrier between the communities closest to the problems and those with the resources to help. As a funding intermediary, AVFund tackles these inequities and works to right the power imbalances in philanthropy. Watch this short clip to learn more about how the Fund works.

Vilas and Dr. Kendi ended the chat with thoughts of hope and optimism. As Vilas shared, “with enough intention […] we can change the system we operate.” For more photos, head over to our Instagram page.

Atti and Katie were finally able to convene in New York for Clinton Global Initiative’s (CGI) 2022 meeting and share the excitement as our commitment was officially inducted into CGI’s  Commitments to Action. We are committed to investing in African visionaries to accelerate health equity and through this commitment, we will find, fund and accelerate 2 African-founded and African-led health organizations annually for the next 3 years. For an in-depth look at why we are addressing this challenge, head over to our blog.

Following the CGI meeting, AVFund hosted a Happy Hour at Life Rooftop in New York. Partners, funders and friends of the Fund came together for a night of catching up and networking. This was the first time a group of our partners and funders were able to meet in person. We are excited to see how these interactions transform into future collaborations! View our photo album recap to relive the event along with us. 

Segal Family Foundation’s annual Celebration of African Visionaries also took place that week. Wezesha Impact’s James Katumba and Solomon Kayiwa Mugambe were among the list of awardees who were recognized and received the Angel for Africa Award. Based in Uganda, Wezesha Impact aims to help young people begin meaningful and productive employment through readiness experiences, mentorship and coaching. Congratulations on this well-deserved achievement!

Takeaways From Our CEOs

September was a meaningful month for the Fund. We look forward to finding more ways to connect with our community and learn about the work of other organizations and changemakers. 

Next Up

Join us on Oct - 24 -25 at the 2022 African Philanthropy Forum Conference in Kigali, Rwanda! Atti will join as a speaker for a discussion about generating resources for gender equality. The theme of this year’s conference is “African Philanthropists Closing the Gender Gap”. We look forward to coming together to intensify partnerships for greater impact in the gender equity and empowerment space. 

Virtual and in-person registration is still open: www.africanpf.org/apf2022. If you’ll be in attendance, Let us know!





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