The Black Benefactors’ (BB) mission is to encourage philanthropy and community service in the Black community and the business community in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area; and to enhance the well being of Black children, youth and families. This will be accomplished by distributing grants to organizations located in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
“African Continuum was very surprised and honored to receive the letter that it would be awarded a $3,500.00 grant from The Black Benefactors Fund, especially since we were one of the initial awardees. It is extremely important that we know African Americans support our work and the services we provide to the Washington, D.C. community. We truly appreciated The Black Benefactors’ financial support and acknowledgement and hope that its members will continue to follow our progress as we expand our reach into the community.” -- JoAnn Williams, Executive Director, African Continuum Theatre Company, Washington, DC
The Black Benefactors Executive Committee is responsible for the overall activities of our giving circle to ensure that the mission and goals are being fulfilled.
Edward M. Jones
Director of Programs, ABFE
Edward M. Jones is the Director of Programs at ABFE (Association of Black Foundation Executives). Prior to joining ABFE, he was the Director of Conference Programming at the Council on Foundations located in Arlington, Virginia and had been with the Council since 2001. Prior to the Council, Edward worked for Micros Systems as an operations manager, and at Amtrak, as manager, manpower utilization. Edward volunteers and supports several organizations through time, talent and treasure. He was included in the 2013 Who’s Who in Black Washington, DC 3rd edition. Edward is a founding member of Black Benefactors. He also serves on the board of Black Philanthropic Alliance and the HIV/AIDS organization, Us Helping Us, People into Living, Inc. Additionally, he is on the editorial board for Community Health Links (Medstar), and is an active member/volunteer of Zion Church in Landover, Maryland. Edward was appointed to former Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s Serve DC commission. Born in Los Angeles, Edward is a graduate of the University of Akron (OH). He especially enjoys connecting people.
Thelma D. Jones
Community Activist and Advocate
Thelma D. Jones embodies the spirit of giving back which she learned from childhood. With over 35 years of international development experience, more than eight years as a cancer advocate and more than 33 years as a community and youth activist, her professional and personal life have been inextricably intertwined with the spirit of volunteerism. Retired from the World Bank Group in 2005 as a community outreach coordinator where she was one of the principal founders of the Bank’s Community Outreach Program, Jones was the face of the World Bank in the local community where she carried out the Bank’s poverty reduction mission. As a breast cancer survivor, Jones turned her challenge into an opportunity and has held leadership positions in the fight against cancer with, but not limited to, Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, American Cancer Society (ACS), ACS Cancer Action Network, GW Cancer Institute Citywide Patient Navigation Network, Susan G. Komen, DC Pink Divas, Living Beyond Breast Cancer and The Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Fund, which she established on the occasion of her 60th Birthday in 2012. Jones also established the ACS Breast Cancer Support Group in SW DC in April 2010, which has served the support needs of over 300 women and men. Her involvement in these organizations helps to convey the message that outreach, education, prevention and, more importantly, early detection save lives and works with hundreds of cancer survivors and caretakers from diagnosis, treatment to survivorship.
Jones holds certifications in various areas, including youth development, and is a graduate of Durham College, Durham, NC and holds a Certificate in Executive Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University. She is also a graduate of Leadership Greater Washington ‘00. Jones is a founding member of both Black Philanthropic Alliance, a membership organization, and Black Benefactors (BB), a giving circle, where she serves on BB’s Executive Committee. In addition, she is the Founder and President Emeritus of the World Bank Group-IMF Staff African American Association which addresses the unique needs of African Americans and others in the Diaspora at the twin institutions on issues such as recruitment, hiring, and promotion, among others. Also, Jones has held leadership positons of increasing responsibility with her parish St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church and on the board of the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly since 1982 where she is currently the Chair of the Assembly’s Youth Activities Task Force. She is also a veteran board member of GCTS-SGH, her high school alumni association in Snow Hill, NC.
Jones is constantly in demand for media interviews, including websites and social media, and speaking engagements. For her selflessness, dedication and commitment to cancer advocacy and civic and youth activism, including teen pregnancy prevention, Jones was awarded the White House Champions of Change Award in 2011, the Mayor’s Community Service Award in the Category of Lifetime Achievement in 2011, DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Standing in the Gap Award in 2013 and most recently, the 2015 Thurgood Marshall Center Trust Phenomenal Woman Award. Since retirement, Jones continues to volunteer more than 1,500 hours annually.
Senior Associate, Annie E. Casey Foundation
Amoretta Morris is the Senior Associate for Family-Centered Community Change at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private philanthropy dedicated to helping build better futures for children. She leads the foundation’s newest place-based investments which support a two-generation approach to improving academic and economic well-being for children and their families.
Ms. Morris is a visionary leader with over a decade of experience shaping policies and programs to improve the lives of youth and families. She has moved between the non-profit sector and government either organizing for social change from the outside or reforming institutions from the inside. Ms. Morris brings deep experience in education policy, youth development, civic engagement, interagency collaboration and non-profit management. Prior to joining the foundation, she served as the Director of Student Attendance for the District of Columbia Public Schools. She led a continuum of activities ranging from chronic absence intervention and dropout prevention to supports for homeless students. During her tenure, the district cut the truancy rate by 40%. Previously, she served as a youth and education policy adviser in the DC Mayor’s Office. And, prior to joining local government, she ran a local advocacy organization that mobilized youth and adults to promote juvenile justice reform.
Arriving on the east coast by way of Alabama and Texas, she is an active neighbor and civic leader in her chosen home of Washington, DC. She has served on several non-profit boards and local commissions. And, she is a lay leader in the spiritual community at Unity of Washington, DC. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, MO with a degree in Economics and African Studies. And, she received her Master in Public Policy from the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Founder, Black Benefactors and BlackGivesBack.com
Tracey Webb is the founder of Black Benefactors and BlackGivesBack.com, the first online source for African American philanthropy. Huffington Post’s (formerly AOL) Black Voices referred to Webb as “a young black woman making history as the first online chronicler of black philanthropy.”
Webb has been featured in national media, such as online, print and radio that include the August 2011 ‘Black Wealth’ issue of Ebony magazine, the launch of TheRoot.com’s “The Root Live,” NPR’s “Tell Me More” with Michel Martin, BlackEnterprise.com, New York Times, TheGrio.com, and in the books, Black Is the New Green: Marketing to Affluent African Americans and Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists.
She possesses 20 years of experience in the nonprofit and grantmaking sectors working for organizations that include Montgomery County Collaboration Council, GUIDE Program, Inc. and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Webb is the recipient of several honors, including an inaugural Living Legacy Award from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) in 2012, the Trailblazer Award from ABFE (Association of Black Foundation Executives) in 2014, a 2015 emPower Player Award recipient, a 2013 “Women Worth Watching” honoree by Profiles in Diversity Journal, 2013 Who’s Who in Black Washington, DC honoree, and the inaugural Legacy Award from the Black Philanthropic Alliance. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of the District of Columbia and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Howard University.