News & Event
IN THE NEWS: GCF's Lighting the Bridge at BLINK 2019
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Photos from our Lighting Up the Bridge BLINK Preview Event.
CINCINNATI—May 30, 2019 – In celebration of one of the greatest of all Greater Cincinnati icons, BLINK®, with generous support from Greater Cincinnati Foundation, will transform the John A. Roebling Bridge into a monumental piece of art, October 10-13, 2019. Working closely with the Roebling Bridge Historical Society, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and officials in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Covington, Kentucky, BLINK will use light, color and sound to enhance the current architectural lighting and bring the bridge to life.
“Our concept is to make ‘the singing bridge’ … sing!” said Steve McGowan, owner and partner of Brave Berlin, one of the producers of BLINK. “We will focus on the most grand and predominant features of the bridge, including the anchorage, gateway towers, arches and spires. It is our goal to illuminate the river in a magic glimmer of color and reflection.”
“Greater Cincinnati Foundation connects people with purpose in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana – and there’s no better symbol of that integral connection than the first bridge to link our communities,” said Ellen Katz, president and CEO of Greater Cincinnati Foundation. “As we work to build a more vibrant Cincinnati region, Greater Cincinnati Foundation is proud and excited to support the beautiful and creative lighting of the Roebling Suspension Bridge, as part of BLINK.”
“The historical significance of this beloved iconic landmark makes it the centerpiece of BLINK and our continued desire to celebrate Cincinnati as the Future City. We look forward to bathing the Roebling Suspension Bridge in beautiful color, light and sound,” added Dan Reynolds, owner and partner of Brave Berlin, one of the producers of BLINK.
BLINK, presented by ArtsWave, will take place from Cincinnati’s Findlay Market neighborhood to Covington – bridging two states, and spanning 30 city blocks and the Ohio River. The only U.S. event of its kind, BLINK will feature large-scale projection mapping, murals by international artists, interactive light sculptures and diverse entertainment. Free and open to the public, BLINK is produced by The Agar, ArtWorks, Brave Berlin, the Carol Ann and Ralph V Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.
BLINK’s inaugural four-night event in October 2017 spanned 20 blocks and was experienced by more than one million visitors, the largest gathering of people ever in downtown Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine.
Bridge, noun — a structure carrying a pathway or roadway over a depression or obstacle (such as a river); a time, place, or means of connection or transition — Merriam-Webster Dictionary
It’s no wonder we’re already feeling the energy of a new, expanded, and even more radiant BLINK® 2019 that will span both sides of the river — from Over-the-Rhine to Covington — Oct. 10-13. Right in the middle of the festival is the Roebling Suspension Bridge, which has been a powerful icon in our skyline and symbol of regional connectedness for more than a century. Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) has partnered with our donors and signed on to sponsor the BLINK® installation on the bridge. We’re anticipating the excitement of connecting millions across our region and this stunning landmark.
CINCINNATI (August 14, 2017) —The Greenlight Fund, in partnership with The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, announced today a multi-million-dollar initiative to fight family poverty in our region. Together, they are investing $2.4 million to bring the Family Independence Initiative—and its innovative model of trusting and investing in family solutions—to Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. This includes a $1.8 million grant from The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and its donors, the single largest grant in the history of the Foundation.
“We know that thousands of families are struggling with poverty, and we need to rethink how we invest in families and their upward mobility,” said Tara Noland, Executive Director of GreenLight Cincinnati. “We are excited to have the Family Independence Initiative bring their model to our region and learn from their data on what Cincinnati families in our community need to escape poverty.”
“As our region’s community foundation, our role is to create a community where everyone can thrive,” said Ellen M. Katz, president and CEO of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. “Our region is literally bursting with new energy and progress, yet we still have many in need. GCF and its donors are seeking new and innovative programs to help families in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky who have yet to benefit from that progress. FII is one such program and we’re excited to ensure we can rapidly deploy FII in our community.”
Founded in 2001, The Family Independence Initiative brings a new approach to fighting poverty by trusting and investing directly in low-income families across the nation so they can work individually and collectively to achieve prosperity. Families that partner with FII set goals they want to achieve, such as purchasing a home or continuing their education, and work together to help each other meet those goals. FII provides them with the technology platform to track their progress and then gives them access to resources, including cash, to accelerate the solutions that they’ve discovered themselves.
