Black History Month: Orlando woman helps underserved communities by sharing her time, expertise

ORLANDO, Fla. — You do not have to be wealthy to be a philanthropist. The gifts of time and talent helped fuel some of the most significant moments of the Civil Rights Movement.


This Black History Month, Channel 9 is sharing stories of people in Central Florida who are still doing the work, investing in Black entrepreneurs, Black-led organizations and Black families with their time, talent and treasure.

Philanthropist Hope Newsome said she was raised on the South Side of Chicago by a single mother who worked as a teacher for Chicago Public Schools.

She said she moved to Central Florida after interviewing with Charles Schwab and being hired for a management training program.

Read: Local artists meet with organizations, city leaders to sketch new Rosalind Avenue mural in Orlando

“They picked me up, and they moved me to Orlando,” Newsome said. “And I’ve never looked back.”

The Spelman College graduate said she has built her own financial services law firm, representing investment managers and broker-dealers, but she spends hours investing her time into nonprofits making a significant impact on Central Florida.

“So much of my professional work is focused on making money, doing deals and helping people grow their wealth,” she said. “I love doing that. But it’s also very important to me that my children see that I am engaged and active in the community.”

Newsome is in her second year as chair of the African American Chamber of Commerce and the chair-elect of the Heart of Florida United Way, zeroing in on financial and education assistance for the most underserved in the community.

Read: Organizations team up to better the Black business community

The chamber touts itself as the preeminent resource for Black-owned businesses, advocating for them, access to capital, contracting and entrepreneur training and development.

“Why are voices like yours important on boards?” Channel 9 anchor asked Newsome.

“Diversity of background, thoughts, experience,” Newsome said. “It matters -- especially when you’re working with organizations that are catering to the needs of the community. You must have people from that community represented.”

Read: Central Florida celebrates: Black History Month events planned throughout February

Join Channel 9 at 7 p.m. Saturday for “Black Philanthropy: Time, Talent and Treasure” in celebration of Black History Month.

During the 30-minute special, we will share the untold stories of local philanthropists who are giving back to the community.

Click here to download our free news, weather and smart TV apps. And click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Jason Kelly

Jason Kelly, WFTV.com

Jason Kelly joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2014. He serves as the station's Digital Executive Producer.