BRIC Builder Spotlight: Tina Walls
Updated: Feb 27
We are truly grateful for all our supporters, who we affectionately call our BRIC Builders. It is not just corporations but individuals like Tina Walls who believe in the work of BRIC and have been laying community bricks throughout her life. Tina is a well-known arts and culture philanthropist, whose legacy is breaking down barriers, widening doors of equal opportunity and developing corporate programs that empower African Americans and individuals of color. It's a legacy she continues to build upon today, and was one of the first individual supporters of BRIC. We had the pleasure to sit down with Tina recently and talk about her passion for philanthropy, why she thinks it's important and where she hopes the sector goes in the future.
Q: Please share about your path to philanthropy. What are your family giving traditions? Such a big question…My family has given of themselves personally, as well as helping others throughout my life. They inspired me to think about what I am uniquely capable of doing to support causes, organizations and people. I would like to think that during my professional life, I helped others who looked like me connect with my employer's resources to help improve the opportunities for members of my community, such as students and families and the organizations that served and represented them. Once I retired, I decided to focus on sharing the history, arts, and culture of the U.S. African diaspora through board service, strategic thinking and planning, individual and organizational connections from within my community and from within the broader community that can help support these initiatives, and financial contributions. Q: There have been many inequities that have been exposed during the pandemic. How have you seen both the philanthropic and nonprofit sector change or not change? Smart organizations are assessing future demographics and adjusting representation on their boards and staff, expanding donors, rethinking mission-driven programming, and building a pipeline to better connect with their community. Q: You were the first donor to give to the BRIC Fund. Why do you feel BRIC is important to Colorado’s Black communities? BRIC is a big idea with great promise, and it requires all of us to mean what we say: the Black community matters. We must act by contributing what we can and push our giving bandwidth whether we are a corporation, foundation, government or an individual. Q: You are known for your love for the arts. Please share the role of the Black narrative/history and the Arts in the future of Black Communities/ Black progress. I believe we need to know our history, share it, and support it! We are an amazing people, but I'm not sure we always share our stories and creativity and celebrate it. Q: Looking at the sector's landscape, what do you dare to hope is different in 3-5 years? I'm looking for progress, change and growth in programming. That it's a sector that is welcoming of everyone and creates a pipeline for generations to come. Q: What has been the most valuable piece of advice you've received? Do not be afraid to ask questions and keep asking. Commit to being a lifelong learner. If a door opens, go through it, and see what is on the other side. Nothing is forever, so live each moment as if it was your last. Q: Is there anything you'd like to share that we didn't ask? It is important that we gather with each other, teach each other and then teach the larger community. Volunteer with others to improve our community. Serve on boards and in leadership positions. Position yourself to participate in decision-making conversations and share your unique skills and perspectives.