On Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. in the Lownes Room of the John Hay Library, Sylvia Brown will give a talk entitled, “Grappling with Legacy.” The talk is free and open to the public. A light reception will follow as well as a book sale and signing.
Grappling with Legacy: Rhode Island’s Brown Family and the American Philanthropic Impulse
In 2016, Americans gave $41 billion to institutions of higher education.The concept of a university as an agent of social change has become an intrinsic part of our ethos. It started right here in the early 19th century when Nicholas Brown II poured money into Brown University to give young men the moral compass they needed to navigate the era’s stormy seas. Yet less than a century later, a speaker at the inaugural symposium of the University’s Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice declared, “There were no good Browns.” Sylvia Brown’s book, Grappling with Legacy: Rhode Island’s Brown Family and the American Philanthropic Impulse, was born of these two starkly opposed perspectives and tells the story of America’s evolving attitudes towards charitable giving.
The eldest of the 11th generation of the Browns of Rhode Island, Sylvia Brown was attracted to development economics from an early age. Following her BS and MA degrees at the University of Pennsylvania, she pursued a professional career in international development, from Wall Street to the United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees. For the past decade, she has worked with donors on their personal strategy and with non-profits looking to improve their sustainability and board governance practices. Her personal philanthropy focuses on both her family’s longstanding interest in history and heritage (including Brown University) and on the impact investment sector in Rhode Island, where she is a director of the Social Enterprise Greenhouse. In 2015, she launched Uplifting Journeys, an immersive donor education program to empower anyone, anywhere, to give more thoughtfully and strategically.
Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Lownes Room, Second Floor, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence