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Beauford Delaney, Self-portrait, 1944. Photo: Estate of Beauford Delaney by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire, Court Appointed Administrator; Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY
Beauford Delaney was an American Harlem Renaissance painter known for his colorful Modernist compositions and distinctive approach to figuration. One of the most important African-American artists of the early 20th century, he often painted New York street scenes, lively scenes in jazz clubs, and portraits of prominent black figures like James Baldwin and W.E.B. Du Bois. Can Fire in the Park (1946) is one of his most iconic images, movingly capturing a common occurrence in Depression-era New York life. In addition to his representational work, Delaney also painted abstractly, noting that “the abstraction, ostensibly, is simply for me the penetration of something that is more profound in many ways than the rigidity of a form,” he explained. “A form if it breaths some, if it has some enigma to it, it is also the enigma that is the abstract, I would think.” Born on December 30, 1901 in Knoxville, TN as one of 10 children, he worked as sign-post painter as a teenager before going on to study in Boston at the Massachusetts Normal School, the South Boston School of Art, and the Copley Society. After school, he moved to Harlem in New York, where he befriended fellow artists like Alfred Stieglitz, Stuart Davis, who introduced him to the work of Modernists like Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and others. He moved to Europe in 1953 but was unable to find the same success he had previously had in New York, and gradually succumbed to alcoholism and mental health problems before his death on March 26, 1979 in Paris, France. Today, Delaney’s works are in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others. Fame, at least lasting fame — the your-work-goes-down-in-history kind, often accompanied by fat royalty payments — is a club that thinks of itself as an unbiased meritocracy, blind to everything but aesthetic innovation and popular success. It’s never quite worked out that way. When we look at the past, we still see generations of great talents who never quite got their due critically or commercially, many of them left relatively unsung. In this ongoing series, our critics pick artists they feel remain underappreciated and tell their stories and sing their praises. “He is amazing … this Beauford,” the novelist Henry Miller wrote of his lifelong friend Beauford Delaney in a 1945 essay that helped make the painter (whom Miller called a “black monarch” capable of making “the great white world … grow smaller”) a legendary attraction in Greenwich Village. So much so that people often gathered outside Delaney’s building at 181 Greene Street, where he lived and worked on the top floor — a walk-up lit only by a wood-burning potbellied stove. Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1901, Delaney migrated north to Boston in 1923 to study art, then moved to New York in November 1929, days after the onset of the Great Depression. That first day in New York, he slept on a Union Square bench, where someone stole his shoes. The next morning, he set out on foot, in newly bought shoes, to walk uptown to Harlem. When he reached Central Park, he stopped because of his severely blistered feet.
Things had never been tougher for American artists — let alone black ones. Art schools didn’t take black artists, and independent-studio classes banned black artists from figure-drawing sessions with white models. Undaunted, Delaney began drawing at a midtown dance studio. Somehow, his career took off almost overnight. Four months after he arrived in New York, an article appeared in the New York Telegraph about portraits Delaney had done of dancers and society figures.
Beauford Delaney was a painter, specializing in portraits. The Beauford Delaney collection consists of correspondence with colleagues, friends, gallery owners, and family members, as well as printed material documenting Delaney’s life in Paris.
Beauford Delaney was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, the third child of the Reverend Samuel Delaney and Delia Johnson Delaney. He attended the Knoxville Colored School and later studied art with an elderly Knoxville artist, who encouraged him to get further training. In 1924 Delaney went to Boston where he studied at the Massachusetts Normal School and the South Boston School of Art, and attended evening classes at the Copley Society.
Delaney went to New York in 1929, settling at first in Harlem. He painted society women and professional dancers at Billy Pierce’s dancing school on West 46th Street, which gained him a reputation as a portraitist. His first one-man show, which consisted of five pastels and ten charcoal drawings, was at the 135th Street Branch Library of the New York Public Library in 1930. During the same year three of his portraits were included in a group show at the Whitney Studio Galleries, the predecessor of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Delaney also taught part-time at a progressive school in Greenwich Village.
By the late 1940s Beauford Delaney had become a significant figure on the art scene. He illustrated “Unsung Americans Sung” (1944), a book of black musical tributes edited by W.C. Handy; he had a series of one-man shows in New York and Washington, D.C.; and he exhibited in group shows in a number of other cities. In 1945 he showed his first series of portraits of writers Henry Miller and James Baldwin, who would become his lifelong friends. In 1949 he began an association with the Roko Gallery in New York, where he exhibited annually until 1953.
In 1953 Delaney left New York with the intention of settling in Rome, but a visit to Paris turned into a permanent stay. He had two studios in Paris, the first in the suburbs of Clamart and the other in the Rue Vincingetorix. In Paris Delaney exhibited in one-man and group shows at the Gallerie Paul Fachetti (1960), the Centre Culturel Americain (1961 and 1972), the Galerie Lambert (1964), the Musee Galliera (1967) and the Galerie Darthea Speyer (1973), among other places. The latter was a major showing of a selection of his work from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s and the catalog contained tributes by James Jones, James Baldwin, and Georgia O’Keefe. Delaney also exhibited in England, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the United States. The Paris years saw the creation of several masterpieces including portraits of singer Marian Anderson and writer Jean Genet. During this period he also created a series of interiors and studies in watercolor.
After suffering two nervous breakdowns, Delaney was institutionalized, and died on March 26, 1979 at St. Ann’s Hospital in Paris. Delaney’s last one-man show in the United States was at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1978, inaugurating that museum’s Black Masters Series. Delaney’s work is in several private collections and in the collections of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Newark Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
SCOPE AND ARRANGEMENT
The Beauford Delaney collection consists of correspondence with colleagues, friends, gallery owners, and family members, as well a printed material documenting Delaney’s life in Paris. Biographical information is provided in statements Delaney authored, articles prepared by others for catalogs, and his obituary. Among the many friends, colleagues and art collectors with whom he maintained an active correspondence is James Baldwin, who wrote an introduction to a catalog for an exhibition of Delaney’s art at Paris’ Galerie Lambert in 1964. Other correspondents include artists Charles Boggs, Al Hirschfeld, John Franklin Koenig, and Ellis Wilson, authors James Jones and Henry Miller (who was also a water colorist), art historian Richard A. Long, and his friend Lynn Stone. Additional artists, painters, writers, gallery owners and musicians who corresponded with Delaney include Lawrence Calcagno, Cab Calloway, Elaine DeKooning, Palmer C. Hayden, and Darthea Speyer.
The letters discuss the style of painting of the correspondents, travels, purchase and exhibition of works, and personal matters. Numerous gallery announcements for art exhibits of Delaney’s and other artists’ works in Paris, New York and other cities demonstrate the extent of Delaney’s activities in the contemporary art world. The collection also contains a large number of picture postcards, some sent by friends, and gallery announcements. Family letters are from his brother and fellow artist, Joseph Delaney, and discuss his own work and impressions of Paris; his brother Emery (includes letters Delaney wrote to his brother, in addition to those received); and Delaney’s niece, Imogene.
Sale Date: December 13, 2019
SOURCE OF ACQUISITION
Donated by Daniel Richard in 1988.
Compiled by Victor N. Smythe, 1998. Finding aid edited and adapted to digital form by Kay Menick in 2016.
Paintings and art catalogs transferred to Art and Artifact Division. Photographs transferred to Photographs and Prints Division.
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Beauford Delaney (1901-1979) “Portraitist of the Famous”
“Perhaps I should say, flatly, what I believe–that he is a great painter, among the very greatest; but I do know that great art can only be created out of love, and that no greater lover has ever held a brush.”
James Baldwin (1924-1987), writer, friend of artist Beauford Delaney
Abdul-Jalil al-Hakim, c.1971oil on canvas
Beauford Delaney, hailed as the most important African-American artists of the 20th century, whose life appeared to symbolize the mythical artistic existence of privation and relative obscurity, that show a retrospective of “uninhibited colorist (though never an unintelligent one)” that is “apotheosized” and whose talent and “free, open and outgoing nature” engendered admiration from everyone whom was fortunate enough to encounter him as he was THE darling of the international culture scene in New York and Paris. James Baldwin called him his “spiritual father.”
Remembering THE Greatest artists of the 20th century, the ‘amazing and invariable’ Beauford Delaney, the “Portraitist of the Famous”, who’s masterpieces are trumpeted as cutting-edge work in Black aesthetics, stylistic evolution from representation to pure abstraction, with new and radical theories with his techniques and expression of the politics of Black arts, affording him his very own, singular serious stature among abstract expressionists, transforming the critical landscape into a growing interest in his creation of “Black Abstraction”!
For more than a decade, Delaney showed compelling, vibrant images of energetic life: produced engaging abstract works, portraits, landscapes, and abstractions celebrated for their brilliance and technical complexity with his dramatic stylistic shift from figurative compositions of life to abstract expressionist studies of color and light, powerful works of art and culture, illuminate some of Delaney’s most innovative years and firmly place his work among the dominant art movements of the day.
The fascinating Beauford Delaney is a Modern artist who produced engaging portraits, landscapes, and abstractions celebrated for their brilliance and technical complexity with his dramatic stylistic shift from figurative compositions of New York life to abstract expressionist studies of color and light following his move to Paris in 1953, illuminate some of Delaney’s most innovative years and firmly place his work among the dominant art movements of the day!
