By Southwester Staff

Join the Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Fund (TDJBCF) for its annual Black Philanthropy Month (BPM) (  celebration on Wednesday, Aug. 19, at 6 p.m., via Zoom and Facebook Live (

Back by popular demand, the celebration will feature guest speaker and breast cancer survivor, Maxine B. Baker, retired president & CEO, Freddie Mac Foundation, and a member of Black Benefactors. Baker will speak on the theme of “Getting Back to Normal,” including discussing her philanthropic efforts and sharing her journey of battling breast cancer while leading an organization.

Philanthropist Lavern Chatman, vice president of business development at EDJ Associates, Inc., will again serve as the mistress of ceremonies. Chatman, a former SW resident and SWNA board member, was also a member of the Arena Stage board of trustees. 

In addition, Black Benefactors ( founder, Tracey Webb, one of the architects of BPM, will serve as the meeting’s sponsor for the third consecutive year. Both Baker and Jones are founding members of Black Benefactors. 

Founded in 2007, Black Benefactors is a giving circle based in Washington, D.C. that provides grants and in-kind support to Black-led nonprofit organizations. To date, the organization has awarded nearly $100,000 in pursuit of its mission to enhance the well-being of Black children, youth, and families by encouraging philanthropy, community service, and advocacy in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

BPM is a global celebration and concerted campaign to elevate African descent-giving. The theme for BPM 2020 is “Foresight 20/20,” a twist on “hindsight is 20/20.” Black communities, however, are calling on us to do what is right, right now—especially with the threat of COVID-19 and ongoing racial injustice. 

Launched in 2011 to commemorate the United Nations Year and Decade of People of African Descent, the celebration is observed annually in August. As part of the TDJBCF celebration, breast cancer survivors and other audience members will be encouraged to share their philanthropic efforts, especially those relating to the coronavirus pandemic.For information regarding the TDJBCF, visit or call (202) 251-1639. For information on Black Benefactors, visit and for information on BPM, visit

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