Kenny Ashe is a member of the CIN board of directors and is a philanthropist and social entrepreneur from Philadelphia. He is a graduate of Florida A&M University.
In October 2007, I attended my first Community Investment Network Conference in Raleigh/Durham. Initially, I was invited by the founder, Darryl Lester. Subsequently, during the convening I was embraced by the conference hosts, Darryl, Dionne Lester, Athan & Cori Lindsay and Linsey & Michelle Mills. Thus, to be in a space with other like-minded individuals who “got it” was extremely refreshing and inspiring. After the conference, I returned to Philadelphia energized and implemented some of the tools and principles that I gleaned from the conference and generously received from the conference hosts to impact the community.
In the summer of 2010, I was elected to the board of directors of CIN. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as a board member with business, civic, and philanthropic leaders from several geographic regions across the country. As our board chair, illuminated to me, the board has unintentionally become my unofficial “giving circle”. During my tenure on the board, collectively we have fulfilled our mandate to become relevant in the philanthropic sector.
This weekend during our 2013 CIN Conference: Beyond the Mountaintop, one of our keynote speakers, Clyde Anderson, author and CNN weekend contributing commentator, asked the conferees
Are you reminding yourself who you are?
Well, I am a philanthropist, because of the legacy that my parents imparted to me. Since my first CIN conference in 2007, I now enthusiastically embrace that “privilege” that they bestowed upon me at an early age and am no longer apologetic about that charge. Although, I have a rich heritage of collective giving that I received from my parents Bernard and Flossie Ashe, incidentally who both were born and raised in North Carolina, during the past several years CIN has taught me an abundance of strategic principles and best practices, relative to community philanthropy.
A common thread throughout this 2013 annual conference in Denver has been the refrain, “who are we”? Undoubtedly, we are philanthropists. We positively impact our communities. We are business and civic leaders. Philanthropy is not only what we do in CIN, but also, community philanthropy is who we are. We are a national network of healthy giving circles. Undeniably, we are philanthropists.