The career of Beauford Delaney (1901-79) was mainly working with Expressionism, Harlem Renaissance who’s first exhibition was New Names In American Art: Recent Contributions To Painting And Sculpture By Negro Artists at The Renaissance Society in Chicago, IL in 1944, and the most recent exhibition was Art Basel Miami Beach 2020 – online viewing only at Art Basel Miami Beach in Miami Beach, FL in 2020. Beauford Delaney is mostly exhibited in United States, but also had exhibitions in Germany, United Kingdom and elsewhere. Delaney has 10 solo shows and 79 group shows over the last 76 years (for more information, see biography). Delaney has also been in 7 art fairs but in no biennials. The most important show was Beauford Delaney: From New York to Paris at Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, PA in 2005. Other important shows were at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts in Minneapolis, MN and The Studio Museum in Harlem in New York City, NY. Beauford Delaney has been exhibited with Norman Lewis and Romare Bearden. Beauford Delaney’s art is in 9 museum collections, at France at the Museum of Modern Art , École des Beaux-Arts, Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, NY and The Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, IL, featured in Jet and Playboy magazines among others.
Beauford Delaney is ranked among the Top 10 globally, and in United States. Delaney’s best rank was in 1944, the artist’s rank has improved over the last 5 years, with the most dramatic change in 1992.
Many of its prominent figures, who admiringly looked upon Delaney as their “Shaman” or “Yogi” and fondly referred to him as a “Black Buddha”, were described by his close friend, James Baldwin, as a “cross between Brer Rabbit and St. Francis of Assisi.”
His list of friends and acquaintances including artists, World Leaders, politicians, activist, authors/poets/writers, intellectuals, filmmakers, promoted by numerous patrons of the arts, world Cultural Ambassadors, art gallery owners, befriended by notable figures, and musicians Stuart Davis — his closest painter compatriot — W.E.B. Du Bois (whose portrait he painted), Salvadore Dalí (whose portrait he painted), Countee Cullen, Louis Armstrong (whose portrait he painted), Duke Ellington (whose portrait he painted), Ethel Waters (whose portraits he painted), W.C. Handy (whose portrait he painted), Henry Miller (who wrote a tribute to him), John F. Kennedy (whose portraits he painted), Robert Kennedy (whose portraits he painted), Jean-Claude Killy (whose portraits he painted), Herb Gentry, Alain Locke, Cy Twombly, Sterling Brown, Langston Hughes, Georgia O’Keeffe (who drew charcoal and pastel portraits of Delaney in 1943), Augusta Savage, Stuart Davis, John Marin, Pablo Picasso (whose portrait he painted), Richard A. Long (whose portrait he painted), John Koenig (whose portrait he painted), and Claude McKay were connected to Paris in various ways.
Also significant is the impact of jazz, as exemplified by the avante garde “free jazz” music explosion of Ornettte Coleman, Archie Shepp, Cecil Taylor, Frank Wright, Bobby Few, Bill Dixon, François Cotinaud, Sunny Murray, Barney Wilen, Globe Unity Orchestra, Andrew Hill, Dave Burrell, Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins, Grachan Moncur III, Malachi Favors, Claude Delcloo, Beb Guérin, Kenneth Terroade, Bernard Vitet, Lester Bowie, Jerome Cooper, Joseph Jarman, Joachim Kühn, Steve Lacy, Roscoe Mitchell, Robin Kenyatta, Michel Portal, Irène Aebi, Ronnie Beer, Kent Carter, Dieter Gewissler, Oliver Johnson, Famoudou Don Moye, Alan Shorter, Bernard Vitet, Jouk Minor, Byard Lancaster, Kenneth Terroade, Paul Jeffrey, Ronnie Beer, Sonny Sharrock, Pharoah Sanders, Black Harold, Johnny Dyani, Gary Windo, Rene Augustus, Joseph Déjean, Beb Guérin, Claude Delcoo, Clifford Thornton, Wayne Shorter, Sun Ra and His Intergalactic Research Arkestra, François Tusques, Alan Silva and the Celestrial Communication Orchestra.
Luminaries Josephine Baker, Bob Blackburn, Ed Clark, Bob Thompson, Marian Anderson (whose portrait he painted), Jacob Lawrence, Ella Fitzgerald (whose portrait he painted), Zora Neale Hurston, Alfred Stieglitz, Carl Van Vechten, Edward Steichen, Dorothy Norman, Anaïs Nin, art studio owner Charles Alston, Jackson Pollock, Vassili Pikoula, Henri Chahine (whose portrait he painted), Charlie Parker (whose portrait and music he painted.), James Jones, Jean Genet, Lawrence Calcagno, Cab Calloway, Elaine DeKooning, Palmer C. Hayden (whose portrait he painted), art dealer Darthea Speyer (whose portrait he painted) who had exhibitions of Delaney’s art at Paris’ Galerie Lambert in 1964. Others include artists Charles Boggs, Al Hirschfeld, John Franklin Koenig, Harold Cousins, Herbert Gentry (whose portrait he painted), Ed Clark, and Ellis Wilson, authors James Jones and Henry Miller (who was also a water colorist), Writers Richard Wright, Surrealist poet Stanislas Rodanski, Chester Himes, Ralph Ellison, William Gardner Smith, Richard Gibson, Lorraine Hansberry, Ted Joans, art historian Richard A. Long, and his friend Lynn Stone.
Delaney became close friends with another influential visual artist, Lawrence Calcagno. A white, abstract landscape artist from Northern California, it was an unlikely pairing when the two met in Paris. Yet the two men grew to share a close artistic bond, tied by their shared belief in the spiritual nature of painting and abstraction. They also became close personal friends, writing hundreds of letters to each other over Delaney’s later years, after Calcagno left Paris to return to America. In these letters, Delaney is at his most vulnerable and open, as he felt with a kindred spirit.
His closest lifelong friend, however, was James Baldwin — who, while fleeing a strict father at 16, looked up Delaney in the Village. He later called the artist his “principal witness.” Delaney was a kind of surrogate nurturing father to the writer. Judging by his 1941 Dark Rapture (James Baldwin), a steamy nude portrait of the 16-year-old writer (as well as from subsequent Baldwin portraits over the decades), Delaney seems to have been in love with the lithe young man 22 years his junior.
Indeed, while Delaney had not intended to settle permanently in Europe, he quickly realized he had found there a more hospitable climate in which to pursue his craft. Asked about his experience as an expatriate he replied, “Expatriate? It appears to me that in order to be an expatriate one has to be, in some manner, driven from one’s fatherland, from one’s native land. When I left the United States during the 1950s no such condition was left behind. One must belong before one may then not belong. I belong here in Paris, I am able to realize myself here. I am no expatriate.”
While Paris had in some sense liberated Delaney, there were sorrows he could not escape. “There always seems to be the shadow,” Delaney wrote to a benefactor, “which follows the light.” Although he was referring to the financial difficulties that plagued him throughout his career, the artist could also have been talking about his struggles with mental illness, which manifested as psychotic breaks and ghostly voices in his head, resulting in his confinement to a mental hospital at the end of his life. While Delaney was a mentor to Baldwin during the author’s early years, Baldwin later became Delaney’s protector, assisting him financially and emotionally. For an introduction to an exhibition in Paris in 1964 Baldwin wrote, “Perhaps I am so struck by the light in Beauford’s paintings because he comes from darkness—as I do, as, in fact, we all do.” The vibrant luminosity of Composition 16 is but one example of Delaney’s lifelong quest to find light in that darkness.
Many felt him to be the “Dean of African American Artists Living in Europe.” Although he never fully wanted this distinction most of Delaney’s works were close to being classified as abstract art. Beauford Delaney died in Paris at age 78 on March 26, 1979.
Delaney lived and worked in Paris for many years and much of his work was neglected until a retrospective in 1978 at the Studio Museum in Harlem. During his absence, the French government, in an effort to collect delinquent accounts, sealed off his apartment and prepared to auction off his products of nearly a forty year career. Many of his works were stolen and some had to be recovered by European Intelligence, the CIA/FBI. Had the works been sold, dispersed throughout Europe, the neglect may have been irreversible.
The painter Beauford Delaney (Knoxville 1901-1979 Paris) was lost to history for a time. Yet in the mid-twentieth century, Delaney was considered an important artist of his generation.
Following his death, he was praised as a great and neglected painter but, with a few notable exceptions, the neglect continued.
A retrospective of his work at the Studio Museum in Harlem a year before his death did little to revive interest in his work. It was not until the 1988 exhibition Beauford Delaney: From Tennessee to Paris, curated by the French art dealer Philippe Briet at the Philippe Briet Gallery, that Delaney’s work was again exhibited in New York, followed by two retrospectives in the gallery: “Beauford Delaney: A Retrospective [50 Years of Light]” in 1991, and “Beauford Delaney: The New York Years [1929–1953]” in 1994.
Delaney disappeared from collective memory partly due to the racial bias of art history, which, among other things, meant that even while he was celebrated, it was less as a painter equal to his contemporaries than as some kind of Negro seer or spiritual black Buddha wherein he could not escape the long American night of racism.
