Gabriel G. Rudney Memorial Award for Outstanding Dissertation
Monday, November 28, 2016
The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action
Gabriel G. Rudney Memorial Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Nonprofit and Voluntary Action Research
Tyrone M. Freeman
“Gospel of Giving: The Philanthropy of Madam C.J. Walker (1867-1919”
The 2016 Gabriel G. Rudney Memorial Award is presented to Dr Tyrone McKinley Freeman for his dissertation, “Gospel of Giving: The Philanthropy of Madam C.J. Walker (1867-1919).” The committee unanimously agreed that Dr Freeman’s dissertation made significant original contributions to the area of non-profit and voluntary studies by broadening and enriching our understanding of the concept of philanthropy.
Dr Freeman’s research synthesizes several areas of literature: philanthropic studies, American history, women’s studies, political history, and African American studies. He analyses primary and secondary texts to elucidate Madam Walker’s “Gospel of Giving” - her beliefs, skills, values and experiences that motivated how, to whom and why she gave. Madam Walker, as both entrepreneur and philanthropist, gave to the community of which she was part, while at the same time growing a successful business. She inspired and mobilized her colleagues to give, and as such was part of a network that brought about social change with their collective giving.
The committee was impressed by the significant contribution of this dissertation that enriches the concept of philanthropy, by exploring and expanding racialized and gendered models of giving. Beyond the particular case of Madam Walker, this dissertation contributes to our understanding of norms of giving by black women at the time. Their giving stands in contrast to philanthropy by wealthy white men and women, as it has been traditionally understood. Dr. Freeman posits a rich and nuanced position of black female giving in the first half of the 20th Century that is characterized by a belief that one should give whenever one can, to one’s own community, and empowering others as part of social change to overcome violence and oppression.
The selection committee consisted of Dr Sheila Cannon (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland), Dr Gemma Donnelly-Cox (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland), Dr Tobias Jung (University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK), and Dr Karin Kreutzer (European Business School, Weisbaden, Germany). The selection committee and the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action take great pleasure in awarding this year’s prize to Dr Tyrone McKinley Freeman.