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October 1, 2001

Agencies serves disenfranchised

By Eric Rangus


Editor’s Note: This is the third in a three-part series profiling the six charity organizations included in EmoryGives, the new name for the Univer-sity’s workplace giving program. The Oct. 8 issue of Emory Report will look at the first week of the new program.Today, Oct 1, EmoryGives begins giving. The program makes available more than 390 nonprofit groups for charitable donation. More than 60 of those groups fall under the auspices of the Georgia Black United Fund and Georgia Shares, two federations that deal with, respectively, minority causes and social justice.

The National Black United Fund consists of 22 affiliates sprinkled throughout the country. The Georgia Black United Fund (GBUF) was created in 1975, and it serves 30 member agencies throughout the state.

GBUF’s objective is to strengthen its communities and promote self-sufficiency by expanding philanthropic activity among minorities, particularly African Americans. In 2000, GBUF raised nearly $350,000.

While it focuses on the Atlanta area, GBUF is a statewide organization with charitable affiliates in Athens, Augusta and Columbus. In addition, it does not work with exclusively African American causes.

“We represent all minority organizations—a couple of Hispanic organizations, for instance,” said James Allen, operations manager. “We work primarily with [African Ameri-can] organizations, but there are no restrictions.”

Georgia Shares includes 31 member agencies that are uniformly dedicated to social and economic justice. Their services include several AIDS charities, women’s programs and the arts. Last year, Georgia Shares raised more than $150,000.

Georgia Shares was created in 1992 through the efforts of—among others—the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

It started slowly, working primarily with public organizations, but has recently expanded its relationships to include private entities such as Emory.

“Teaming with Emory is a wonderful opportunity because it says to the community that Georgia Shares is a credible and viable nonprofit organization,” said Georgia Shares Director Sherry Sutton, a former DeKalb County commissioner who earned a political science degree from Emory in 1981.
Because she is an alumna, Sutton has kept an eye on Emory’s progress and sees the changes the University’s expanded workplace giving program can instigate.

“Taking this bold step says to the community that Emory is serious about reflecting the diversity of its workforce,” Sutton said.


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