“Whatever Happened to Beauford Delaney?”, an article by Eleanor Heartney, appeared in Art in America in response to the 1994 exhibition asking why this once well regarded “artist’s artist” was now virtually unknown to the American art public. “What happened? Is this another case of an over-inflated reputation returning to its true level? Or was Delaney undone by changing fashions which rendered his work unpalatable to succeeding generations? Why did Beauford Delaney so completely disappear from American art history?” The author believed that Delaney’s disappearance from the consciousness of the New York art world was linked to “his move to Paris at a crucial moment in the consolidation of New York’s position as the world’s cultural capital and his work’s irrelevance to the history of American art as it was being written by critics” at the time. The article concludes, “Today  as those histories unravel and are replaced by narratives with a more varied and colorful weave, artists like Delaney can be seen in a new light.”
In 1985 James Baldwin described the impact of Delaney on his life, saying he was “the first living proof, for me, that a black man could be an artist. In a warmer time, a less blasphemous place, he would have been recognized as my Master and I as his Pupil. He became, for me, an example of courage and integrity, humility and passion. An absolute integrity: I saw him shaken many times and I lived to see him broken but I never saw him bow.” Baldwin marveled over Delaney’s ability to emulate such light in his work despite the darkness he was surrounded by for the majority of his life. It is this insight of Delaney’s past, Baldwin believes, that serves as evidence for the true victory Delaney secured. Baldwin admired his keen ability to “lead the inner and the outer eye, directly and inexorably, to a new confrontation with reality.” He further wrote, “Perhaps I should not say, flatly, what I believe – that he is a great painter – among the very greatest; but I do know that great art can only be created out of love, and that no greater lover has ever held a brush.”
His work is sold in galleries for increasingly high prices, and his paintings hang prominently among modernist and postwar works in New York’s Museum of Modern Art [where his yellow Composition 16 (1954-56) was hung next to a work by Mark Rothko], the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum, and the National Portrait Gallery (notably a portrait of Baldwin). The American artist Glenn Ligon curated a 2015 exhibition at the Tate Liverpool titled “Glenn Ligon: Encounters and Collisions” that featured two works by Delaney (one a portrait of Baldwin) and put Delaney in the company of the Abstract Expressionists, next to a picture by Franz Kline.
Because his estate has been largely closed to scholars to the present day, and because his reputation waned after his death, critical writing about Delaney is almost nonexistent, even with the flourishing of Baldwin studies across disciplines.
The Studio Museum of Harlem broke ground with the first major posthumous exhibition of Delaney on US soil with Beauford Delaney: A Retrospective (1979) and included the full text of Baldwin’s previously published essay “Introduction to Exhibition of Beauford Delaney Opening December 4, 1964 at the Gallery Lambert.” There have been other exhibitions of Delaney’s work since 2000 that include Baldwin in minor ways and whose catalogues have provided most of the critical work done recently on Delaney to date: these include Beauford Delaney: Liquid Light: Paris Abstractions 1954-1970, organized by Michael Rosenfeld Gallery in 1999; Beauford Delaney’ at the Sert Gallery of the Harvard University Art Museums; An Artistic Friendship: Beauford Delaney and Lawrence Calcagno at the Palmer Museum of Art at the Pennsylvania State University in 2001; The Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA; Beauford Delaney: The Color Yellow, organized by the High Museum of Art in 2002 and curated by Richard J. Powell, who contributed a groundbreaking essay about Delaney’s use of color; Beauford Delaney: New York to Paris (2005), organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art, whose robust catalog features several scholarly essays mentioning James Baldwin; Beauford Delaney: Renaissance of Form and Vibration of Color (2016) at Montparnasse’s Reid Hall and sponsored by Wells International Foundation and Les Amis de Beauford Delaney, along with Columbia Global Centers/Reid Hall Exposition; and Gathering Light: Works by Beauford Delaney (2017) at the Knoxville Museum of Art in Tennessee. Aside from the catalogue essays from these and other exhibitions, the only monograph devoted to Delaney is the 1998 biography by David Leeming, Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney (1998). Leeming outlines the broad arc of Delaney’s life and artistic development while emphasizing the contrast between the artist’s vibrant social life and troubled inner life that led to his institutionalization in the late 1970s. It is encouraging to see, however, that references to Delaney are now appearing in cutting-edge work on Black aesthetics, such as Fred Moten’s theoretical work, and in reconstructions of LGBTQIA arts.
While previous Delaney exhibitions and publications have almost exclusively emphasized Delaney’s stylistic evolution from the 1940s to the 1960s, from representation to pure abstraction, as a function of his move from New York to Paris and/or his worsening mental health, the proposed symposium will put Delany into conversation with new and radical theories about the techniques and politics of Black arts, affording him some of the first serious treatment by academic criticism to date. Because of Delaney’s stature among abstract expressionists, the project will contribute to a growing interest in the past ten years concerning “Black Abstraction” in the arts, as evidence by shows at the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery (2014), the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston (2014), Pace Gallery (2016), Anita Shapolsky Gallery and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. (2018). It is time to bring Delaney also into the sphere of queer theory, new Black aesthetics, and new theories of Black care that are transforming the critical landscape in academe and in which Baldwin is now frequently found.
But his life ended very much like it began. Even after the fame and notoriety, he was still a poor, black man with many struggles. Just like his art, Delaney’s life was filled with light and darkness. Highs and lows.
If you were to picture a counter-image to help balance that perception in one person, you could hardly do better than Beauford Delaney. He was black, he was gay, he was unpredictable, he was charismatic. He was an intellectual, and he was an artist, in fact a wildly colorful, creative and unpredictable abstract expressionist. He was cosmopolitan, connected to the world beyond, and adored in Paris and New York, where his paintings, some of them famous and very expensive, have been exhibited, even recently.
Illustrated in black-and-white in a photograph with the artist in his studio, n.p.
Beauford Delaney: A Retrospective, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY, April 9 – July 2, 1978;
Museum of National Center for Afro-American Artists, Dorchester, MA, October 8 – November 4, 1978
Illustrated in black-and-white in a photograph with the artist in his studio and listed on the checklist as no. 13, n.p. (titled Portrait of a Man)
Abdul-Jalil al-Hakim (c.1971) exemplifies Beauford Delaney’s masterful portraits in which he uses bold, contrasting color to express an arresting psychological and emotional likeness. With his signature yellow palette and expressive brushstroke, Delaney portrays his friend Abdul-Jalil al-Hakim.
Throughout his career, Beauford Delaney executed modernist and psychologically compelling portraits of friends, acquaintances and patrons. Portraits of those he knew intimately, tended to be the most compelling and profound. Generally, Delaney’s portrait paintings tend to be modernist, melding representation with abstraction, sharing a strong affinity with the gestural luminous abstractions that dominated Delaney’s oeuvre after 1953. Even after Delaney evolved into an abstract expressionist painter upon his move to France in September 1953, he continued to paint portraits that were much more than straightforward depictions of his sitters. While the composition was defined by the subject, he executed modernist canvases defined by his relatively monochromatic fields of color and distinctive brushwork. Like Delaney’s landscapes, cityscapes and interiors of his Greene Street period of the 1940s and early 1950s, the faces, bodies and backgrounds of his portraits were vehicles for his personal language of abstraction. Art historian Richard J. Powell writes:
“In addition to his artistic commitment to abstraction, experimenting with painted surfaces in oil pigments, and delving into the visual effects and relational possibilities of color, Beauford Delaney was equally bound to an art of portraiture. The genre that first brought Delaney critical notice and a measure of success, portraiture exemplified his genuine love of people – all kinds of people – and his fascination with their outward appearances, personalities, minds, and auras. As seen in almost every early photograph of Delaney – whether in his crowded Greene Street studio or sitting alongside his work at the Annual Washington Square Art Fair – portraits largely defined his as an artist. Yet…portraiture was also a vehicle for sorting out an array of primarily visual issues: concerns of color and form that could easily be coupled with his painting a friend’s likeness or an esteemed individual’s spirit.”*2
Abdul-Jalil al-Hakim recalls meeting Beauford Delaney and sitting for his portrait in Paris in 1971, when al-Hakim was around twenty years old. al-Hakim was born Randy Wallace before converting to Islam and changing his name.
Beauford Delaney and Abdul-Jalil al-Hakim with Abdul-Jalil al-Hakim (c.1971), 1971
Curator Patricia Sue Canterbury writes of Delaney’s portraits of the 1960s:
“Delaney’s portraiture during the 1960s, although often regarded as a departure from the artist’s abstract explorations of light, was actually an extension of the same. As he had reassured viewers at the opening of his solo show at the Galerie Lambert in late 1964, abstraction and portraiture ‘were studies in light revealed – the light that have meaning to the individuals depicted…and the light considered directly as contained…in the abstract paintings.’ As the decade progressed, however, it is clear that any boundaries perceived between the two became increasingly blurred. Solid forms within the portraits dematerialized and the subject and the enveloping atmosphere seemingly shared the same atomic structure.”*2
Powell writes of Delaney’s use of a yellow palette:
“Delaney’s artistic preoccupation with the color yellow is governed by its capacity to illuminate a world in which poverty, inhumanity, lovelessness, mediocrity, and darkness threaten his soul and being. No stranger to assaults on the body and psyche, Delaney sought in his work and throughout his entire life to experience that state of perfect bliss in nature and society, to reach that nearly unattainable note or apogee of emotional discernment in the arts, and to know that ecstatic feeling of an ‘excessive and deliberate joy’ in life. Oddly enough, by placing himself and his audience in his dense and luxurious yellow zone, he realized these grand ambitions.”*3
Photograph of Beauford Delaney in his studio as reproduced in the catalogue for the exhibition Beauford Delaney, Galerie Darthea Speyer, Paris, France, February 6 – March 2, 1973; Abdul-Jalil al-Hakim (c.1971) can be seen above Delaney to the right
Portraits by Beauford Delaney are in numerous museum collections including:
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL;
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA;
Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA;
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI;
Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN;
Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, NY;
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY;
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY;
The National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC;
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA;
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA;
SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA;
The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY;
Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, TN;
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA;
Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, NC;
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY;
Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA.
