Andrew Young III continues father’s philanthropic, civil rights legacy as CEO of GiveLocally.net
Bokar Ture. Ilyasah Shabazz. Ayanna Gregory. If you’re not familiar with these names, you are likely familiar with their parents, Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X and Dick Gregory, respectively.
As the nation reflects on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, the children of many prominent civil rights leaders are continuing to crusade for justice and equality for all, while making strides in their own right.
One such offspring is Andrew “Bo” Young, III, son of Andrew J. Young. The elder Young is a minister, a former Mayor of Atlanta, and was the first black U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Young was also the first black congressman elected to a southern district after Reconstruction, and a confidant to Martin Luther King, Jr.
Just as Andrew Young marched for justice with Dr. King fifty years ago, “Bo” Young, III is treading his own path to create equality via social networks as the CEO of GiveLocally.net, a tax-exempt giving website that matches generous individuals to people in need. Its mission is to, “assist working class Americans who encounter hardships and who would otherwise be overlooked by charities or government services.”
Young, III, who was named to TheGrio’s 100 list of influential African-Americans in 2012, shared in a previous interview with theGrio how GiveLocally.net is working to take the Civil Rights Movement into the 21st century. Bo told theGrio, “we feel like we are in a sense continuing the work of Martin Luther King, because we have found a new and innovative way to try and help to combat poverty in America,” a central issue to the late icon.
In observance of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington on August 28, and Black Philanthropy Month 2013, which takes place in August, Young shared his future plans for GiveLocally.net, the importance of working towards greater economic equality, and his thoughts on black philanthropy.
theGrio: Please describe GiveLocally.net and how it works.
Andrew “Bo” Young, III: GiveLocally.net is a revolutionary on-line giving website. We pre-screen our families to ensure their needs are real. We deliver in kind services — never cash. Unlike traditional 501(c)(3)’s, our givers can decide to whom they want their “give” to go, and there is an unlimited amount of needs we can fulfill. You can donate any amount of money at GiveLocally.net, track how and when your “give” is distributed, and see how it impacts the recipient. But to be clear, we’re not about handouts. GiveLocally.net is all about increasing people’s social capital. We believe that is paramount at this very moment, with half of American adults now spending at least some time living below the poverty line.
What led you to join as CEO?
I joined as CEO after the founder, Brad Newman, a gifted entrepreneur and attorney based in Northern California, pitched me the idea. I immediately understood its power and potential. Since then, we have helped thousands and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. We consider GiveLocally.net to be the wave of the future in terms of giving, in terms of efficiency and most importantly, transparency. Helping out should not be confined to cutting a check at some society event or gala and never knowing where, or to whom, your money goes. Instead, we turned to the Internet to make visible inroads to help solve the issue of poverty.
What are some of GiveLocally.net’s upcoming initiatives?
We just launched a free social game Giv Galaxy that is available on iTunes and Google. It’s a fun game centered on the notion of giving and helping others. The player takes on the role of a friendly space creature named Nuxx, and can play nine different games focused on shelter, food and health.
What is “black philanthropy” to you?
When African-Americans give their time, money and/or resources to help anyone in need.
What are your thoughts on where America stands 50 years after Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech?
We have come a very long way. Many issues facing Americans today are more class-related, than race. Collectively, America must become more personally responsible for the less fortunate. We created GiveLocally.net to give middle-class and working class Americans the chance to help one another in times of need.
When it comes to improving our society, what is your “dream” or aspiration, in the vein of Dr. King’s dream?
I have a dream that we all take more personal accountability, as well as taking more responsibility for our relatives, family, friends and associate, and those who encounter hardships who would otherwise be overlooked by charities or government services. We need to become a more caring society that isn’t too embedded in ME.
In terms of your philanthropic endeavors, what is your “mountaintop” or highest achievement to date?
Without question GiveLocally.net. It’s critical that we as a society look more to business ideas, technology and innovation to address the age old problem of poverty in America. And there’s no time for hesitation when 100 million Americans are considered to be poor, when the poverty rate is at its highest in almost 50 years.
Name a book that has shaped your sense of philanthropy.
Uncharitable, by Dan Pallota, one of my favorite humanitarians.
How has your father’s legacy shaped your philanthropic efforts?
I come from a long lineage of givers. My great-grandparents were very philanthropic. Altruism shaped their everyday lives. Giving has always been a family tradition for generations on both my mother’s and father’s sides of the family. Giving back is in my DNA.
Tracey Webb is the founder of BlackGivesBack.com and The Black Benefactors. Follow Black Gives Back on Twitter @BlkGivesBack.