Elevating the Voices of Those Making a Difference


The Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County is proud to elevate the voices and giving of our members, nonprofit partners, and friends throughout the year. I have invited my friend and colleague Malynda Madzel to guest write my column this month and highlight the voices of those making a difference in our community. – Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz

By: Malynda Madzel, Chair, WGC’s “Our Giving, Our Stories” Committee

Last year the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County highlighted 31 women each day in August in celebration and support of Black Philanthropy Month. As a former WGC Advisory Board member and long-time supporter, I was excited to lead this effort and elevate the voices of women of color in our community who give back in so many ways. And now, I am honored to continue to lead the WGC’s effort to develop ways to do this year-round.

One way we aim to inspire philanthropic leadership and increase giving is by amplifying the voices of those making a difference in our community, including our youth.

In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and in recognition of the work of this network of community activists is doing in support of racial and social justice, I recently asked the youth leaders of HoCo for Justice a few questions – here’s what they had to say:

–  What moves you to give your time, talent and financial resources? “We are a network of community organizers, consisting of high school and college students, who comprise a multicultural youth collective. We are moved by our dual focus on social justice and philanthropic community outreach in Howard County. We believe in “leading with impact” and have organized projects that include a “Back to School” Drive and helping organizations like Columbia Community Care.”

–  When did you start giving to issues that are important to you? “We started as part of a larger group that coalesced around protesting the tragic and consecutive murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Our protest, on June 2, 2020, was the largest gathering in Howard County history. It was well-organized and attracted both local and national attention for its obvious diversity and inclusion of all ages and ethnicities.”

–  What advice do you have for those interested in giving back? “Our primary objective is to dismantle white supremacy and its resulting oppressive systems through coadaptation, education, and legislation. Our goals include: empowering marginalized communities, reallocating resources for equity programs, ending the school to prison pipeline and changing racist narratives that continue to criminalize Blackness.”

I am proud of the youth who are leading HoCo for Justice. Elevating the important stories of how our youth are giving and volunteering is critical as we work to engage others in collectively addressing issues in our community, and our country. I thank all those making a difference in Howard County – for your voices, your stories, and all that you do to make our community better.

Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz is the Executive Director of the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County. She can be reached at: buffybschwartz@wgchowardcounty.org and www.wgchowardcounty.org

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.” —Martin Luther King, Jr., Stride Toward Freedom, 1958

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