*1-Richard J. Powell, “The Color of Ecstasy,” Beauford Delaney: The Color Yellow (Atlanta: The High Museum of Art, 2002), 20-21
*2-Patricia Sue Canterbury, “Transatlantic Transformations: Beauford Delaney in Paris,” Beauford Delaney: From New York To Paris exh. cat. (Minneapolis: Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2004), 65
From the great success that we have had with our Free Food Programs established in the 1950’s by my Parents, Aaron and Margaret Wallace, we have since been instrumental in the founding and supplying of other free food service organizations around the country. With the demand for our help in creating these organizations being driven by the skyrocketing need for the services, we have decided to open up our efforts to all interested in starting a food pantry for the needy. We can provide access to the training necessary to qualify your organization and partner you with the local organizations and businesses that can support your efforts. Contact us and we will help you through the RED TAPE and push your program to success! Here’s some new videos for the Aaron & Margaret Wallace Foundation Social Services Programs. The first is the Aaron & Margaret Wallace Foundation Free Food Program Celebrity Giving Back
The second one is Aaron & Margaret Wallace Foundation Kids Celebrity Gift BackPacks.
You can view the following Santa Fe Elementary School’s Peace March with Aaron & Margaret Wallace Foundation, SemiFreddi’s, Trader Joe’s, Little Ceasar’s Pizza, Marshawn Lynch’s “Fam1ly F1rst” and Leon Powe’s “Fresh Start Oakland”:
Santa Fe Elementary School’s Peace March with Aaron & Margaret Wallace Foundation
You can listen to or download many of the Public Service Announcements for our partners that were broadcast over national radio on the page “A& MWF Supports Inter-Faith Multi-Cultural Events” at: http://amwftrust.org/a-mwf-supports-inter-faith-multi-cultural-events/. We have provided and we have produced videos from some of them as well. We will do one for any of our partners that work with us.
AMWF Community Food Bank!
The AMWF Community Food Bank is looking for new member agencies that will provide food and/or hot meals to Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Jose County community members year-round.
We are especially interested in new member agencies that are:
Open during high-need times of afternoon, evening, and/or weekend hours and serving clients in high-need areas of:
Tri-Valley area (Pleasanton, Livermore)
Pinole, Richmond area
San Leandro & San Lorenzo area
Tri-Cities area (Fremont, Newark, Union City)
Benefits of Membership Membership gives your agency:
Opportunities to apply for grants to increase agency capacity
Access to free nutritional education services, Food Stamp (CalFresh) outreach services, and the emergency food referral Helpline
To become a Member Agency, your organization must:
Be a non-profit, charitable organization that is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code. (Other 501c organizations, such as 501c5, do not qualify).
Operate an emergency food program, such as a food pantry, hot meal program/soup kitchen, or emergency shelter that is open to walk-in clients.*
Distribute food regularly for at least 3 months prior to applying for membership.
Provide food directly to individuals and families in need. At least 51% of your clients must be low-income.
Distribute Food Bank food at no charge. Your agency may not ask for donations from clients for food.
Not require clients to work or to attend any religious activities in exchange for food or meals.
Be willing to follow Food Bank regulations such as (but not limited to) submitting monthly food distribution reports and taking food safety training once per year.
* Please note: The Food Bank is not accepting new non-emergency programs at this time. Non-emergency programs include day care sites, afterschool programs, rehabilitation centers, treatment centers, and residential programs.
New Member Agency Application Process:
Contact the AMWF Agency Services staff to let us know about your interest in Food Bank membership. You can email us at amwft (at) amwft.org or call us at 510-394-4101
Agency Services staff will work with you to determine your eligibility
Attend a series of 2 trainings. At least 2 staff/volunteers from your agency must attend EACH of the trainings. We welcome (and highly encourage) agencies to bring more than 2 staff/volunteers to attend each training.
Note: We will announce training dates. Please contact us to let us know about your interest in AMWF Food Bank membership so that we can contact you when these dates have been scheduled.
Submit a New Member Agency Application. Applications can only be submitted after at least 2 staff/volunteers from your agency have completed all 2 trainings.
Complete a successful site visit at your agency. Food Bank Agency Services staff will visit your site to see your program, facilities, and review food safety policies.
Applications will be reviewed by the Agency Relations Committee. The Agency Relations Committee, a Food Bank board committee of staff and volunteers from current member agencies, will review and select member agencies eligible to join the AMWF Food Bank. Decisions are usually made within 6-8 weeks from the training dates.
Surah Al-Insan says: And they are those who give food in spite of their own need , to the needy, and the orphan, and the captive, [saying in their hearts], We only feed you for the sake of God, and we desire nothing in return from you, not even a word of thanks (76:8-9).
As Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu wa Jazzak Allah Khair Khayrun,
AARON & MARGARET WALLACE FOUNDATION, (AMWF) would like to wish you all the very BEST and May ALLAH accept your good deeds and grant you and your families forgiveness!
AMWF, Muslims Giving Relief, Reflection, Gratefulness and Celebration! We recognized this as a time in which we needed to consult fully with ALLAH (SWT) on everything rather than on our human, flawed selves, which is why we pray, fast, turn to the Qur’an and beg our Lord’s guidance. In doing so, we come near to Allah as we have learned what it means to be content in all circumstances, whether having everything and comfortable or in having nothing and struggling. We have to gain a greater appreciation for the plight of the needy, the poor! Whether the working poor that can’t make ends meet, to the refugee with nothing, to the homeless, we MUST recognize their right to dignity and a decent life. It can not possibly hurt any of the able to help or support us who do. So how can ANYONE, much less the leaders of some major Masjids, take food from the mouths of the needy, or clothes from the backs of the needy DURING RAMADAN?!!!! Astaghfirullah!! More to come, iA. “And (commanding you): “Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace (i.e. the one who helps and serves needy and deserving, physically and with his wealth, and even with good words). But if you turn away, then I fear for you the torment of a Great Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection).” [Hud 11:3] We are quick to rally around relief for a foreign war or a natural disaster, but ignore the personal tragedies
within the Muslim communities right here at home. You don’t have to donate money, food, clothing, other goods and services to Syria or Iraq that is NEVER going to get there, especially when we have our own Syria and Iraq in the Muslim communities right here, starting with the person praying next to you, the brother that has no job, the abused sister that has no here to go, the youth that’s cutting school and using drugs! The leaders of these Masjids do not want to acknowledge this and in doing so, fail and refuse to take into consideration that this is their, the Masjids OBLIGATION from Allah (SWT)! The Masjids are not just “a building” without a soul and none in it with a soul, it’s suppose to be the center of the community and the lives it serves- ALL community members at large, NOT just Muslims! We are grateful to ALLAH (SWT) for having touched the hearts of those who embody the God mandated mission and commitment to ALLAH’S principles that we as servants of ALLAH (SWT) must fulfill. You can make your check payable to: AARON & MARGARET WALLACE FOUNDATION (AMWF), 4200 Park Blvd, Ste# 116, Oakland, CA 94602; you can donate with Paypal email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or our PayPal Fundraising Link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=SE6DGFDH9XVKL.
Aaron & Margaret Wallace Foundation Free Food Program Celebrity Giving Back. The Aaron & Margaret Wallace Foundation really catered to everyone Saturday, August 6, 2011 at the “Oakland’s Got Talent” event at DeFermery Park. We distributed $25,000 worth of groceries FREE to ALL that came, “Fresh Start” Backpack Giveaway with 5,000 FREE Backpacks filled with school supplies, haircuts, manicures, health services, picnic Bar-B-Q lunch, games, entertainment, etc.
The second one is Aaron & Margaret Wallace Foundation Kids Celebrity Gift Back Packs.
You can view the following Santa Fe Elementary School’s Peace March with Aaron & Margaret Wallace Foundation, SemiFreddi’s, Trader Joe’s, Little Ceasar’s Pizza, Marshawn Lynch’s “Fam1ly F1rst” and Leon Powe’s “Fresh Start Oakland”:
Santa Fe Elementary School’s Peace March with Aaron & Margaret Wallace Foundation
Santa Fe Elementary Little Caesars Pizza Part 1
Santa Fe Elementary Little Caesars Pizza Part 2
Here’s the ABC-TV broadcast of our “Community Movement Toward Improvement” Music Conference in Oakland, California featuring MC Hammer, Martin Wyatt-KGO TV, Mohammed (MTV Real World-SF), Sway, Imani, Davey D, Raphael Saadiq- Tony Toni Tone, Greg Khalid Peck- Warner Bros,Karen Lee- Warner Bros Music, Eric B, Rico Cassanova, Abdul-Jalil,Tony Collins- Giant Records, Anita Greathouse-Knight, Gene Shelton, Lenny Williams,Thembisa Mshaka, Roy Tesfaye-Death Row Records shown in ABC-TV news clip.
