Did you know that there are multiple leadership societies that you can join within the United Way of Central Alabama based on your interests and level of giving? The J. Mason Davis Leadership Society (JMDLS), Young Philanthropists Society, and Women United are made up of members who gift $1,000 or more to the annual campaign and endowment, and the Tocqueville Society is made up of members contributing $10,000 or more. Each is brought together by its members’ communal interest in philanthropy, volunteerism, and advocacy, and one major benefit is networking events with fellow changemakers.
UWCA’s J. Mason Leadership Society is named after Mason Davis, one of Birmingham’s most respected attorneys and a defender of civil rights. He was also the first African American to serve as Chairman of the Board of UWCA. The society brings together African American change makers who advocate for diversity and opportunity. One such event that brought these spectacular individuals together for a networking opportunity was held on Wednesday, July 20, at Cahaba Brewing Company. Since the society was only founded in 2019, right before COVID-19 hit the world, many members were able to meet for the first time at this event.
Victoria White, Individual Giving Officer and the UWCA staff member that leads this affinity group, said this in its praise: “What I love about the J. Mason Davis Leadership Society is that opportunity to give members a voice within our communities. With the JMDLS, members can help inspire and motivate the next generation of Black leaders. People should join because they will form a lot of wonderful relationships with like-minded individuals while also making a true difference in our communities.”
With over 400 members, the JMDLS is making a big impact in Birmingham, having donated over $750,000 since the group’s inception. When asked why he decided to join, member Cedric Daniels, of the Alabama Power Company, described how his childhood home was destroyed by a tornado in 1968 in Mississippi, and how it was United Way and United Way-funded agencies that showed up and went to work to help families recover from the wreckage. After that, he said, “It was natural to give.”
To learn more about this influential and engaging community, as well as how you could become a part of it, visit J. Mason Davis Leadership Society – United Way of Central Alabama (uwca.org).