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IMPRESSIONS Documenting the Impact of Our Philanthropic Footprint

Winter 2014

New Board Focused on Fundraising

Trustees Committed to Providing More Grants and Scholarships The beginning of 2014 not only marked the beginning of a new year, but it also ushered in a new board of trustees and new officers for the Minerva Education and Development Foundation (MEDF). Newly elected members were recently sworn in, and all trustees renewed their commitment to ensuring the foundation’s continued success. “The board exceeded the fundraising goal we set for ourselves last year,” said Marion E. Binion, president. “The Fund Development Committee has issued another challenge, and we are confident we will meet this year’s goal.” Because of last year’s accomplishment, the foundation, an all-volunteer organization, awarded nearly $25,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations making a positive impact in metropolitan Detroit and scholarships to college students determined to use their degrees to make a difference. This year, the board wants to give even more.

“We receive many outstanding proposals from nonprofits doing great work in Detroit and the surrounding community,” said Binion. “By focusing on our fundraising, we hope to surpass previous efforts so that we can provide funding to more organizations and ensure that women, youth, seniors, and families get the assistance and support they need.” In addition to its annual Century and Millennium Club campaign, MEDF is sponsoring the Take 4 Mega Raffle with support from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. - Detroit Alumnae Chapter. Proceeds from ticket sales will help fund the foundation’s grant-making efforts and administrative and operational expenses. Tickets for the raffle are $5 and will be available until the end of May. Supporters can win several cash prizes ranging from $100 to $2,000. The drawing is Saturday, June 7. For more information, visit the MEDF website or talk to a trustee.

Passing on our passion MEDF is a 501(c)(3) Michigan nonprofit corporation. Established by the Detroit for philanthropy since Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., its mission is to transform


lives and communities by supporting initiatives in metropolitan Detroit that promote education and economic development. Since its inception, the foundation has awarded more than $400,000 in scholarships and grants.

Scholarships Ease Students‘ Burdens, Inspire Them to Serve MEDF recently presented nearly $11,000 in scholarship awards to 12 students attending colleges and universities in Michigan. Students were honored for their commitment to academic excellence and to community service. The foundation has nine scholarship funds, established and supported by generous donors. Book, merit, and need-based scholarships are available to students who represent a variety of categories, including single mothers, educational administration or leadership students, and individuals who have overcome obstacles. Latasha Thompson, recipient of the Dr. Bernice Morton Scholarship, which is designated for black students in Wayne State University’s (WSU) College of Nursing, said the award was a blessing. “It is helping me get through this last semester without worrying about how I am going to pay my tuition,” she said. “And, it put me in a position where I can graduate.” Thompson, who wants to be a labor and delivery nurse, said earning her degree will help her make a difference in the community. “I want to work in an underserved area with high rates of premature birth or low weight babies and educate women about risk factors and how they can prevent this from happening.” She was inspired by Morton, whom she met at the awards ceremony. Morton is a founding member of MEDF, WSU alumna, and associate professor emeritus of the WSU College of Nursing, where she served as the first affirmative action officer and the first black department chair. “It was an honor to meet and talk to her [Morton] and something I will never forget. She told me to keep moving forward and not to stop.” Tia Robertson, a student studying biological science at WSU, said the Dr. Bernadine Denning Scholarship--a renewable, four-year award for black females who maintain a 3.0 grade point average and demonstrate financial need—alleviated some of her financial worries. “Being a returning student is challenging,” she said. “The scholarship allowed me to take an extra course. It also helped me take care of other things I needed to do this semester.“ Robertson, who was recently accepted into the Honors College, is interested in helping conduct diabetes research; both of her parents and a younger cousin have the disease. “I have seen some of the lasting effects it has had on my parents’ health and how it affects youth. I want

Top Photo: WCCCD Scholarship recipient J. Gabriel Ware (2nd from right) is congratulated by MEDF Grants Committee Chair Margaret Tucker (l), MEDF President Marion Binion (r), and his girlfriend, Kendra Flournoy (2nd from left). Bottom Photo: Dr. Bernice Morton (l) shares a moment with Latasha Thompson (r).

to assist with raising awareness and finding a cure.” J. Gabriel Ware, a journalism major with a 4.0 at Wayne County Community College, is thankful for the foundation’s support. “I am grateful that MEDF is helping students in financial need further their education,” he said. “The scholarship helped me pay for my books, get back and forth to school—I catch the bus, and cover expenses I was worried I wouldn’t be able to cover. It put me at ease because I can focus on my studies and continue to keep my grades up instead of worrying about how I am going to pay for my education.” Ware, who hopes to one day write for print or broadcast media, said the scholarship has inspired him to pay it forward. “I have been given scholarships to further my education, and I would like to do the same thing to help younger people who need it. When someone gives to you, you can’t help but want to give back—to keep the cycle moving.”

2014 Scholarships Available

College students who live or attend school in Wayne, Oakland, or Macomb counties are encouraged to apply for one of MEDF’s scholarships. Applications are available on the MEDF website. The deadline is April 30.

