ABFE Names Mark Lewis the 2024 James A. Joseph Lecturer Award Recipient

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

ABFE, A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities proudly announces Mark S. Lewis, President and CEO of Poise Foundation, as the distinguished recipient of the 2024 James A. Joseph Lecturer Award.

The James A. Joseph Lecture was established in 1991 in honor of ABFE’s co-founder and distinguished philanthropic leader, Ambassador James A. Joseph. Each year, this award recognizes an outstanding individual whose visionary leadership and stewardship of progressive philanthropic ideals advance ABFE’s mission. The Lecture is considered ABFE’s most prestigious leadership award and embodies the organization's enduring dedication to fostering dialogue and innovation in addressing the pressing needs of Black communities through philanthropy.

Mark Lewis, a native of Pittsburgh, has dedicated his career to driving impactful change in his community. With over two decades of experience, Lewis has demonstrated exemplary leadership in fostering philanthropic initiatives that address the concerns of Black communities.

In response to receiving the award, Mark Lewis shared, "I am truly honored and humbled to receive this award that honors the passion and dedication that Ambassador Joseph demonstrated to the field of philanthropy, not just for Black people but truly for the field. This award is also a testament to the vision and perseverance of Bernard Jones, POISE Foundation founder and my mentor along with the Board and staff who have made our work and accomplishments possible."

Lewis joined Poise Foundation in 2002 as its second President, bringing with him a wealth of expertise gained from his years at Price Waterhouse and Ernst & Young LLP, where he provided auditing and consulting services. His commitment to service extends beyond his role at Poise Foundation; Lewis serves on several boards, including Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh, Kappa Scholarship Endowment Fund, and Support America’s Teachers, among others.

An active member of Deliverance Baptist Church, Lewis serves as an Elder and Trustee, embodying his dedication to both philanthropy and community engagement. He is also the co-founder of the African American Funders Group and the Sankofa Fund of Southwest PA, underscoring his commitment to collaborative and inclusive philanthropy.

"The selection of Mark Lewis as the recipient of the James A. Joseph Lecturer is a testament to his unwavering dedication to advancing philanthropic ideals that uplift Black communities," said Susan Taylor Batten, ABFE President and CEO. “From his transformative work in Pittsburgh to his national impact through initiatives and board service, Mark exemplifies visionary leadership and embodies the spirit of Ambassador Joseph's legacy. Like Ambassador Joseph, Mark is an esteemed leader poised with vision, passion, and power for our sector and our people.”

Lewis’ lecture will be presented, and he will be recognized at the 33rd Annual James A. Joseph Lecture and Awards ceremony on Friday, April 26th, 2024, in St. Louis during ABFE’s Harambee Conference - the largest gathering of Black professionals in organized philanthropy. In-person tickets for Harambee are sold out but you can still secure a virtual ticket by registering for Harambee at: https://whova.com/portal/registration/hact_202404/

For more information about all the James A. Joseph Lecture and Award winners, please visit: https://abfe.org/harambee-2024-annual-conference/james-a-joseph-lecture-...

About ABFE:

ABFE is a membership-based philanthropic organization that advocates for responsive and transformative investments in Black communities. Partnering with foundations, nonprofits, and individuals, ABFE provides its members with professional development and technical assistance resources that further the philanthropic sector’s connection and responsiveness to issues of equity, diversity and inclusion. Established in 1971 as the Association of Black Foundation Executives, the organization was credited with many of philanthropy’s early gains in diversity. It has since evolved into an influential network. To learn more visit ABFE.org.

Media Contact: Grace Oshin, Director of Storytelling at ABFE: Goshin@abfe.org

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