With sites in seven cities across the country, FII has partnered with more than 2,000 families investing in their solutions to escaping poverty. On average, during two years of engagement with FII, families report: a 23 percent increase in monthly income, 60 percent decrease in subsidies such as TANF and SNAP, a doubling of their annual income and assets, and increased education outcomes from their children.
Over the next four years, FII will work with community based organizations and other partners to reach 500 families in multiple neighborhoods across Cincinnati. They will be convening a launch team to help identify the neighborhoods they should focus on as well as families they should recruit.
“All families across America should have access to the resources and opportunities needed to achieve their dreams and we look forward to doing just that right here in the region,” said Jesús Gerena, Chief Executive Officer of The Family Independence Initiative. “While our initial goal is to reach 500 families, we hope to find more partners to double or triple that goal. Cincinnati benefits when all its families are economically thriving.”
In addition to the multi-year investment made by the Greenlight Fund and The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, FII’s expansion to Cincinnati is also supported by contributions from The Mayerson Foundation and SC Ministry.
Learn more about GCF's investment in the Family Independence Initiative
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The GreenLight Fund transforms the lives of children, youth and families in high-poverty urban areas by creating local infrastructure and a consistent annual process to: identify critical needs; import innovative, entrepreneurial programs that have a significant, measurable impact; and galvanize local support to help programs reach and sustain impact in the new city. Working in Boston since 2003, Philadelphia and the San Francisco Bay Area since 2012, Cincinnati since 2015 and most recently Charlotte in 2017, GreenLight aims to grow a national network of GreenLight sites that learn and work collaboratively to find and spread proven nonprofit solutions that achieve meaningful and measurable impact in our communities on the issues that matter most. Founding investors in GreenLight Cincinnati include the Deaconess Associations Foundation, Bethesda Inc., the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee, Interact for Health, Procter and Gamble, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children’s, Duke Energy Foundation, the Cincinnati Business Committee, Bank of America and a number of individual investors.
One of the nation’s leading community foundations, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As an accredited community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of 2016, GCF had net assets of $563 million.
Cincinnati (March 7, 2018)—P&G, Kroger Co., 84.51 , and Columbia Plaza are celebrating International Women's Day 2018 in a bright way: lighting up its building and the city's skyline with the female symbol to shine a spotlight on our commitment to advance women in business. In addition to the those above, the following organizations are also signing on to show support for the initiative: Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, Women's Initiative - Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Women's Fund of Greater Cincinnati Foundation. At sundown, buildings in Cincinnati, New York, Boston, Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, and Vancouver will join other buildings in Peru, the United Kingdom and Colombia. Together, they represent dozens of major companies located in some of the world's most iconic and influential city structures. These companies will join Catalyst, a global nonprofit focused on empowering and accelerating women in business, with a light display to demonstrate the collective power of global leading companies that are creating workplaces that work for women-because progress for women is progress for everyone.
"Today we're celebrating International Women's Day and lighting up the skyline as a symbol of our commitment to gender equality and to building a workplace with equal voice and equal representation for women and men," said Carolyn Tastad, Group President, P&G North America. "P&G is committed to building an inclusive culture where everyone can advance and succeed."
As a proud supporter of the mission to accelerate progress for women through workplace inclusion, these Cincinnati companies are proud to participate in the Catalyst Skyline Takeover, executed across 32 buildings in 5 countries.
"Our skyline takeover is a visual realization of the business community's commitment to women's advancement in workplaces around the world," said Deborah Gillis, President and CEO, Catalyst. "When the buildings light up-and people see these companies taking a firm and visible stand for gender equality-our hope is to show an undisputable beacon of solidarity among business leaders and spark a conversation that accelerates much needed change in workplaces."
We invite all people to be agents of change within their own communities and companies, and encourage advocates to join the global conversation by sharing the Catalyst Skyline Takeover GIF and using hashtags #SignOfProgress, #CatalystForChange, #WorkplacesForWomen and #IWD2018.
Find the full list of Catalyst Supporters and learn more at catalyst.org.
The Women's Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation leads our community in ensuring the economic self-sufficiency of women in our region. Through leadership, research, and policy advocacy, The Women’s Fund works to identify and address the barriers affecting working women and their families. Learn more and get involved at www.cincinnatiwomensfund.org.