Here’s the “I Know You’ll Love Oakland” Commercial for the City of Oakland Image Campaign.
Here’s Oakland Mayor Lionel Wilson’s City Urban Economic Development Conference Commercial:
Here’s the link to the YouTube video from radio station KPFA’s July 17, 2010 broadcast with Tom Frainier, a Haas boardmember and owner of SemiFreddis; with Cal Haas Business School student Gian “G” Pepe of Pepe International/Little Napoli Resturant/Carmel Bakery discussing Haas School of Business, the Y.E.A.H. Program, The Bread Project and giving back to the community. The video includes lots of good stuff on the Bread Project with some very appetizing shots of their products and it will make you hungry for some of your delectable wares upon watching! All the folks at Haas Business School have been in love with it for some time now.
Dr. Kenya Numan discuss AMWF relief missions to Haiti on KPFA Radio Part 1, https://youtu.be/GsgrngbfHn8
Dr. Kenya Numan discuss AMWF relief missions to Haiti on KPFA Radio Part 2, https://youtu.be/HGsdfrxvPZE
Dr. Kenya Numan discuss AMWF relief missions to Haiti on KPFA Radio Part 3, https://youtu.be/IK-g9wSqiyo
Dr. Kenya Numan discuss AMWF relief missions to Haiti on KPFA Radio Part 4, https://youtu.be/w1r4Kwc-wpQ
We pray to God you and your Families are well, your health is robust, business is thriving, everything is perfect and stay in God’s Love, Grace, Guidance and Mercy.
“DRIVE To End Food Insecurity!”
AARON & MARGARET WALLACE FOUNDATION, (AMWF) AMWF is looking for groups and organizations in Northern California willing to expand their reach into the communities with a FREE Food Ministry and interested expanding in Hayward, Fremont, Santa Clara, and San Jose EVERY Faith Serving organization should, MUST, have a FREE Food Program or they are not serving the community! From our 64 years experience and the many FREE Food Programs that we sponsor at the various locations, we can not afford to overlook those in need in ANY community! There is a VERY DIRE NEED going ignored in this area of ALL our communities nationwide! LET’S CHANGE THIS IMMEDIATELY!!
If you have a program and want to begin a FREE Food Program, just contact us and let’s get it going ASAP!!! We are prepared to help you no matter where you are located to start a FREE Food Program in your area!
The program provides lunch, pastries, beverages, flowers and groceries of all types including meat, fish, poultry, halal, kosher, organic, all natural, gluten free, sugar free, etc.! The giveaway accommodates over 300 families! This is one of 20 locations for the Free Food Programs of the Aaron & Margaret Wallace Foundation serving over 30,000 people per month!
The events served over 250 families with over $20,000 worth of food in just 2 hours! They now want to have their own permanent weekly Free Farmers Market!
See our video:
Aaron & Margaret Wallace Foundation Free Food Program Celebrity Giving Back really catered to everyone Saturday, August 6, 2011 at the “Oakland’s Got Talent” event at DeFermery Park. We distributed $25,000 worth of groceries FREE to ALL that came, “Fresh Start” Backpack Giveaway with 5,000 FREE Backpacks filled with school supplies, haircuts, manicures, health services, picnic Bar-B-Q lunch, games, entertainment, etc.
AMWF is beginning it’s “”DRIVE To End Food Insecurity!” with our phone campaign that will be calling YOU!. This is our national effort to raise the badly needed $135,000 to purchase the refrigerated truck, freezer, and vans. We are looking for INDIVIDUALS, GROUPS, CHURCHES, OR ORGANIZATIONS TO RAISE $15,000 EACH TO DONATE TO THIS EFFORT!! YOU SHOULD EXPECT A PHONE CALL,EMAIL AND TEXT FROM US IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS RESQUESTING FOR YOUR COMMITMENT AND SUPPORT!!!
This is part of an overall effort to raise a total of $135,000 to include trucks, Apple computers, and equipment to better serve the ever expanding needy of Northern California with our Free Food Distributorship, first of it’s kind at this level! This is MAJOR!! We can put a possible END to food insecurity in the Bay Area, and serve as a model nationwide! Read it and let us know if or how you may be able to help us, we NEED IT!
We have a Food Truck to provide hot meals to the needy, at homeless locations weekly, but it needs repair! We recently took our large 2002 Ford E250XL cargo van in for repair and found out that it needs a new engine for $5,600 (over 260,000 miles) and after that repair of we can expect a transmission rebuild.We are interested in obtaining 2 cargo or passenger vans with removable seats, an SUV with removable seats or large pick up truck with a camper shell for pickup and delivery of FREE food, clothing and supplies for a National organization that serves the needy, under privileged, disadvantaged and disabled persons. We are also looking for 2 iPhone 10 or newer and the following computer electronics:
1 2019-2020 Mac ProTower 7.1 model, Mac Pro (Rack, 2019), “Quad-Core” 3.2, “18 Core” 3.33, “20 Core” 2.4, running MacOS 11.1 Big Sur and the top software
1 2015-2019 Mac ProTower Xeon Cylinder, 6.1 model, ME253xx/A, MD878xx/A. Tech Specs: Mac Pro (Late 2013), “Quad-Core” 3.2, “10 Core” 3.33, “18 Core” 2.4, running MacOS 11.1 Big Sur and the top software
1 2015-2019 iMac Pro, 6.1 model, “Quad-Core” 3.2, “14 Core” 3.33, “18 Core” 2.4, running MacOS 11.1 Big Sur and the top software
1 2020 Mac Mini model M1, 9.1 MGNR3xx/A, MGNT3xx/A. Tech Specs: Mac mini (M1, 2020), “Quad-Core” 3.2, “Six Core” 3.33, “Twelve Core” 2.4, running MacOS 11.1 Big Sur and the top software
1 2018 Mac Mini model 8.1, MRTR2xx/A, MRTT2xx/A, MXNF2xx/A, MXNG2xx/A. Tech Specs: Mac mini (2018) “Quad-Core” 3.2, “Six Core” 3.33, “Twelve Core” 2.4, running MacOS 11.1 Big Sur and the top software
1 2014 Mac Mini model 7.1, MGEM2xx/A, MGEN2xx/A, MGEQ2xx/A. Tech Specs: Mac mini (Late 2014), “Quad-Core” 3.2, “Six Core” 3.33, “Twelve Core” 2.4, running MacOS 11.1 Big Sur and the top software
2 Apple MacBook Pro 16” Laptop, Core i5-4258U 2.4 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, running MacOS 11.1 Big Sur and the top software
1 Apple MacBook Air Laptop, Core i5-5250U, 1.6-GHz processor, 8 GB RAM, 256-GB SSD, running MacOS 11.1 Big Sur and the top software
1 QuickBooks for Mac 2020
1 Comodo Endpoint Security Manager, Protection for 10 Endpoints
1 ClickTime Nonprofit Edition 1-Year Subscription for 10 Users
1 DocuSign Enterprise Edition – Access to Discounted Rates
1 Dropbox Business Advanced – Access to Discounted Rates
1 Enterprise Mobility and Security – Nonprofit Cloud Subscriptions
2 Mobile Hotspots 4G LTE with Internet Service for Nonprofits
Software: Apple Logic Studio 9 Music Production Software, Final Cut Pro, Motion & Compressor, Microsoft Office for Mac, Aperture 3, FileMaker Pro, Pro Tools, Pixelmator, Adobe Photoshop Elements CSS, QuickTime Pro, Toast Pro, Acrobat Pro, Dragon, Dreamweaver, After affects, Painter, Studio Artist, REASONS
1 Hosted VPS with email serices
1 Hosted VoIP Phone Service – Access to Discounted Rates
When the temperature drops, most pWhen the temperature drops, most people reach into their closet and pull out a coat. However, for those who don’t have a closet or even a coat, cold weather just means more misery. It’s particularly bad on those assembled along the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Black Hills. Many are Native Americans in unthinkable poverty! In an effort to alleviate that misery and make a small, but significant difference in the lives of children and adults in need, Barry Barkan and the Live Oak Institute, Ashoka Foundation, and Jewish Congregation Beth El; the Berkeley Masjid and their neighbors; and the AARON & MARGARET WALLACE FOUNDATION, (AMWF)formed a “One Warm Coat Drive”!
The project started as a result of a conversation between Barry Barkan and Abdul-Jalil in front of the Masjid during the weekly Jumaah “Free Farmers Market” Food Giveaway at the Berkeley Masjid in Berkeley, Ca, iA.The effort was facilitated by Dr. M. Yusuf Sheikh and Gamil Serajuddin at the Masjid.
We received hundreds of items, and cash donations that was used to buy more goods, that was trucked to Concord, packed and sent off to those in need.
This simple idea of collecting coats and distributing them to those who need them will stretch on through December, maybe longer.
Now, AMWF wants to have individuals, retailers, schools or businesses to host a Warm Coat Drive. You can host your area collection with local residents by having a collection box at a Starbucks, at the Park, at churches, at the YMCA, your local business, Community Center or Religious Organization. We can arrange to stop by several times a week to pick up the donations. We will also accept cash donations.
