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Black Philanthropy Month Conference to Feature Caribbean Session on Decolonizing the Region & Reparative Philanthropy

St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands – Black Philanthropy Month is pleased to invite community stakeholders to register for its 2022 Annual Summit: “Fierce Urgency of Now: From Dream to Action,” a global, virtual (with hybrid options) convening with six distinct events over six dates in August. Each session in the Summit is led by prominent funders and thought leaders from distinct regions of the Black Diaspora. Keynotes and respondent panels spotlight issues and strategies that are working to promote funding equity for Afro-descendant people worldwide. Each day of the Summit is designed to cultivate community and identify actionable principles for equitable, impactful funding of Black communities ravaged by racism, Covid, and recession. The Global Kick-Off for the conference began August 3rd, with sessions scheduled on the 4th, 9th, 10th, 17th, and 31st.  Online registration is available at BPM 2022 US Global Summit Kick Off – Aug 03 | Hopin.

On August 17, 2022, from 1:00 – 2:30PM AST, St. Croix Foundation and the Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico will lead the Caribbean Session of the Black Philanthropy Month Conference in a progressive (virtual) panel discussion entitled: “Funding for Equity: Decolonization and Reparative Justice Investments in the Caribbean.” Moderated by Dr. Marissel Hernández Romero, Director of Racial Building Equity Institute of the Americas at Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico, panelists will include Susan Taylor Batten, President of the Association of Black Foundation Executives, Olga Chapman Rivera, Founder and Chief Go-Getter at BRAAVE, and Deanna James, President of St. Croix Foundation. Featured Keynote Speaker Dana Francois of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will offer insight on some of the more current regional conversations, around decolonization and reparations, as well as the role of philanthropy around reparative justice funding throughout the Diaspora (USA, the Caribbean and Africa).

Black Philanthropy Month, now in its 11th year, is today a program of The Women Invested to Save Earth Fund, which culminates in a multinational summit every August in a global celebration and concerted campaign to elevate African-descent giving and funding equity. Incubated in 2001 by its Founder Dr. Jackie Bouvier Copeland, with the support of Reunity, formerly the Pan-African Women’s Philanthropy Network, BPM launched in 2011 with its first official global summit to commemorate the United Nations Year and Decade of People of African Descent. Today, Black Philanthropy Month has 9 million people engaged across 60 countries, making it the “world’s only global Diasporan community coalition and movement to celebrate and empower Black funding in all its forms…”

St. Croix Foundation and Fundacion Communitaria De Puerto Rico would like to invite nonprofits, policymakers, and global funders, to register today at BPM 2022 The Caribbean – Aug 17 | Hopin. Appreciation is extended to all panelists and the organizers and sponsors of Black Philanthropy Month. For more information on all sessions, please visit BPM 2022 US Global Summit Kick Off – Aug 03 | Hopin and for details on the Caribbean Session, phone St. Croix Foundation at 340.773.9898 directly.


Established in 1990, the Foundation has served as a conduit for over 42 million dollars in funding for community-based projects throughout the Virgin Islands. With an incomparable track record of successful community development initiatives and national recognition for its work in education reform and small business development, the Foundation has also received international acknowledgment for its community revitalization initiatives and, today, continues directing its focus on holistic community building and development, policy research and data collection, and the broad-based support of nonprofits, including fiscal sponsorship, grantmaking, and the Nonprofit Consortium.


Since 1984, the FUNDACION COMMUNITARIA DE PUERTO RICO (FCPR) has allowed donors to contribute to the development of Puerto Rican communities. FCPR plays multiple roles such as grant-maker; grant-seeker, program administrator; philanthropic leader, community convener, fund manager and custodian of the community endowment. Since Hurricane María, its strategic plan promotes and strengthens equitable access to potable water, renewable energy, social housing, community economic development, and education, among other areas of interest.

