August is Black Philanthropy Month! We asked our donors how they came to be philanthropists.
Here’s what Joe Lee had to say:
How did you come to be charitable? Were there influences in your life that got you started?
My 30+ year career in public media has given me a unique perspective on community need and community service. Working at public radio stations, which are devoted to serving community, connected me to specific community needs. My experience has developed my devotion to help solve community issues. That naturally evolved from donating my time and attention to giving financially to the causes I care about.
What do you want Central New York to look like in the future? How can philanthropy be a part of that change?
I want Central New York to be a thriving community where every member of our society sees opportunity and is inspired to fulfill their potential without unfair disadvantages. Philanthropy can give focused attention to frontline organizations that work to help people realize their full potential.
What do you feel are the greatest needs in our community right now?
We need to put significant resources to work to address poverty and systemic racism if we are truly going to level the playing field for all.
Is there a quote that sums up or has shaped how you live your life?
“Everyone needs a chance to evolve.” Jay-Z
Joe Lee is the Director and General Manager of WAER-FM and a former board member of the Community Foundation.