AMWF has set a goal of collecting 2,000 warm items this year with our wish list of all clean, reusable or new warm items including: coats, blankets, hats, scarves, sweats and other warm items in any and all sizes, infant through adult.
How the Red Cross Raised Half a Billion Dollars for Haiti and Built Six Homes
Even as the group has publicly celebrated its work, insider accounts detail a string of failures
by Justin Elliott, ProPublica, and Laura Sullivan, NPR
THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF CAMPECHE sprawls up a steep hillside in Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince. Goats rustle in trash that goes forever uncollected. Children kick a deflated volleyball in a dusty lot below a wall with a hand-painted logo of the American Red Cross.
In late 2011, the Red Cross launched a multimillion-dollar project to transform the desperately poor area, which was hit hard by the earthquake that struck Haiti the year before. The main focus of the project — called LAMIKA, an acronym in Creole for “A Better Life in My Neighborhood” — was building hundreds of permanent homes.
Today, not one home has been built in Campeche. Many residents live in shacks made of rusty sheet metal, without access to drinkable water, electricity or basic sanitation. When it rains, their homes flood and residents bail out mud and water.
The Red Cross received an outpouring of donations after the quake, nearly half a billion dollars.
The group has publicly celebrated its work. But in fact, the Red Cross has repeatedly failed on the ground in Haiti. Confidential memos, emails from worried top officers, and accounts of a dozen frustrated and disappointed insiders show the charity has broken promises, squandered donations, and made dubious claims of success.
The Red Cross says it has provided homes to more than 130,000 people. But the actual number of permanent homes the group has built in all of Haiti: six.
After the earthquake, Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern unveiled ambitious plans to “develop brand-newcommunities.” None has ever been built.
Aid organizations from around the world have struggled after the earthquake in Haiti, the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country. But ProPublica and NPR’s investigation shows that many of the Red Cross’s failings in Haiti are of its own making. They are also part of a larger pattern in which the organization has botched delivery of aid after disasters such as Superstorm Sandy. Despite its difficulties, the Red Cross remains the charityof choice for ordinary Americans and corporations alike after natural disasters.
One issue that has hindered the Red Cross’ work in Haiti is an overreliance on foreigners who could not speak French or Creole, current and former employees say.
In a blistering 2011 memo, the then-director of the Haiti program, Judith St. Fort, wrote that the group was failing in Haiti and that senior managers had made “very disturbing” remarks disparaging Haitian employees. St. Fort, who is Haitian American, wrote that the comments included, “he is the only hard working one among them” and “the ones that we have hired are not strong so we probably should not pay close attention to Haitian CVs.”
The Red Cross won’t disclose details of how it has spent the hundreds of millions of dollars donated for Haiti. But our reporting shows that less money reached those in need than the Red Cross has said.
Lacking the expertise to mount its own projects, the Red Cross ended up giving much of the money to other groups to do the work. Those groups took out a piece of every dollar to cover overhead and management. Even on the projects done by others, the Red Cross had its own significant expenses – in one case, adding up to a third of the project’s budget.
Where did the half billion raised for Haiti go? The Red Cross won’t say.
In statements, the Red Cross cited the challenges all groups have faced in post-quake Haiti, including the country’s dysfunctional land title system.
“Like many humanitarian organizations responding in Haiti, the American Red Cross met complications in relation to government coordination delays, disputes over land ownership, delays at Haitian customs, challenges finding qualified staff who were in short supply and high demand, and the cholera outbreak, among other challenges,” the charity said.
The group said it responded quickly to internal concerns, including hiring an expert to train staff on cultural competency after St. Fort’s memo. While the group won’t provide a breakdown of its projects, the Red Cross said it has done more than 100. The projects include repairing 4,000 homes, giving several thousand families temporary shelters, donating $44 million for food after the earthquake, and helping fund the construction of a hospital.
“Millions of Haitians are safer, healthier, more resilient, and better prepared for future disasters thanks to generous donations to the American Red Cross,” McGovern wrote in a recent report marking the fifth anniversary of the earthquake.
In other promotional materials, the Red Cross said it has helped “more than 4.5 million” individual Haitians “get back on their feet.”
It has not provided details to back up the claim. And Jean-Max Bellerive, Haiti’s prime minister at the time of the earthquake, doubts the figure, pointing out the country’s entire population is only about 10 million.
“No, no,” Bellerive said of the Red Cross’ claim, “it’s not possible.”
When the earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010, the Red Cross was facing a crisis of its own. McGovern had become chief executive just 18 months earlier, inheriting a deficit and an organization that had faced scandals after 9/11 and Katrina.
Inside the Red Cross, the Haiti disaster was seen as “a spectacular fundraising opportunity,” recalled one former official who helped organize the effort. Michelle Obama, the NFL and a long list of celebrities appealed for donations to the group.
The Red Cross kept soliciting money well after it had enough for the emergency relief that is the group’s stock in trade. Doctors Without Borders, in contrast, stopped fundraising off the earthquake after it decided it had enough money. The donations to the Red Cross helped the group erase its more-than $100 million deficit.
The Red Cross ultimately raised far more than any other charity.
A year after the quake, McGovern announced that the Red Cross would use the donations to make a lasting impact in Haiti.
We asked the Red Cross to show us around its projects in Haiti so we could see the results of its work. It declined. So earlier this year we went to Campeche to see one of the group’s signature projects for ourselves.
Street vendors in the dusty neighborhood immediately pointed us to Jean Jean Flaubert, the head of a community group that the Red Cross set up as a local sounding board.
Sitting with us in their sparse one-room office, Flaubert and his colleagues grew angry talking about the Red Cross. They pointed to the lack of progress in the neighborhood and the healthy salaries paid to expatriate aid workers.
“What the Red Cross told us is that they are coming here to change Campeche. Totally change it,” said Flaubert. “Now I do not understand the change that they are talking about. I think the Red Cross is working for themselves.”
The Red Cross’ initial plan said the focus would be building homes — an internal proposalput the number at 700. Each would have finished floors, toilets, showers, even rainwater collection systems. The houses were supposed to be finished in January 2013.
None of that ever happened. Carline Noailles, who was the project’s manager in Washington, said it was endlessly delayed because the Red Cross “didn’t have the know-how.”
Another former official who worked on the Campeche project said, “Everything takes four times as long because it would be micromanaged from DC, and they had no development experience.”
Shown an English-language press release from the Red Cross website, Flaubert was stunned to learn of the project’s $24 million budget — and that it is due to end next year.
“Not only is [the Red Cross] not doing it,” Flaubert said, “now I’m learning that the Red Cross is leaving next year. I don’t understand that.” (The Red Cross says it did tell community leaders about the end date. It also accused us of “creating ill will in the community which may give rise to a security incident.”)
The project has since been reshaped and downscaled. A road is being built. Some existing homes have received earthquake reinforcement and a few schools are being repaired. Some solar street lights have been installed, though many broke and residents say others are unreliable.
The group’s most recent press release on the project cites achievements such as training school children in disaster response.
The Red Cross said it has to scale back its housing plans because it couldn’t acquire the rights to land. No homes will be built.
Other Red Cross infrastructure projects also fizzled.
A Red Cross effort to save Haitians from cholera was crippled by internal issues. “None of these people had to die,” said a Haitian official.
In January 2011, McGovern announced a $30 million partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID. The agency would build roads and other infrastructure in at least two locations where the Red Cross would build new homes.
But it took more than two and a half years, until August 2013, for the Red Cross just to sign an agreement with USAID on the program, and even that was for only one site. The program was ultimately canceled because of a land dispute.
A Government Accountability Office report attributed the severe delays to problems “in securing land title and because of turnover in Red Cross leadership” in its Haiti program.
Other groups also ran into trouble with land titles and other issues. But they also ultimately built 9,000 homes compared to the Red Cross’ six.
Asked about the Red Cross’ housing projects in Haiti, David Meltzer, the group’s general counsel and chief international officer, said changing conditions forced changes in plans. “If we had said, ‘All we’re going to do is build new homes,’ we’d still be looking for land,” he said.
The USAID project’s collapse left the Red Cross grasping for ways to spend money earmarked for it.
“Any ideas on how to spend the rest of this?? (Besides the wonderful helicopter idea?),” McGovern wrote to Meltzer in a November 2013 email obtained by ProPublica and NPR. “Can we fund Conrad’s hospital? Or more to PiH[Partners in Health]? Any more shelter projects?”
It’s not clear what helicopter idea McGovern was referring to or if it was ever carried out. The Red Cross would say only that her comments were “grounded in the American Red Cross’ strategy and priorities, which focus on health and housing.”
Another signature project, known in Creole as “A More Resilient Great North,” is supposed to rehabilitate roads in poor, rural communities and to help them get clean water and sanitation.
But two years after it started, the $13 million effort has been faltering badly. An internal evaluation from March found residents were upset because nothing had been done to improve water access or infrastructure or to make “contributions of any sort to the well being of households,” the report said.
The Red Cross says 91% of donations went to help Haitians. That’s not true.