St. Croix Foundation and the Patrick and Amelia Williams Opportunity Fund Award $15,000 in Scholarships

ST. CROIX, U.S.V.I., July 14, 2022. St. Croix Foundation is pleased to announce that $15,000 in scholarships has been awarded to three St. Croix youth on Thursday, July 14th, at a virtual presentation at St. Croix Foundation (SCF) headquartered in Sunday Market Square. Scholarships were made possible through the fifth annual cycle for the Patrick and Amelia Williams Opportunity Fund and SCF’s Foundation Scholars Fund.

Established in 2018, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Williams Opportunity Fund evolves each year to fill gaps in the support system for young people who have and continue to navigate rapidly changing and challenging academic environments. In 2022, and in close collaboration with Junior Gaspard, founder of the Williams Opportunity Fund, SCF assessed through student data, surveys, and interviews of past candidates that support for awardees while they progress through their academic careers is critical as federal aid decreases and coursework intensifies.

Given the data, the spirit of The Fund, and in acknowledgment of the unique challenges the 2021 Cohort has and continues to overcome in pursuit of secondary studies, SCF’s Grants Review Committee awarded three (3) scholarships of $5,000 each to the following recipients of the Fund’s 2021 scholarship cycle, now sophomores at their respective places of study:

  • Abigail Valery, Temple University, Major: Music Education
  • Caliyah Helliger, Howard University, Major: Biology
  • Sanaa Burke, University of Delaware, Major: Climatology/Meteorology

2022 recipients were required to demonstrate progress by submitting a formal application that included transcripts, letters of reference, and a four-minute video presentation in which candidates were asked to speak to the reality of their challenges during their first year at university. Carefully reviewed by SCF’s Grants Committee, applicants spoke about overcoming the very real obstacles of grappling with severe winter weather and “culture shock” while maintaining a rigorous course load in a new city– all amid continued changing conditions around COVID-19. Despite these many challenges, applicants demonstrated their ability to assess, to reflect deeply, and to shift when necessary to achieve their goals.

Fund Donor, Junior Gaspard (a St. Croix native and graduate of Central High School and John H. Woodson Junior High School) stated that “The aim of establishing this Fund was to honor my grandparents, Patrick and Amelia Williams, by helping our young people to achieve long-lasting, life-changing goals.” Gaspard, who presents awards annually to scholarship recipients, continued that, “Beginning the journey towards any goal is hard, but continuing along the journey and completing it requires tenacity and commitment. The level of perseverance and adaptability that our awardees showed in adjusting to new environments while continuing to succeed academically is inspirational. We are thrilled to continue to support them as they move into the next year of their collegiate career.”

To date, the Patrick and Amelia Williams Opportunity Fund has awarded a total of $59,000 in scholarships to 11 students who have had to overcome unprecedented difficulties throughout their high school tenure and early university education. 2022 scholarship recipient Abigail Valery, who is studying classical flute at Temple University expressed her appreciation, stating that “I would like to thank St. Croix Foundation and the Gaspard family for their support and belief in me. There are not many scholarships available for secondary studies in the arts, and this helps to lift my family’s burden. But perhaps most importantly, having this come from my own community, my own people, it empowers me to continue. Thank you.”

St. Croix Foundation extends its deepest appreciation to the Gaspard family for their partnership and philanthropic spirit as well as the Foundation’s Grants Review Committee for its engagement. The Patrick and Amelia Williams Opportunity Fund welcomes donations to allow for additional students to be provided the chance to pursue their education.

For more information about the Williams Opportunity Fund and to find out how you can support this special scholarship opportunity and those like it for our young people, please contact St. Croix Foundation at 340-773-9898 or visit our website at to learn more.

St. Croix Foundation Partners to Launch ‘Farm Tienda’

The St. Croix Foundation and the Coca Cola Company launched Farm-Tienda in partnership with local farmers on Friday at the Ann Abramson Pier in Frederiksted.

The project supports the agriculture sector on St. Croix by granting eligible farmers a durable and moveable “farm stand” for the expansion of their local business.

Read more

St. Croix Foundation Hosts a Week of Community-Building

The St. Croix Foundation is hosting a week of activities geared toward empowering organizations within the nonprofit sector and for the community at large to become change agents.

