Women Thriving. Colorado Rising.

Sisterhood of Philanthropists Impacting Needs

Impacting Marginalized Women and Adolescent Girls

SPIN (Sisterhood of Philanthropists Impacting Needs) is a philanthropic giving circle of Black women in the Denver community who leverage their collective strengths in order to positively impact marginalized women and adolescent girls.

SPIN brings together women of varying perspectives, backgrounds, and unique skill-sets who are passionate about making a difference through charitable contributions, community service projects, and civic engagement activities. Members contribute at least $400 annually.

SPIN group photo

2020 proved to be historic and unprecedented for just about everyone. However, much of what transpired in America last year disproportionately and negatively impacted the Black community. In Denver, we experienced first-hand the physical and financial perils the pandemic had on our community. Simultaneously, we witnessed weeks of unrest, outrage, and protests in our city and around the world in light of The Black Lives Matter Movement. Tragedy and trauma seemed to compound and multiply mercilessly.

These events inspired SPIN and Collaborative Healing Initiatives within Communities (CHIC) to launch a COVID-19 Community Relief Fund. These two mission-driven organizations, both of whom primarily focus on the advancement and empowerment of African-American women, were able to rally the support of their networks and to raise significant dollars for individuals and businesses disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. In total, CHIC and SPIN collaboratively raised over $70,000. Partners included the Margulf Foundation, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, US Bank, Denver African-American Philanthropists, the Launch Network, and Park Hill Collective Impact.

“Just like many other organizations, we felt compelled to shift priorities as COVID-19 began to take its toll on the communities we serve,” said Sade Cooper, executive eirector of CHIC. “We are grateful for the opportunity to be a resource for those who need us most, not only now but well after this virus is behind us.” Tanaka Shipp, SPIN Co-Founder, added “SPIN’s primary goal has always been to facilitate philanthropy in communities of color. We raised the red flag and others stepped up in an incredible way, which is a true testament to what we can accomplish when we all work together!”

The successful COVID-19 collaboration motivated these two organizations to seek other opportunities to empower, uplift and provide lasting, impactful generational outcomes for Colorado’s Black population. In fact SPIN and CHIC are currently exploring a Free Lifetime Education Initiative for Black Coloradans. For more information about this endeavor, read this recent blog spotlight.

"SPIN has provided a space for African-American women to collectively engage in grassroots philanthropy intended to improve the lives of underrepresented women and girls of color. We are philanthropists and our legacies of giving have taken on new meaning within the meaningful structure of a giving circle."

- LaRae Scott-Jennings, SPIN Co-chair

Current SPIN Members (February 2021)

  • Aisha Rousseau, Ph.D., CRC, Director, Denver Division of Disability Rights
  • Catrina Mays, Principal Systems Engineer, Raytheon Technologies
  • Sade Cooper, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, CHIC
  • Dafina Tucker, Digital Events Manager, TIAA
  • Shayla Richard, Program Manager
  • April Denmon, Owner/Employing Broker of Denmon Realty
  • Nneka McPhee, Vice President of Development Services and Administration for America Associates, Ben-Gurion University
  • Tanaka Shipp, Director of Education, CHIC
  • Robyn Latson, Senior Support Technician, Denver Water
  • Ona Luistro, CCSD - 7th Grade Math Teacher, Founder of Impact Tutoring
  • Ciara Gardenhire, Flight Attendant, Delta Airlines
  • Odessia Knowles
  • Micheline Merriwether, Stockbroker/Institutional Trader
  • Shani Hilliard, Claims Adjuster, Statefarm
  • Amber Mitchell, Vice President of Artist Relations, Quality Control Music
  • Monica Badgette, Education and Training Liaison/Program Administrator, DEDO, Denver Workforce Services
  • Andrea Webb, Mortgage Loan Officer, Cross Country Mortgage
  • Trinity Bailey
  • Fathima Dickerson, Co-Owner, Welton Street Cafe

Follow SPIN on Facebook to see what they're up to or contact the co-chairs, Tanaka Shipp and Dafina Tucker, to learn more.

Ready to join? Make your donation today.

Donate to SPIN

2020 Grantees

Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado

The Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado 501(c)(3) non-profit is one of Colorado's most recognized and accomplished leadership organizations within the Denver metro area. ULF Colorado has a rich history of not only providing quality leadership training but also facilitating the advancement of our future business, political and community leaders.

Collaborative Healing Initiative within Communities (CHIC)

Collaborative Healing Initiative within Communities (CHIC) helps families break intergenerational cycles of poverty and violence. We strengthen families and communities by strengthening women and girls. We fill a critical gap in the landscape of institutions and service providers by offering culturally-relevant, whole-family, female-focused supports that directly intervene in the systems that most frequently fail communities: education, workforce, and criminal justice..

 2018 Grantees

Curls on the Block

Curls on the Block is an enrichment program for girls of all curls and colors to embrace, explore and empower their natural selves while working to increase engagement, investment, and commitment to careers in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). Curls on the Block uses a curriculum that has ten consecutive sessions where participants explore activities, careers and mentorship in STEAM. The enduring questions girls are challenged with every session is how they can address the needs of the curly hair community with STEAM.

Project VOYCE

Project VOYCE develops transformational leaders in underrepresented communities by training, employing, and organizing youth to address root causes of inequity. When young people in historically oppressed communities are looking for truth, power and collective liberation---they come to Project VOYCE. They create spaces with youth that promote critical thought learning and explorations of power, and social justice. They provide the language, knowledge and tools to ensure that the emerging majority are not afraid to confront, to listen, to see the world unveiled and reimagine new possibilities for the future. They have confidence our youth’s ability to think, to want, and to know and we help them build confidence and trust in themselves.

Sistahpreneurs

Sistahpreneurs is the Business Haven for the Black Female Entrepreneur. Their mission is to provide the Black female entrepreneur with a supportive sisterhood and roadmap to profitability. According to Forbes, black females are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. The number of black women-owned businesses has grown by a whopping 322 percent since 1997. Sistahpreneurs is here to support your startup and growth.

STAR Girlz Empowerment

STAR Girlz delivers essential lifesaving tools that will assist their STARZ in making healthier life choices during their transitional stage of development. They are dedicated to the positive development of female youth around the world and they are here to aid in the production of making their futures shine bright like a STAR. Their vision is to equip young ladies for society, future education endeavors and personal change, assisting them in identifying personal struggles and healthy ways to navigate through any objective and circumstance they face in life.

 2019 Grantees

Blackhawks Youth Organization

Blackhawks Youth Organization is dedicated to teaching advanced skills and promoting teamwork through its athletic program. Founded in 2000 we have served over 1000+ families in the Denver metro area in all areas of family services and resource.

Curls on the Block

Curls on the Block is an enrichment program for girls of all curls and colors to embrace, explore and empower their natural selves while working to increase engagement, investment, and commitment to careers in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). Curls on the Block uses a curriculum that has ten consecutive sessions where participants explore activities, careers and mentorship in STEAM. The enduring questions girls are challenged with every session is how they can address the needs of the curly hair community with STEAM.

The Community Investment Network

The Community Investment Network is a national network of giving circles that inspires, connects, and strengthens African Americans and communities of color to leverage their collective resources and create the change THEY wish to see.

Trailhead Institute 

Trailhead Institute is the new gathering place where ambitions and ideas, aspirations and “what ifs” of public health can take root and grow and even flourish.

 

Be on the lookout for applications for SPIN's next grant cycle. Sign up for WFCO's eNewsletter and follow SPIN on Facebook to be the first to know when applications open.

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