Instead of making concrete improvements to living conditions, the Red Cross has launched hand-washing education campaigns. The internal evaluation noted that these were “not effective when people had no access to water and no soap.” (The Red Cross declined to comment on the project.)
The group’s failures went beyond just infrastructure.
When a cholera epidemic raged through Haiti nine months after the quake, the biggest part of the Red Cross’ response — a plan to distribute soap and oral rehydration salts — was crippled by “internal issues that go unaddressed,” wrote the director of the Haiti program in her May 2011 memo.
Throughout that year, cholera was a steady killer. By September 2011, when the death toll had surpassed 6,000, the project was still listed as “very behind schedule” according to another internal document.
The Red Cross said in a statement that its cholera response, including a vaccination campaign, has continued for years and helped millions of Haitians.
But while other groups also struggled early responding to cholera, some performed well.
“None of these people had to die. That’s what upsets me,” said Paul Christian Namphy, a Haitian water and sanitation official who helped lead the effort to fight cholera. He says early failures by the Red Cross and other NGOs had a devastating impact. “These numbers should have been zero.”
So why did the Red Cross’ efforts fall so short? It wasn’t just that Haiti is a hard place to work.
“They collected nearly half a billion dollars,” said a congressional staffer who helped oversee Haiti reconstruction. “But they had a problem. And the problem was that they had absolutely no expertise.”
Lee Malany was in charge of the Red Cross’ shelter program in Haiti starting in 2010. He remembers a meeting in Washington that fall where officials did not seem to have any idea how to spend millions of dollars set aside for housing. Malany says the officials wanted to know which projects would generate good publicity, not which projects would provide the most homes.
“When I walked out of that meeting I looked at the people that I was working with and said, ‘You know this is very disconcerting, this is depressing,’” he recalled.
The Red Cross said in a statement its Haiti program has never put publicity over delivering aid.
Malany resigned the next year from his job in Haiti. “I said there’s no reason for me to stay here. I got on the plane and left.”
Sometimes it wasn’t a matter of expertise, but whether anybody was filling key jobs. An April 2012 organizational chart obtained by ProPublica and NPR lists 9 of 30 leadership positions in Haiti as vacant, including slots for experts on health and shelter.
The Red Cross said vacancies and turnover were inevitable because of “the security situation, separation from family for international staff, and the demanding nature of the work.”
The constant upheaval took a toll. Internal documents refer to repeated attempts over years to “finalize” and “complete” a strategic plan for the Haiti program, efforts that were delayed by changes in senior management. As late as March 2014, more than four years into a six-year program, an internal update cites a “revised strategy” still awaiting “final sign-off.”
The Red Cross said settling on a plan early would have been a mistake. “It would be hard to create the perfect plan from the beginning in a complicated place like Haiti,” it said. “But we also need to begin, so we create plans that are continually revised.”
The Red Cross says it provided homes to more than 130,000 Haitians. But they didn’t.
Those plans were further undermined by the Red Cross’ reliance on expats. Noailles, the Haitian development professional who worked for the Red Cross on the Campeche project, said expat staffers struggled in meetings with local officials.
“Going to meetings with the community when you don’t speak the language is not productive,” she said. Sometimes, she recalled, expat staffers would skip such meetings altogether.
The Red Cross said it has “made it a priority to hire Haitians” despite lots of competition for local professionals, and that over 90 percent of its staff is Haitian. The charity said it used a local human resources firm to help.
Yet very few Haitians have made it into the group’s top echelons in Haiti, according to five current and former Red Cross staffers as well as staff lists obtained by ProPublica and NPR.
That not only affected the group’s ability to work in Haiti, it was also expensive.
According to an internal Red Cross budgeting document for the project in Campeche, the project manager – a position reserved for an expatriate – was entitled to allowances for housing, food and other expenses, home leave trips, R&R four times a year, and relocation expenses. In all, it added up to $140,000.
Compensation for a senior Haitian engineer — the top local position — was less than one-third of that, $42,000 a year.
Shelim Dorval, a Haitian administrator who worked for the Red Cross coordinating travel and housing for expatriate staffers, recalled thinking it was a waste to spend so much to bring in people with little knowledge of Haiti when locals were available.
“For each one of those expats, they were having high salaries, staying in a fancy house, and getting vacation trips back to their countries,” Dorval said. “A lot of money was spent on those people who were not Haitian, who had nothing to do with Haiti. The money was just going back to the United States.”
Soon after the earthquake, McGovern, the Red Cross CEO, said the group would make sure donors knew exactly what happened to their money.
The Red Cross would “lead the effort in transparency,” she pledged. “We are happy to share the way we are spending our dollars.”
That hasn’t happened. The Red Cross’ public reports offer only broad categories about where $488 million in donations has gone. The biggest category is shelter, at about $170 million. The others include health, emergency relief and disaster preparedness.
It has declined repeated requests to disclose the specific projects, to explain how much money went to each or to say what the results of each project were.
There is reason to doubt the Red Cross’ claims that it helped 4.5 million Haitians. An internal evaluation found that in some areas, the Red Cross reported helping more people than even lived in the communities. In other cases, the figures were low, and in others double-counting went uncorrected.
In describing its work, the Red Cross also conflates different types of aid, making it more difficult to assess the charity’s efforts in Haiti.
For example, while the Red Cross says it provided more than 130,000 people with homes, that includes thousands of people who were not actually given homes, but rather were “trained in proper construction techniques.” (That was first reported by the Haiti blog of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.)
The figure includes people who got short-term rental assistance or were housed in several thousand “transitional shelters,” which are temporary structures that can get eaten up by termites or tip over in storms. It also includes modest improvements on 5,000 temporary shelters.
The Red Cross also won’t break down what portion of donations went to overhead.
McGovern told CBS News a few months after the quake, “Minus the 9 cents overhead, 91 cents on the dollar will be going to Haiti. And I give you my word and my commitment, I’m banking my integrity, my own personal sense of integrity on that statement.”
But the reality is that less money went to Haiti than 91 percent. That’s because in addition to the Red Cross’ 9 percent overhead, the other groups that got grants from the Red Cross also have their own overhead.
In one case, the Red Cross sent $6 million to the International Federation of the Red Cross for rental subsidies to help Haitians leave tent camps. The IFRC then took out 26 percent for overhead and what the IFRC described as program-related “administration, finance, human resources” and similar costs.
Beyond all that, the Red Cross also spends another piece of each dollar for what it describes as “program costs incurred by the American Red Cross in managing” the projects done by other groups.
The American Red Cross’ management and other costs consumed an additional 24 percent of the money on one project, according to the group’s statements and internal documents. The actual work, upgrading shelters, was done by the Swiss and Spanish Red Cross societies.
“It’s a cycle of overhead,” said Jonathan Katz, the Associated Press reporter in Haiti at the time of the earthquake who tracked post-disaster spending for his book, The Big Truck That Went By. “It was always going to be the American Red Cross taking a 9 percent cut, re-granting to another group, which would take out their cut.”
Given the results produced by the Red Cross’ projects in Haiti, Bellerive, the former prime minister, said he has a hard time fathoming what’s happened to donors’ money.
“Five hundred million dollars in Haiti is a lot of money,” he said. “I’m not a big mathematician, but I can make some additions. I know more or less the cost of things. Unless you don’t pay for the gasoline the same price I was paying, unless you pay people 20 times what I was paying them, unless the cost of the house you built was five times the cost I was paying, it doesn’t add up for me.”
This story was co-published with NPR. Mitzy-Lynn Hyacinthe contributed reporting. Design direction by David Sleight, production by Hannah Birch.
In 2004, I was just starting my first full-time job in a Washington newsroomwhen disaster struck. It was on the other side of the world: an extraordinarily powerful earthquake in Sumatra, Indonesia, that triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean. But thanks to CNN it felt like the anguish and terror were happening in the next cubicle. I still remember the fear on the fishermen’s faces and watching mothers cry as they searched for their children in the waves. Powerless, eager to help, I did the only thing I could think of: I went online and sent $20 to the American Red Cross.
Thirteen years later, we’re watching another disaster, this time much closer to home. Tropical Storm Harvey, supercharged by a freakishly warm Gulf of Mexico, has slammed into the Texas coast and is now running a dayslong conveyor belt carrying trillions of gallons of water from the ocean to the sky to the bayous and streets of Houston. Highways have become rivers in America’s fourth-largest city. Apartment complexes are filling up like bathtubs. Dams are nearing failure. Thousands have had to be rescued from the still-rising floodwaters in the overbuilt, improperly drained city. The scariest part is that, with the water still rising, no one can really know how bad the damage has been so far or what is to come. Once again, most of us outside the zone feel powerless but want to help. Once again, leaders and noble souls are telling us the best way to do so is to turn to the best known, most bipartisanly loved brand in humanitarian relief.
But I won’t be donating to the Red Cross this time. And after years of reporting on and inside some of the biggest disasters of the decade and change, I know what a costly mistake the focus on donating anywhere can be.
Part of the problem is the American Red Cross’ track record when it comes to disasters. It isn’t great. I learned this best in Haiti, where I survived the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake and ran the Associated Press bureau from 2007 until 2011. When the earthquake struck, killing an estimated 100,000 to 316,000 people, American Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern’s staff swung into action doing what it does best: raising money. Their appeal to “save lives,” aided by endorsements from President Obama and celebrities, and fueled by a pioneering text message campaign, raised a staggering $488 million.