On Monday and Tuesday, the foundation will be joined by Tuesday Ryan-Hart, a systems change strategist who has worked with organizations and stakeholders engaged in community building. The Foundation enlisted Ryan-Hart, who will be introducing the community to a new concept of community engagement entitled “The Art of Hosting,” to help build capacity in the community through conversations and training around high-impact collaborations and self-empowerment.

The public is invited to RSVP at for the keynote address, “Re-Inventing Our Collaborations,” which will take place Monday at the Bennie and Martha Benjamin Conference Center at the Virgin Islands Cardiac Center at 5:30 p.m.

On Thursday and Friday, the foundation will host Edward Jones of the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) and the Black Social Change Funders Network (BSCFN). BSCFN is a network of funders committed to creating thriving black communities by strengthening the infrastructure for black-led and social change. Its purpose is “to build the institutional and political power of the black community to make black lives matter and for the black community to thrive.”

Jones, ABFE’s vice president of Programs, noted that “ABFE’s goal is to increase philanthropic engagement in St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas and Puerto Rico. And through BSCFN’s work around black-led and black-serving social change, ABFE is nurturing a shift toward greater social equity for black and brown communities.”

According to St. Croix Foundation Executive Director Deanna James, “Over the course of the past year, the foundation has been sponsoring convenings around the issues of civic leadership, collaboration and community vision building. Ms. Ryan-Hart and Mr. Jones represent the deepening of our commitment to sustained capacity building in our civic sector.”

See original post from Virgin Islands Daily News here.

Hurricane Rebuilding through Philanthropy & Community

Over the course of  several weeks, the St. Croix Foundation published a series on Philanthropy & Community. The purpose of the series was to urge our community to consider our collective future as the upcoming election draws near and we think about recovery. We explored some principles we believe are key drivers for healthy communities- Equity, Culture, Collaboration, Empowerment and Change. The publications can be viewed here.

Helping Caribbean Islands Recover from a Devastating Hurricane Season

As anyone who lives in the Southeast knows, hurricanes can cause massive devastation and disruption. Streets and homes flood, power disappears, cellular networks go down and basic necessities are suddenly in short supply.

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma represented a 1-2 punch, hitting communities along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. In their wake, many foundations stepped up, creating or contributing to funds to fuel relief efforts that will last long after these storms fade from the headlines.

Unfortunately, as we’ve all seen in the past week, this hurricane season’s impact has spread beyond the Southeast. Many island nations and U.S. territories in the Caribbean, which were already hit hard by Harvey and Irma, were also dealt another blow by Hurricane Maria. Some places, like Barbuda, were rendered nearly uninhabitable. In other places, particularly Puerto Rico, residents are facing the possibility of weeks or even months without electricity.

Click here to read the full article.



ABFE Stands with The St. Croix Foundation for Community Development and Equitable Relief in The U.S. Virgin Islands and Broader Caribbean

Dear ABFE Members, Friends and Supporters,
ABFE, along with the rest of the world, is devastated by the impact of hurricanes Irma and Maria on the U.S. Caribbean and broader region. The catastrophic force of these storms resulted in the loss of lives, homes and much more. In times like this, it takes the power of the Diaspora to help our families and friends in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Caribbean to pull through.
What is also critical at this moment is to channel resources to credible, trusted organizations that will ensure that all people in the region get the assistance they need. While it is not appropriate to assume that relief efforts can course-correct social inequities, far too often disasters widen pre-existing gaps in health and well-being. Now more than ever, it is important to put relief efforts into the hands of community organizations and neighborhood leaders who understand the lives of victims and will continue to support these individuals and families well after the crisis ends.
To this end, ABFE supports the St. Croix Foundation for Community Development and the recent launch of its Caribbean Assistance and Relief Effort (CARE) Fund. They urgently need the support of U.S.-based philanthropy.
In the short term, the CARE Fund will provide direct support to frontline relief efforts in the USVI and will coordinate with those on the mainland. In the long term, the Foundation, through the CARE Fund, will do what it does best: support holistic community development.
As an operating foundation with 27 years of proven experience in community and economic development, the Foundation will support rebuilding strategies grounded in innovation and sustainability. The Foundation’s long-term hurricane relief efforts will facilitate comprehensive plans to minimize loss of life, mitigate infrastructure damage, improve structural performance of homes and facilitate a more rapid recovery in the aftermath of future storms.
Concurrently, the Foundation is also nurturing broader and stronger regional collaborations and partnerships with affected Caribbean island communities. By doing so, the Foundation will deepen its capacity to support impacted communities for now and beyond. Please consider making a gift today at

