Elevating the Stories of Fairfield County’s Black Philanthropists
Aug 16, 2022
In 2001, a small group of women from around the world came together to launch the first global summit celebrating Black philanthropy.
This initial gathering has since blossomed into an annual celebration known as Black Philanthropy Month.
The celebration — held each August — is about much more than raising awareness and funds.
It’s about honoring and elevating the stories of those who are making an impact — people like Daniel Trust, who established his namesake foundation in 2009 while attending Southern Connecticut State University.
“I think it’s our duty to make sure that we pay it forward and as we climb up, that we help uplift and bring other people who haven’t received the same opportunities along with us,” Trust said.
His life story offers a living example of this practice in action.
Trust came to Bridgeport from Rwanda when he was only 15 years old. While the transition as a refugee was a challenging experience, he was immediately welcomed and supported by many nonprofit organizations in the local community.
It was through this unexpected yet life changing support he received as an immigrant that planted the seed for him to establish his own foundation and launch his future course into a lifetime of philanthropy.
“When I graduated from high school, I was awarded scholarships from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation,” Trust said. “So when I went back to Bridgeport from New Haven, I began studying nonprofits through the Center for Nonprofit Excellence at FCCF, and now my foundation’s focus is impacting first-generation college students.”
Trust hopes his fellow community members will find their own ways to give back and support their neighbors.
“The best way for Fairfield County residents to celebrate Black Philanthropy Month is to find Black-led nonprofits and find out how you can support them,” Trust said. “Donate first because funding is so important. Then if you can do more, offer to volunteer or help spread awareness on social media. And take action every day, not just in August.”
You can hear directly from Trust — and a panel of other distinguished philanthropists — during a special webinar on Wednesday, Aug. 24.
This free event — “Celebrating Black Philanthropy: Connecticut’s Community Giving” — is being co-presented by Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and The Prosperity Foundation.
What: Celebrating Black Philanthropy: Connecticut’s Community Giving
When: Wednesday, Aug. 24 from noon to 1:15 p.m. ET
Babz Rawls-Ivy, Editor, The Inner-City News; Host/Co-Producer, LoveBabz LoveTALK; Founder, The Freed Woman Fund
Daniel Trust, executive chairman, Daniel Trust Foundation
Carl Hardrick, Wilson-Gray YMCA; Hartford Communities That Care Crisis Intervention Team
Paula Irvin, President, New Haven Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
JoAnn Price, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Fairview Capital Partners, Inc