CINCINNATI (October 21, 2015) — Patricia D. Laub of Frost Brown Todd LLC will receive the 2015 Bridge Builder Award at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation's Annual Luncheon on Monday, December 7, 2015.
GCF is honored to recognize Laub, who counsels individual clients in all areas of wealth transfer planning, including federal gift and estate tax planning, charitable planning, planning for retirement benefit distributions, and family business succession planning. She volunteers with Cincinnati Association for the Blind and The Southwest Ohio Charitable Capital Design Center.
In 2009, GCF created the Bridge Builder Award to be given each year to a professional advisor who has been a supporter of the Foundation in multiple ways over many years.
GCF's Annual Luncheon will be held Monday, December 7, 2015 at 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati downtown. The luncheon also includes the presentation of the 2015 Jacob E. Davis Volunteer Leadership Award, which will be presented this year to Wym and Jan Portman.
Tickets for this event will go on sale in later in October. If you have questions about this event, contact Joelle Tunning, GCF's Event Coordinator, at 513-241-2880 or email@example.com.
One of the nation’s leading community foundations, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As a community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.
“Philanthropies that have come to recognize the roles of race and ethnicity are using research to become better informed about their role in social and economic disparities. These organizations are actively building into their lexicons and strategies an emphasis on historical inequality, racial equity and racial justice in their grantmaking, programs and services.” — Giving Black: Cincinnati report, December 2018
Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s (GCF) Giving Black: Cincinnati report, released in December in collaboration with New England Blacks in Philanthropy (NEBiP), provides a wealth of information into the largely unrecognized legacy of black philanthropy and current giving priorities of Cincinnati’s African American residents. It’s a data-rich document that resonates with insights that can amplify the significant gifts they bring to the funding table.
“Black philanthropy matters — it is a form of black leadership,” Bithiah Carter, NEBiP President, told attendees at the Giving Black: Cincinnati report release event. “Our children need to see us as philanthropists and leaders, and this report is proof that we are.” Giving Black: Cincinnati also celebrates the deep legacy of black stewardship in Cincinnati that dates back to the early 19th century. It’s a force that has driven civil rights, social justice and equity issues — often without noticeable recognition. That lack of acknowledgement, which Giving Black: Cincinnati seeks to dispel, persists today.
It prevails even among the 300 black respondents to the Giving Black surveys, interviews and focus groups. Across the board, they reported finding it difficult to see their charitable efforts as “philanthropy.” They also noted that they often weren’t included in the “ask” for mainstream philanthropic efforts.
While the respondents varied greatly in age, education and salary — from baby boomers to millennials, male and female, married and single, less than a high school education to PhDs, from under $80,000 in household income to more than $250,000 — their feedback identified philanthropy as the realm of wealthy white people. That’s despite the fact that, according to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, African American families give larger shares of their income, volunteer their time and donate other non-financial resources to charity more than any other racial or ethnic group.
The study found that a majority of black donors base their philanthropic decisions upon the value of “giving back to support the community.” That translates into an emphasis on Cornerstone and Kinship donor practices, defined as “general betterment of society” and “empowering the black community or a subset of the black community,” respectively.
Cornerstone donors are more likely to direct their giving to organizations that address needs of the black community such as education, the economy and social justice. Those themes resonate in Kinship giving practices as well; the perspective of Kinship donors is frequently driven by the belief that their personal outcomes are bound up with the broader fate of the black community.
Across gender and all income levels, black donors reported giving most heavily to churches/religious institutions (34 percent) and to family/friends in need (24 percent). That religious-based philanthropy comprises the third major donor practice, Sanctified giving, or “living out my faith.” Several Sanctified donors cited their giving to churches as result of first learning about the concept of giving from those institutions — a tendency retained regardless of their current church attendance.
Overall discretionary giving categories, after church/religious institution and family/friends in need, included educational institutions (11 percent), direct services agencies (11 percent), arts and culture organizations (7 percent), electoral campaigns (4 percent) and advocacy/policy research (3 percent).
According to the report, “black donors have the most confidence in nonprofit and affinity organizations that solve or remediate local, regional and national problems that grossly impact people of African descent.” Overall, they reported donating within the past 12 months to two civil rights organizations that have historically been cornerstones of the black community: the NAACP (29 percent) and the Urban League (30 percent).