Press Release Offices Open Post Maria, Establishes CARE Fund


Contact: Deanna James, Executive Director





St. Croix, U.S.V.I. — St. Croix Foundation for Community Development announces to the community at-large as well as to their Fiduciary Clients that the Foundation is open for business and fully-operational with electricity, phones, and internet connectivity. Sponsored Projects should feel free to contact the Foundation by phone or internet. The Foundation’s modified office hours are from 9:00am until 4:30pm.

In response to the catastrophic impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on the USVI and sister islands in the Caribbean, the St. Croix Foundation stands firm in its support of local and regional relief and recovery efforts and aims to work in partnership with organizations that are undertaking efforts to restore communities and families.

In support of local and regional relief and recovery efforts, the St. Croix Foundation has launched the CARE (Caribbean Assistance and Relief Effort) Fund. This fundraising effort is already providing direct support for front-line relief, rescue and recovery efforts undertaken by entities in the USVI and Caribbean Basin. The Foundation is currently collaborating with on-the-ground organizations that are delivering much needed services and goods, supplies, and equipment for immediate relief throughout the USVI, and this fund will support that effort for the immediate and long-term. Interested parties can visit the Foundation at to contribute gifts to the Fund.

To aid in immediate recovery and provide an equitable response for the future, the Foundation’s current efforts include:

  • Coordinating and convening diverse community partners, national philanthropic networks, fellow nonprofits and volunteers to foster collaboration and maximize impact of relief efforts.
  • Launching its Survey on the Status of Households Impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. This survey asks St. Croix residents about the damages to their homes, the ages and unmet needs of individuals living in their home, the impact to their employment and more. Survey results will help connect organizations with individuals who have critical needs as well as to more broadly assess and inform the community-wide dialogue about next steps in the recovery process.
  • Sponsoring the shipment of critical relief supplies like water, hygiene products, baby supplies and more.
  • Sponsoring the cost of security for keeping relief supplies safe.
  • Supporting distribution of relief supplies including a neighborhood distribution effort this past weekend in Williams Delight, an area hit hard by Hurricane Maria
  • Conducting a Nonprofit Damage and Needs Assessment Survey currently being completed by local nonprofit partners to help assess the impact of the storm on St. Croix’s civic sector and what resources are necessary to get these organizations fully operational.
  • Providing temporary office space for a growing number of nonprofit organizations displaced by the storm including the Boys and Girls Club and the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council.

As an operating foundation, St. Croix Foundation’s efforts are ultimately aimed at supporting disaster recovery and building resiliency for the long-term. The Foundation is focused on leveraging its 27 years of experience in holistic community development as they stand in solidarity and collaboration with community partners who are working hard to bring relief and ensure equity for those most severely impacted by recent storms.

As the Virgin Islands Community embarks on the long, steady journey toward recovery, the Foundation wishes our community a focused and forward-thinking recovery. According to St. Croix Foundation’s Executive Director, Deanna James, “St. Croix Foundation does not just FUND the work, it IS the work. We have our sleeves rolled up and are hard at work supporting a progressive and prosperous future for the people of St. Croix and the entire Virgin Islands.”

For more information on the St. Croix Foundation and to learn more about the comprehensive recovery work being spearheaded by the Foundation, visit the St. Croix Foundation’s website at or contact the St. Croix Foundation directly at 340-773-9898.