Parenting with Love Gives Women Help and Hope Mothers get more than free diapers when they are referred to Helping Operations for People Empowerment (HOPE). They also learn how to become better, more loving parents. HOPE, a Detroit faith-based nonprofit, hosts a 12week, mandatory “Parenting with Love” class for women participating in its diaper program. Mothers between the ages of 14 and 30—and primarily from the Central/North End and Southwest Detroit communities— enjoy breakfast and explore topics such as discipline, communication, and Christian parenting principles. HOPE, originally a part of the prison ministry led by Rev. Samuel Spruill at Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit, became a 501(c)(3) organization three years ago. While the church is a partner, HOPE must raise funds to support its programs. Office manager Ramona Lawrence said MEDF’s support will allow HOPE to resume the parenting class this spring. “We didn’t have a class in the fall because of the lack of funding. The grant was right on time,” she said. “Lack of transportation cannot be used as an excuse for not attending class. Now we can pay for the gas to get women to and from class.” Lawrence said participants also receive help with searching for jobs, resume writing, and interviewing. The goal is to help women become self-sufficient.

MEDF trustees Marion Binion (l), Margaret Tucker (2nd from right), and Gwendolyn Prater (r) present grant award to HOPE’s office manager Ramona Lawrence (c) and “Parenting with Love” instructor Amanda Johnson (2nd from left).

“We want these mothers to become effective parents and viable adults and to live on their own,” she said. “One young woman benefitted from the diaper program and class. She got an interview and used our clothes closet. When she got that job, we cried happy tears together.” The Parenting with Love program is creating better parents and improving women’s lives. It also shows women the impact they can have on others’ lives. Lawrence said, “Three women said they learned so much that they volunteered for the rest of the year. They shared their experiences with the next group of mothers. That is a good testimony.”

Gloria Butler Miller Named Trustee of the Year MEDF Fund Development Committee Chair Gloria Butler Miller, who had a successful 36-year career in sales, knows how to build relationships and seal the deal. One of MEDF’s founding trustees, she is passionate about the foundation and creating a legacy of black philanthropy in Detroit. She also understands MEDF’s mission and money are tied together. "We deeply appreciate our donors and their contributions, which are essential to our mission,” she said. “No money, no mission." Butler Miller issued a challenge to the 26 trustees: get 10 people you know to join the Century Club. She sent trustees reminders and motivational messages by email. She and her committee created a toolkit that included sample letters, examples of what to say to prospects, and tips for maintaining donor relationships. “I had to lead by example,” she said. “I was the chief cheerleader for my fellow trustees, and I wanted all of us to meet and exceed our goals.” When the board reviewed its fundraising activity, trustees discovered they had surpassed their goal, doubling their efforts from the previous year. Butler Miller said she was filled with joy and pride.

MEDF President Marion Binion (l) presents the Trustee of the Year Award to Gloria Butler Miller (r).

“I knew the board could do it,” she said. “I gave them ideas, but the trustees did the hard work of convincing donors.” In recognition of her outstanding leadership, Butler Miller was named Trustee of the Year. “I was stunned to be given such a prestigious honor,” said Butler Miller. “I also felt appreciated. It is the best feeling in the world to know that your colleagues appreciate your efforts. I am grateful.”

Thank You to Our 2013 Donors! Millennium Club ($1,000+) Robin Cole Johnie M. Gilmore Alma Greer Sarah Moore

Century Club ($100-999)

Jeanette M. Abraham Floyd Allen Inez S. Allen Barbara A. Anderson Sheila L. Anthony Edna Arrington Alda Ashford Bank of America

Bernestine Bailey-Thornton

Felecia J. Baker Gloria A. Bennett Daisy Benton Lois E. Bingham Marion E. Binion* Delma L. Boyce LaShawn Boyce Ware Linda Bradfield* Patricia Brandenberg Izetta Bright* Carolyn Briscoe Vivian Brown

Kathryn Bryant Harrison

Kerry Buffington Dorothy Burrell Gloria Butler Miller* Georgia Cambell Marie Carithers Kemp Faire D. Carter Ora Carter Juanita C. Chambers Virginia Clay Frances Clemmons* Robin Cole Esther M. Coleman Barbara R. Coulter Larmender Davis Lyndon Davis Mildred Davis Paralee Day* Yolanda Day* Dedicated Dental Services, PC Fannie Dennis

Frances Dokes Norma Dotson Sales Betty Esters Laverne Ethridge Mary Farmer Jennifer R. Fuller Jessye Verona Franklin Christi Frazier Brenda Gardner Brenda C. Gatlin Julie A. Gibson Regina Gibson Elaine Gilbert Leslie L. Gillespie Marcia Goffney Judith Goodman Carol Goss Beverly A. Gray Margaret E. Hall Keyes Yvonne T. Hackett Earlene J. Hall Austerine Hambrick Jonnie Hamilton* Martha Hanna Karen Harrison Diann Hatcher Joyce Hayes Giles Vera Heidelberg Terrie Henderson Kristina Hendrix Rudolph Hendrix Margaret A. Higdon Jacqueline Hill* Stephanie Hobson

