News & Events

Past Events

Racial Wealth Gap Simulation

The Foundation partnered with Bread for the World to host a racial wealth gap simulation. The workshop defined the differences between equity and equality. A Train The Trainer session followed the event to support those interested in hosting similar settings.

Equity Summit

In partnership with the Miles College Center for Economic and Social Justice, the Penny Foundation held an Equity Summit to address the role of the Black church and economics in the community.

Samford University Men's Basketball

The Penny Foundation partnered with Samford University and its Men’s Basketball Team to host a family fun night. Attendees also enjoyed the recognition of Martha Gaskins Middle School’s Robotics Team.

Power of the Collective

The Foundation held a panel discussion on the patterns of success in business, how to engage in philanthropy, and how to encourage matching funds. Guests included Living Cities CEO as the moderator interviewing panelists who are board members for the Poise Foundation, The Prosperity Foundation, and the Penny Foundation.

August 2023 Grant Cycle

The Future Forward Fund provides an opportunity to access resources from trusted organizations that are committed to the success of black-owned businesses and expanding greater Birmingham’s small business ecosystem. The fifth grant cycle will launch in August 2023. Stay tuned by joining our newsletter. Simply, click the button below.

The Intersection

Celebrate Black philanthropy, business, and community with the Penny Foundation at The Intersection. Events will occur throughout the month of August, from digital summits to in-person gatherings. Stay tuned by joining our newsletter. Simply, click the button below. 

Upcoming Events


Meet Lyord Watson jr.

We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Lyord Watson Jr.. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Lyord below.


Lyord, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today What’s the backstory behind how you came up with the idea for your business?

The Penny Foundation is a community chest based out of Birmingham AL. The concept for the Penny Foundation began back in 2003. I joined a group of friends to start a giving circle named the Birmingham Change Fund. Through that process, I began to learn about organized philanthropy. In 2007, I went to seminary, and as I was completing my studies, I began to study models of ministry from various pastors. I came across the name of Rev. William Ruben Pettiford. Reverend Pettiford was a pastor of the 16th street Baptist Church in the late 1800s. In 1890, he led a group of Birmingham residents to create the Savings Bank. The Penny Savings Bank was the first bank state of Alabama that was created by black people and run by black people.

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