Karen Lee Spaulding, Vice President of Philanthropic Support at The John R. Oishei Foundation, was recently honored as one of four recipients of the 2019 Pay it Forward Awards from the Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative® (CGLI) at a reception held at the Westin Hotel. Ruth Bryant, a friend, and former colleague who worked with Karen when they both sat on the original Founding Council for CGLI accepted the award on Karen’s behalf.
Karen was honored for her work directly with CGLI and in her role with the Oishei Foundation. In addition to participating on GCLI’s Founding Council, Karen was instrumental in creating the Emerging Philanthropists of Color (EPC) program as part of CGLI that is a unique giving circle, also offering its members mentorship and networking opportunities. She worked for more than a year along with Edreys Wajed, Sophinna Singh and Aliyah Schultz to determine the needs of the community and to develop ways to get more people of color involved in philanthropy.
At the Oishei Foundation, Karen has been deeply involved in the Foundation’s focus on racial equity and has recently created a series of conversations for and about people of color in the nonprofit community. She also created and leads the newly formed Oishei Fellows program that provides leadership training to people of color in the nonprofit sector through the Rockwood Leadership Institute Art of Leadership program.
Also honored were Herbert Bellamy Jr., CEO of Bellamy Enterprises and Buffalo’s Black Achievers, Inc., Willie Hutch Jones of the Educational and Sports Program and Brenda W. McDuffie, President and CEO of the Buffalo Urban League, Inc.
CGLI, a fund of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, recognizes the importance of endowment-building as a sustainable means of inspiring philanthropy for and within communities of color. CGLI Council Members all share a desire to “pay it forward” in honor of those who helped them succeed by creating a legacy of success that will encourage collective giving to support positive change in the lives of youth of color living in low-income communities.