In May 2018, a flock of BLK SHP artists and storytellers boarded one of Willie Nelson’s tour buses to visit 7 cities in 19 days. In each stop along the way, we will celebrated STEAM-based education (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math). We gathered each cities’ artists, creators, collaborators, and partner companies to meet with the artists, educators and innovators who are changing their communities. Local leaders, “shepherds” guided us in each town to lift the stories of BLK SHP around the country.
In 2012, the first "Operation" undertaken by the BLK SHP Foundation was to support a small group of innovators affiliated with the 92 Street Y in New York City as well as the UN Foundation to launch #GivingTuesday, the national day of social giving after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The Foundation lined up a range of key influencers and supporters from the Foundation ecosystem – from social media mavens, to philanthropy leaders, to officials at The White House. After that initial push, #GivingTuesday has educated millions of Americans about micro-donations, and has become a movement of its own, raising approximately $100 million this past year.
BLK SHP helped to conceptualize, launch, and grow Fuse, a non-partisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to empower local government with the innovative talent and approaches needed to respond to the nation’s most pressing social issues. Fuse recruits entrepreneurial professionals and provides intensive leadership development to prepare them for 12-month projects in local government working across various areas such as responding to education, healthcare, workforce, environmental and public safety challenges. By engaging a broad network of cross-sector partners, Fuse Corps ultimately works to catalyze cultural change in public institutions and to exemplify the potential of community-based problem solving. Fuse is currently in 15 U.S. cities, and projects growing to roughly 50 fellows within the next 3 years.
A group of about 20 BLK SHP convened in London for "Operation to Number 10 Downing Street," to meet with senior innovation advisors and leaders in the UK government to discuss new ways to drive cross-sector collaboration, innovations, and social entrepreneurship. BLK SHP ranging from business executives to artists to a professor of innovation from Northwestern – visited with senior advisors to the UK Cabinet and government. The Foundation shared leading trend information from America, and learned what programs were thriving in the United Kingdom, including visits to nonprofits in London that teach homeless people how to become chefs, as well as a nonprofit that helps alleviate housing shortages. The Foundation found ways to support the social missions of those non-profits, and shared information regarding organizations in America doing similar activities.