Black Female Founders: Nonprofit Edition

In a world of million-dollar, tech start-ups, multi-billion dollar companies changing the world and Forbes ‘100 Greatest Business Minds’ dominating the top arenas, we cannot forget about nonprofit organizations on the ground doing incredible work for noble causes led by their fearless leaders.  These organizations survive off volunteers, donations and grants to bring their mission and vision to life.  Soliciting funds for honorable causes are often met with distrust in today’s society due to nonprofits such as The American Red Cross who often comes under fire for shady business dealings during national disasters. So, when a selfless patron gives their hard earned money they would like to make sure their coins are being used for the purpose in which they intended. Have no fear about the organizations mentioned in this article. There are three new kids on the block, nonprofit organizations that are doing incredible work right out the gate, and deserve recognition. Not only is the work admirable but also their founders are some of the most impressive women you will ever meet.

Jasmynne-Shaye Robbins, Wilmington, NC native and Los Angeles, CA resident, founded Healing, Hope & Love, while attending graduate school at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. She is an artist, author, food scientist and psychologist. Her organization focuses on delivering three essentials—healing, hope, and love—to all who they serve. Two of the main programs offered are: Food For Friends and Freedom Kids. The Food For Friends program occurs on the second Saturday of every month, their volunteers gather to prepare and distribute lunch bags for the homeless population on Skid Row. Each lunch bag contains a sandwich, a hand-written message of inspiration, and a bottle of water. The Freedom Kids program provides school supplies to children between the ages of six and seventeen who have lost a parent in the military in the last twenty-four months. We salute Ms. Robbins for starting this organization while being a full-time graduate student and full-time employee. She’s the prime example of “Don’t wait, Create”.

Tiffany Burgess-Cuthbert is an Atlanta, GA native who founded Gold Hearts & Crowns while finishing up her second master’s degrees and relocating back to her hometown from Los Angeles, CA.  She is a serial entrepreneur, life coach, and pageant consultant. Her organization delivers high-quality services and continuous support to transitional youth and young adults, who are determined to overcome hurdles and are inspired to create, build, and accomplish their dreams. Scholarship and mentoring are essential to maturing from adolescents to being thriving adults. The former Ms. California always knew her purpose was in serving the youth and made the point of incorporating it into the organization’s mission. There is a never a one-time-fix-all when it comes to youth and young adults growing and becoming productive citizens. This organization understands that by providing continuous support and resources to all who are a part of the program.

Valencia Smith, Memphis, TN native and HBCU alumnae, founded GROW, which stands for Girls Raised to be Outstanding Women. She is a microbiologist, program manager and mentor. Her organization’s mission is to empower adolescent girls ages 12-18 to maximize their potential by aiding them in discovering and nurturing their gifts, embracing their uniqueness, overcoming adversity and striving to achieve their dreams. With Black Girl Magic at an all time high, organizations like this one is continuing the fight of educating, empowering and mentoring girls to be the women they are destined to become. Events sponsored by GROW that will be happening this year: Goal Setting & Vision Board Workshop and Temporary Fun with Permanent Consequences Workshop Part I, II, III, and IV.  If you are in Memphis, TN or surrounding areas, please check out this amazing organization. “We cannot always build a future for our youth but we can build our youth for the future.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt 

Support these remarkable nonprofit organizations and their fearless founders. Understand that entrepreneurship is not a trendy career choice but a lifestyle that requires all you have and then some. Monetary donations, volunteerism, sharing their stories and their sites would be much appreciated. Let’s support each other as we strive to make the world a better place by helping those in need.

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Written by Justin Key

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