In addition to financial support, 91 percent of the survey respondents reported giving of their time and talents to volunteer opportunities in the community, citing “making a difference” as their main motivation.
Check out the entire Giving Black: Cincinnati report here. For further information, please contact Robert Killins, Jr., GCF Director of Special Initiatives, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength. We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of that tapestry are equal in value no matter their color.” – Maya Angelou
While learning about the considerable, impactful African American achievements throughout our history is an important year-round pursuit, Black History Month provides a much-needed spotlight on people, events and movements that are sometimes overlooked.
Here is a sampling of events celebrating and amplifying our shared history.
Thursday, Jan. 31:
John & Francie Pepper Freedom Lecture Series with David Blight: Yale University professor of American History and public historian David W. Blight is the director of Yale’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition. His latest book is the distinguished biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center program, 50 E. Freedom Way, is free and open to the public (requires an RSVP). It includes a reception at 6 p.m. and Blight’s lecture at 6:45 p.m. Information: 513-333-7739; www.freedomcenter.org.
Saturday, Feb. 2:
African Americans in Medicine: Longtime Walnut Hills resident and physician Dr. Charles Dillard will discuss African Americans in medicine, past and present, in Greater Cincinnati. This free program, open to the public, will be held at 2 p.m. at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Main Library, 800 Vine St. Information: 513-369-6905; www.cincinnatilibrary.org.
Black History Month Health Fair: Community health fair hosted by T1 Diabetes Journey with free health screenings, health and wellness exhibitors, healthy treats and activities will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at the Bond Hill Recreation Center, 1501 Elizabeth St. Information: 513-284-8651; www.t1diabetesjourney.org.
Friday, Feb. 8:
The Ubuntu Film Series/Music for Mandela: A Legacy with a Backbeat: This stirring tribute film explores the role that music played in the extraordinary life of Nelson Mandela, from his imprisonment to present day celebrations of his historic, multifaceted legacy. The screening, at 2 p.m., is free with general admission to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 50 E. Freedom Way. Information: 513-333-7739; www.freedomcenter.org.
Saturday, Feb. 9:
African American Read-In: A celebration of African American literature 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring an 11 a.m. reading by Derrick Barnes, author of the award-winning picture book, Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut; 1 p.m. local author spotlight; 2 p.m. storytime; and 2-3 p.m. writing circle led by Women Writing for(a) Change. All activities are free at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Main Library, 800 Vine St. Information: 513-369-6905; www.cincinnatilibrary.org.
Saturday, Feb. 16:
African American Funeral Directors: Joyce Coleman and Thomas Jordan, from the African American Genealogy Group of the Miami Valley, will discuss the role of independent, black-owned funeral homes and their directors in giving the deceased respect that was not always shown to them in life. This free program, open to the public, will be held at 2 p.m. at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Main Library, 800 Vine St. Information: 513-369-6905; www.cincinnatilibrary.org.
Wednesday, Feb. 20:
On the Road Meetup: Influential African Americans: Celebration of influential African American leaders hosted by Walnut Hills Historical Society and The African-American Chamber of Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky. Free and open to the public, the program will be held 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Chamber office, 2945 Gilbert Ave. Information: 513-751-9900; email@example.com.
Thursday, Feb. 21:
Freedom 55: Remembering Emmett Till: Reception and discussion featuring award-winning filmmaker Keith Beauchamp, producer of the upcoming film, “Till,” and founder of Till Freedom Come Productions, a company devoted to socially significant projects that both educate and entertain. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center program, free and open to the public from 6 to 8 p.m., requires an RSVP. Information: 513-333-7739; www.freedomcenter.org.
Saturday, Feb. 23:
Law and Order: African Americans in Law Enforcement: This panel discussion about the role of African Americans in keeping law and order will include Judge John Andrews West, former Assistant Chief of Police Michael Cureton and others who will share their experiences of serving the Greater Cincinnati community. The program, free and open to the public, will be held at 2 p.m. at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Main Library, 800 Vine St. Information: 513-369-6905; www.cincinnatilibrary.org.
Saturday, March 2:
Rediscovering 19th Century African American Society: Library talk about the discovery of late 19th-century weekly newspaper columns reporting on the political, social and cultural events of the African American community. The program, free and open to the public, will be held at 2 p.m. at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Main Library, 800 Vine St. Information: 513-369-6905; www.cincinnatilibrary.org.
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