It quickly became clear that the organization’s biggest problem would be figuring out what to do with all that cash. The U.S. chapter had just three full-time staff in Haiti at the time of the disaster. Though it soon sent more, and subcontracted staff from the local Haitian Red Cross, the truth was that there wasn’t all that much they could do: ARC isn’t a medical aid group à la Doctors Without Borders. It doesn’t do development work or specialize in rebuilding destroyed neighborhoods. What it does best is provide immediate assistance—often in the form of blankets, hygiene kits, or temporary shelter—and as incredibly destructive as the earthquake was, there wasn’t half a billion dollars of tarps and hygiene kits to hand out. Staffers came up with all kinds of creative ways to unload the money, including handing it off to other aid groups that could use it better (after ARC had taken its customary 9 percent administrative cut). As it became increasingly clear that the entire earthquake response, from the lowliest neighborhood to the top floor of the United Nations Secretariat—had been a failure, ARC found itself scrambling to explain why the half a billion dollars it took hadn’t made a substantive difference in survivors’ lives. “There’s only so much money that can be forced through the emergency phase,” an ARC spokeswoman told me when I asked how it was possible that just a third of the money it had raised had even been committed, much less spent, two years later.
What no one at the organization bothered to do was explain to the public—in Haiti or back in the States—that it had never needed anywhere near that much money in the first place. (In contrast, some NGOs state their fundraising goals in advance and cap or redirect donations once they have exceeded those amounts.)
ARC was roundly blasted in the U.S. for its shambolic response to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, with international observers warning that elements were so bad that they verged on criminal wrongdoing. Seven years later, despite an internal retooling effort, it failed again in 2012’s Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Isaac. (The response was “worse than the storm,” one Red Cross driver told ProPublica during its jaw-dropping investigation.) Typically, the organization has had more success responding to small-scale disasters; it’s common to hear stories people tell of the blankets and compassion they got from Red Cross volunteers after house fires. But even there, they’ve been getting into trouble: ARC’s 2015 response to a string of northern California wildfires was so bad—showing up unequipped and unprepared, shutting down other volunteer operations, and then failing to provide promised food or shelter on its own—that locals shunned the organization to focus on their own relief efforts.
Worse than what we know is what we don’t. The ARC, which boasts annual revenues of more than $2.6 billion, is notoriously opaque when it comes to what it does with the money it raises for disasters. It has never produced a meaningful breakdown of its spending after the Haiti earthquake. If you look at RedCross.org right now, you’ll see a prominent link inviting you to “make a difference” by donating to its Harvey effort. But nowhere does it say what it will do with the money. A tiny video shows empty cots in a shelter.
When I emailed and called the organization’s full-time media relations department Sunday and Monday asking how much it had raised so far, how much it thought the group might need, and what Red Cross volunteers and staff were doing in the response to Hurricane Harvey, I eventually got back this reply: “At this point in our active disaster response, we are unable to answer your questions by your deadline. Thank you for understanding.” I followed up again. A few hours later, the organization sent a second note saying it was providing food, cots, blankets, and other support to 6,000 people in various shelters across the region—again with no information about the cost or money raised so far.
It isn’t just journalists who get the shaft. ARC’s leaders have misled Congress. In a scathing 2015 report, the federal Government Accountability Office noted that “no regular, independent evaluations are conducted of the impact or effectiveness of the Red Cross’s disaster services.”
As ProPublica’s Justin Elliott has reported, many of these issues are the result of a team of former AT&T executives taking over a complex organization—one that manages tasks as critical and disparate as blood-banking and providing resources to military families, while operating in a blurred, neither-fish-nor-fowl zone with some of the privileges of a government agency (such as free rent for its D.C. headquarters) but the moneymaking latitude and lack of oversight of a private corporation.
ARC and its defenders sometimes protest that there’s too much focus on them; that scores of other actors have also failed in their responses to the same disasters. In part, that’s just the other side of the double-edged sword that comes with having a higher profile than others and raising far more money than anyone else—for being, as McGovern likes to say, “a brand to die for.”
But in another way, they are entirely right. There is too much focus on the ARC in disasters such as Harvey, in a way that goes beyond any one organization. The way our society handles disasters—first the calamity; then the outpouring of sympathy and donations; then the long, slow rebuild—is wrong. As humans have long known, it is easier, cheaper, and better to mitigate or prevent disasters from happening than to rescue victims and rebuild after them. We’ve known for centuries about the threat of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. Experts have warned for years that the Texas coast needed to make serious investments to prepare for nigh-inevitable storms, including preparing mitigation specifically for intense, unprecedented floods worsened in part by climate change. It seems that some, including many of Houston’s hospitals, heeded those warnings and are benefiting from the preparation. Other sectors did not. At a systemic level, instead of taking those threats seriously, Texans elected a governor who distorts facts about climate change. Americans picked a president who—days before this disaster and moments before rushing to the defense of rampaging neo-Nazis—announced in front of his gilded elevator that he was scrapping federal construction standards that had required new projects to account for climate change’s effect on storms like Harvey.
Local news organizations in Texas are maintaining lists of organizations, both local and run by the Red Cross, where those affected by the storm can get help and those inclined can send donations. Experts and experience say that, if you are going to donate to anyone from outside the disaster zone, send cash, not stuff. Boxes full of food, clothes, or other stuff will clog up supply lines and as likely as not go unused.
Yet the hard reality is that we still don’t know what the needs in Houston and other parts of Texas or Louisiana are going to be or who will be best to respond to them. Millions of people are still in the middle of the storm, with the National Hurricane Center warning that some areas could get double the already awe-inducing amounts of rain they’ve already received. Survivors, in other words, haven’t even gotten past the emergency to take stock of the damage and really begin the difficult relief phase; if this was an earthquake, the ground would still be shaking.
It is difficult for rescuers to get in. There is nowhere for most people to go. While there are heroic efforts going on right now by locals and neighbors to save as many as they can from the floods—efforts that authorities should encourage and help coordinate—the hard, frustrating reality is that there is not very much an untrained outsider can do to help once a complex disaster has begun. And with, at a bare minimum, hundreds of billions of dollars in damage expected and future storms on the way, the costs in cleaning up this mess and getting people back into their old lives again are going to be astronomical, on the level that only wealthy and powerful governments, and the combined power of their citizenry, will be able to address.
Some people get personally offended by talk like this. They are seeing pain, they are being generous, and they hope it might help—just like I did watching the pictures from Indonesia from my cubicle years ago. The people suffering in this storm deserve all of that and more. But what you learn when you really dive into these situations is that momentary intentions, no matter how kind, are not enough—not on this scale. Those past, ineffective, and opaque disaster responses, from Haiti to New Jersey to the Gulf Coast, have created a legacy of mistrust, not only of the Red Cross but of the entire humanitarian aid apparatus its iconic brand represents. We can’t afford to do that again.
If we really care about the people of Houston and the rest of the Gulf Coast, we have to commit fully to a combined, sustained, serious response to recover and rebuild—meaning lots of money, lots of attention to helping those areas adapt for the future, and lots of concern for the people who we know are most vulnerable. We all need to come together to prevent future disasters, whether the growing risk of a major Oklahoma earthquake, a Caribbean tsunami, and especially the many threats we face from climate change. The sooner we acknowledge and act on that and stop debating the best place to send $20, the better off all of us will be.
Kobe Bryant Supports Aaron & Margaret Wallace Foundation
Kobe Bryant Primary Position: General Partner, Bryant Stibel In 1991, Bryant started his basketball career when he played for his high school team at Lower Merion High School. In 1996, he was drafted into National Basketball Association (NBA) by the Charlotte Hornets and was subsequently traded to Los Angeles Lakers. In 1997, he founded Kobe Family Entertainment, an entertainment company. In 2013, he co-founded Bryant Stibel, a venture capital firm. In 2014, he founded Kobe Incorporated, a venture capital firm that majorly invests in sports industry. In April 2016, he played his last match game.
GIVING HISTORY Philanthropic donor gives primarily to healthcare causes. Lifetime giving exceeds $10,000. Notable gifts include: At least $10,000 to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and at least $1,000 to Children`s Hospital Orange County (CHOC). He has also donated to American Red Cross, Aaron & Margaret Wallace Foundation and Dream Foundation; exact donations made are unclear. Founder of the Kobe & Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of youth and families in need, and encouraging young people to stay active through sports. The foundation operates Mamba Football Club, a youth soccer club in Orange County, California that teaches young athletes how to become leaders and independent thinkers. The foundation has partnered with several Los Angeles, California-based organizations including Step Up on Second, My Friend’s Place and United Way. He has reportedly granted undisclosed amount to the Make-A-Wish-Foundation, Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the Center for Abused Children, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Plaza de la Raza Cultural Center. He is actively involved with NBA Cares. He has reportedly supported the victims of the conflict in Darfur, Sudan, earthquake in China and Haiti and the disaster in Japan. He has also established the international youth scholarships for the Kobe Basketball Academy. In 2009, he partnered with the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation to launch the Kobe China Fund as his first global charitable initiative to raise funds and awareness for education and health program. He is a corporate sponsor of the Scholastic Sports Network. Bryant is the Honorary Chair of the United Way’s HomeWalk.
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