Shaun Robinson is best known as an award-winning journalist, TV host, actress, author and producer. She is currently the host of The 90-Day Fiance on TLC. Shaun also appears as Kris Kensington on BET’s Games People Play. She is producing a series for Lifetime, as well as working on a documentary. Away from the public eye, it’s Robinson’s philanthropic passion, most importantly as a “girl empowerment” activist, that takes precedence. We are all in for girl power.
From the beginning
Following her parents’ advice, “When God gives you a platform, use it to give back,” Robinson began with the publication of her book, Exactly As I Am, in 2009. She has served on the national board of Girls, Inc., and is a current board member of Girl Up. It is her SHAUN Foundation For Girls, however, where she puts her name to action. Here, she gives grants to organizations helping underserved and underrepresented girls. SHAUN provides opportunities that, she says, they need to succeed in life.
With money coming from fundraising efforts and private donors, SHAUN Foundation For Girls’ grants range from $2,500-$5,000 each. Robinson researches and then interviews prospective small- to medium-sized non-profits, looking for groups that fall into her namesake SHAUN criteria: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), Health (Encouraging Healthy Lifestyles), Arts (Promoting positive images of young women in the Arts), Unity (Connecting girls across the world) and Neighborhood (Improving quality of life in underserved neighborhoods). To date, she has appropriated funds to organizations in her hometown of Detroit, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Nashville. Race is never a criteria for choosing an organization, says Robinson, but she adds, that in the cities SHAUN Foundation has given grants, the population is primarily girls of color, and many of that group are African American.
SHAUN Foundation makes a difference
Besides falling into one of the five SHAUN categories, Robinson says the girl power organizations she chooses to receive grant money must have good IRS standing, show sustainability and be impact-driven. “I choose organizations that I don’t have to babysit,” adds Robinson, “and that I know will use the funds for what they say they will.”
For more information on SHAUN Foundation, please go to Shaunfoundationforgirls.org