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Friday, December 3, 2021

Mays Family Institute launches new initiatives

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In an effort to continually encourage diversity in philanthropic careers, the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy at Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI announced two new initiatives.

The school named distinguished philanthropy scholar Una Osili, Ph.D., as dean’s fellow for the institute. In addition, a speakers series will bring national experts to Indianapolis to discuss philanthropy and nonprofit organizations for the 2018-2019 academic year. 

Osili, associate dean for research and international programs and professor of economics and philanthropic studies at IUPUI, will handle research studies on various aspects of diversity and philanthropy for optimal impact when educating future philanthropic leaders.

“Philanthropy is a vital aspect of diverse communities. The Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy emphasizes the role that diverse communities play in the fabric of philanthropy,” Osili said. “Our goals for the institute include highlighting and lifting up the generous giving that already takes place in communities of color, and encouraging more people of color and others from underrepresented communities to get involved in professional career opportunities in philanthropy in addition to their giving.”

An internationally recognized expert on philanthropy, Osili earned her bachelor of arts degree in economics at Harvard University, a master of arts and doctoral degrees in economics from Northwestern University. 

“The Mays Institute Speakers Series and Dr. Osili’s appointment will increase awareness and understanding of the robust philanthropy that is an integral part of all diverse communities,” founder of the institute Rose M. Mays, Ph.D., said. “Much of our family’s giving has focused on advocacy, especially advocacy for marginalized groups. The institute’s focus on diversity, equity and inclusion in the philanthropic sector aligns with those values and allows students, faculty and the community to experience an array of insights and perspectives on these issues.”

For decades the Mays family, owners of the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper, has been a pillar in the Indianapolis philanthropic community. The Mays Institute on Diverse Philanthropy recognizes the philanthropic service and engagement of William G. and Rose Mays and their family. It also recognizes their generosity, civic leadership and their tireless efforts to foster educational opportunities and diversity across multiple disciplines and campuses at IU.

“I am honored to serve in this important role,” Osili said. “The Mays family is an inspiration in our community. I am looking forward to helping grow and advance the work they have started.”

Inspiration for the institute came from Mays Chemical founder William G. Mays, who began his nearly 50-year career in Indianapolis, was a renowned leader in local, national and international business, civic and philanthropic sectors. Bill Mays earned his bachelor’s degree, M.B.A. and received an honorary doctor of science degree from IU. Rose Mays, who earned her master’s degree in pediatric nursing at IUPUI, is professor emerita at the IU School of Nursing at IUPUI and former associate dean for community and international affairs.

“The Mays Institute on Diverse Philanthropy was created in part to encourage students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to consider an education and a career in philanthropy,” said Amir Pasic, the dean of the school. “It helps equip people pursuing philanthropy as a profession to build relationships with colleagues, philanthropic organizations and donors, and to recognize and value their own special perspectives and those of others.”

To help more students see philanthropy as a viable career path, a fellowship and a scholarship also were established. The William G. Mays Fellowship and the Lacy M. and Patricia Johnson Family Scholarship will help support graduate and undergraduate students from marginalized communities who are interested in philanthropy.

“Bill was a tremendous business and philanthropic leader. He was a role model in our community and far beyond it, and he played an important role in encouraging others to be philanthropic as well,” said Lacy Johnson, an attorney, partner at Ice Miller and friend of the Mays family. Johnson helped establish the institute. “He would be honored to know that these conversations and other aspects of the institute will assist in advancing efforts to highlight, understand and increase philanthropic engagement in all communities.”

Contact reporter Dontre Graves at 317-762-7848.

Una Osili

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