In honor of Black History Month, Women’s LifeStyle is proud to feature the women of The Tendaji Giving Circle.
Founded in 2018 by Sabrina Pritchett-Evans and Belinda Tate, the mission of Tendaji is to provide annual, unrestricted grants to support cultural, educational and human services in greater Kalamazoo to empower local African Americans. The organization is young, but it is making a tremendous impact in the community.
During their inaugural year, the 21 members of Tendaji presented over $20,000 to two local organizations. The first recipients were the young people of the Merze Tate Explorers, a local group that uses media arts to enhance career and college readiness for children in grades 4-12. Through partnerships with corporations and colleges such as KVCC and WMU, youth are exposed to careers and provided the tools for success. In addition to earning high school and college credits from as young as 14, students share what they learn through writing, photography and videography. Besides the very generous donation, the women of Tendaji provided the young people of the Merze Tate Explorers a demonstration of unity in giving among successful and intelligent African American women. The second recipient of 2018 was the Black Arts and Cultural Center, an essential part of the community. They help maintain and build a relationship and understanding of culture by introducing individuals to art.
In 2019, the group expanded to 26 women and the Tendaji giving circle donated over $27,000 (a 30% increase from the previous year) that was divided among three non-profit agencies. The beneficiaries were the Helen L. Fox Gospel Music Center (located in the Douglass Community Center), the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (the “Harlem Studios Black Refractions” exhibit) and Healthy House, a recovery resident home for women. When asked about the selections, CoFounder Sabrina Pritchett-Evans said, “We wanted to remove the barriers for children in underserved and underrepresented communities by being exposed to music. We also wanted to ensure maximum enjoyment of the visual arts so our funds will help pay for programs that explore themes in the major installation about black art (which arrived at the KIA in Fall 2019).”
The greater Kalamazoo area has been incredibly blessed by the leadership and philanthropy shown by the women of the Tendaji giving circle.
Heather Dombos is a Florida girl who brings a little sass & southern charm to everything she does. This wife, dog mom, and closet Trekkie loves reading, hiking, long days on the beach and exploring Michigan.