Today I attended the Slate 60 Conference on Innovative Philanthropy, co-sponsored by Slate Magazine, The William J. Clinton Foundation and The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.

The event, which convenes America’s most generous charitable donors, is taking place today and tomorrow at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

"The Slate 60 list began as a way to encourage the wealthiest segment of the population to compete for the title of ‘most generous’," said Cliff Sloan, Publisher, Slate Magazine.

"This conference is meant to move that spirit of giving into a larger exchange of ideas, to inspire innovation and evolution in how we think about philanthropy. We are very pleased that the Clinton Foundation and The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service have again agreed to be co-sponsors."

Confirmed participants and speakers include:

* President William J. Clinton

* Governor Eliot Spitzer of New York

* Silda Wall Spitzer, First Lady of New York and founder of Children for Children

* Carlos Slim Helu, a businessman and philanthropist from Mexico who recently joined with President Clinton on a Latin American anti-poverty initiative

* Eli Broad, founder of the Broad Foundation and eight-time Slate 60 honoree

* Philanthropist Patricia Kluge of Virginia

* Michael J. Fox, the actor and founder of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

* Dikembe Mutombo, NBA star and founder of the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation

* Sherry Lansing, former Chairman of Paramount Pictures, winner of a special Oscar® for philanthropy, and founder of the Sherry Lansing Foundation

* Jean-Guillaume de Tocqueville d’Herouville (a descendant of Alexis de Tocqueville and a leader of philanthropy in France)

* Robert E. Rubin, former Secretary of the Treasury

* Justin Rockefeller, founder of Generation Engage

* Joel Klein, Chancellor of New York City schools

Moderating the conference panels will be top journalists including George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, Charlie Rose of PBS, Jonathan Alter of Newsweek and Jacob Weisberg of Slate.

This year’s conference will focus on current themes in philanthropy including "Philanthropy and the Environment," "Philanthropy and Education," "Rural Philanthropy," "Philanthropy and Health Care," "Philanthropy and the Next Generation," and "Philanthropy in an International Perspective."

Skip Rutherford, Dean of The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service said, "We are excited to again co-sponsor the Slate 60 conference and continue to encourage philanthropic giving. Last year, our students in attendance found the experience both educational and inspirational and we look forward to another ground-breaking Conference this year."

"Innovative philanthropy is the core of the Clinton Foundation, and this conference brings together individuals who are making invaluable contributions with their ideas as well as their resources," added Bruce Lindsey, Chair of the Clinton Foundation.

At the 2006 conference, which also celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Slate 60 list, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, "There’s the U.S. News and World Report’s 20 best American leaders, CNN’s 10 biggest news stories, Time magazine’s Person of the Year, and the issue I am waiting for: People magazine’s top 10 sexiest mayors," Bloomberg said. "All kidding aside, I’m in much better company being in the Slate 60."

And no, I am NOT one the top philanthropic givers in America, but I made sure I MET a few tonight, for the benefit of Operation HOPE (smile)!

Onward with HOPE

John Hope Bryant

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