Philanthropic Friday – Philanthropic Moms Honor Roll
Kimberly Seals Allers is truly one of a kind! There are few people with the level of infectious enthusiasm, passion and legitimate care for the world that Kimberly emanates on a daily basis. Above all, she is a remarkable friend, not just to those with whom she is close, like me (lucky me!!) but to anyone, anywhere who needs her. Kimberly brings her journalistic savvy and smarts to her philanthropy (and all she does, really) on a regular basis. She questions, she asks, she explores. Kimberly remains dedicated to finding the answers to making the world a better place. It is for these and so many other reasons that we focus on Kimberly this Philanthropic Friday.
Kimberly Seals Allers
What makes you a Philanthropic Mom?
Funny, I have never thought of myself as philanthropic. I am simply a part of and connected to my community, and when you are part of a community, you give to the community. And the way that I give is my using my voice to speak out against inequities.
What is an early or stand-out memory of community service, philanthropic commitment or another way in which you felt strongly connected to an issue in the bigger world?
My first stand out moment of community service was probably when I was an undergraduate at NYU and I became involved with the movement to advocate for an established Africana Studies Department, which did not exist at NYU at the time. It was the first time, I had been intimately involved with a community effort to create something so large and meaningful that would have a lasting legacy. And it was first discovery that I could use my writing talents in service to causes that I believed in.
Who was your biggest philanthropic influence?
My parents definitely raised me to give back–not necessarily in a monetary way–but in giving of myself, whether it is my time, my commitment to my education, my commitment to being financially solid, to be an inspiration and mentor to others–these were all ways I could give back and strengthen my community. I took my early inspirations from women like Sojourner Truth, and of course, Marian Wright Edelman who said, ” Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time.” That always resonated with me.
What about being a Philanthropic Mom makes you most proud?
It makes me very proud that my children see me using my talents to empower others and they see everyday that that life is possible for them. I am proud of myself for not just doing something with my life but BEING somebody with my life, and that I am blessed to be a voice for those that are often not being heard.
What is the legacy of change you want to leave behind?
It sounds hokey, but be the change you want to see in the world. And then go big or go home.
What would your kids say about all of this?
Lol. My kids usually say, Mooommmm, are you talking about breastfeeding again???? and then just want us all to go bike riding.