Sheila C. Johnson Tanisha Johnson Jadé Marie Jones Jewel Jones Laneice Jones Mattie Jones Johnson

Willie Howard Shirley A. Hughey Teola P. Hunter Deborah Hunter-Harvill Gloria Jackson* Judith Jackson Laronda D. Jackson Marcia A. Jackson Rose Jackson Angela James Clara M. Jenkins Marlo Jenkins Rencher Brigitte A. Johnson Cheryl Y. Johnson Johnnie Johnson Kalimah Johnson Kathryn Johnson* Nancy Johnson Mayes Sallie Johnson

Clarice L. Ogilvie Posey

Katrenia Hosea-Flanigan*

Charlene Jones Mitchell

Shirley Kaigler Rene A. Kelly Deborah Kent

Margaret Keyes Howard

Audrey E. Kidd Johnetta Lackey Saundra Lamb Lee Joy Lee M.L. Lockhart-Walls Shirley Ann Lusby Allison Martin JoAnna Masten Althea H. Masterson Linda McAllister Pamela McClain

Della McGraw Goodwin

Florene McMurtry Joann Miller Jenice Mitchell Ford Helen Monroe Sarah Moore Pamela Morgan Bernice Morton Mildred Morton Cross Veronia Murff Alicia M. Nails “New Horizon” Lambda Psi Chapter Pamela Osborne Malika Penn Shani Penn Granada L. Peterson Nicole Philando Mildred Pitts

Jacqueline Pitts-Washington

Jean S. Porter Gwendolyn Prater Joan Price Roshunda Price Reather Quinn Veronica Ray Lindsey Charlotte Rebelein Portia L. Roberson Claudia Roberts Frances Russell Lillie A. Saddler

Geraldine B. Sanders Cynthia Scott Camila E. Shamley Josephine Sims Kathleen E. Smith Tanya Smith Angelika Smith-Jones Cassandra Spratling Faye R. Tate Nutrena Tate Iris Taylor Denise Thames Jackson Michele Thomas Joni Thrower-Grundy Margaret Tucker Jana Tumpkin-McQueen

Phyllis S. Turner Lorraine Tyler Patricia Walker Tracy A. Walker Albert Ward Lizzie Washington Marsha Watkins Alethea Wells Ruthie E. Wiley Hendrean Williams Sharon Wilson Irma Wise

Memorial & Scholarship Fund Donors

Tyra Butler Doris Chavis Sylvia Fox Cecile Green Edythe Hayden Friley Ellis Hayes The Lackey Family Mary Lee Sylvia Maddox Denise Page Hood Betty Payne Michelle Puryear Patricia Taylor-Eubanks Anice Upshaw Elaine Williams Marian Williams-Chatman

* Also a memorial and/or scholarship fund donor

Join the 2014 Century Club The Century Club Campaign is an annual fundraising drive to solicit $100 donations to help fund grants to nonprofit organizations in metro Detroit that provide arts and culture, educational, and economic development initiatives as well as leadership programs for women and girls. Funds also support the foundation’s administrative and operational expenses.

When you become a member, you help MEDF ensure children, families, and seniors in our community have access to programs that promote personal and professional growth, independence, and positive self-expression. Contributions are tax-deductible and can be made until December 31, 2014. Donate online at, talk to a trustee, or call 313.438.MEDF (6333).

Board of Trustees Officers

Marion E. Binion, President Rene A. Kelly, Vice President—Programs Felecia J. Baker, Vice President—Operations Brigitte Johnson, Treasurer Christi Frazier, Assistant Treasurer Gwendolyn Prater, Financial Secretary Jacqueline Hill, Corresponding Secretary Alicia M. Nails, Recording Secretary Larmender Davis, Asst. Recording Secretary Lois Bingham, Immediate Past President


Inez Allen Gloria Butler Miller Faire D. Carter Robin Cole Terri Henderson Kristina Hendrix Katrenia L. Hosea-Flanigan Deborah Hunter-Harvill Marcia A. Jackson Laneice Jones Pamela McClain Jenice C. Mitchell Ford Patricia Taylor-Eubanks Paulette Thomas Margaret E. Tucker Patricia Walker Tracy A. Walker

Newsletter Contributors

Editor/Writer: Tracy A. Walker Copy Editors: Marion E. Binion Gloria Butler Miller Larmender Davis Katrenia L. Hosea-Flanigan Rene A. Kelly Photography: Deborah Kent

Public Relations Committee Tracy A. Walker, Chair Robin Cole, Co-Chair Larmender Davis Christi Frazier Katrenia L. Hosea-Flanigan Rene A. Kelly Alicia M. Nails

Minerva Education and Development Foundation P.O. Box 21655 Detroit, MI 48221 313.438.MEDF (6333) E-mail: Website:

MEDF Impressions  

Biannual publication of the Minerva Education and Development Foundation

MEDF Impressions  

Biannual publication of the Minerva Education and Development Foundation