The Southampton African American Museum (SAAM) held a summer party chaired by New York philanthropist, author, and TV host Jean Shafiroff, and her husband, Martin Shafiroff.
Including Aisha Christian & Michael Steifman in Southampton, NY followed by a post-reception dinner.The event was the official launch of the museum’s Founder’s Campaign to support its operations and endowment. The museum, a former Black barber shop opened on June 19, 2021, and is the first African American designated landmark in the Village of Southampton. Corporate sponsors included Bloomberg Philanthropies, Weight Watchers and Jet Blue and a silent auction that included Melissa Kaye Jewelry.
Among the many notable guests were: Jean Shafiroff, Martin Shafiroff, Aisha Christian, Michael Steifman, Exective Director – Brenda Simmons, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, Susan L. Taylor, Loida Lewis, Kherpra Burns, Marilyn Crawford, Elizabeth Shafiroff, Richard Ballard, Greg D’Elia, Dan Gasby, Karen Phillips, Charles Phillips, Anita Farrington, Susan Cushing, Angie Samii, Siamak Samii, Tish Collette, Michael Henry Admans, Bill Pickens, James Banks, Nancy Stevens-Smith, Brenda Stuart-Luke and Stephanie Hill.
Jean Shafiroff and Aisha Christian greeted early arrivals including Susan Davenport Austin, now Chief Financial Officer of the Grace Church School, and her husband, Wallace Foundation Corporate Counsel Kenneth W. Austin, who reminisced about his family’s multi-generational history in East Hampton. A museum tour preceding the benefit was led by executive director and co-founder Brenda Simmons.
Jean Shafiroff is a philanthropist, humanitarian, TV host, writer, and the author of the book “Successful Philanthropy: How to Make a Life By What You Give”. Jean is often referred to as “the first lady of philanthropy” by the press because of her generosity and extensive work as a volunteer fundraiser and leader in the philanthropic world. She serves on the boards of many charitable organizations and each year chairs upwards of eight different charity galas. Among the many causes she champions are those involved in women’s rights, rights of the underserved, health care, and animal welfare.
Jean serves on the boards of the American Humane, Southampton Hospital Association, NYC Mission Society, French Heritage Society, Couture Council of the Museum at FIT, Global Strays, New York Women’s Foundation, and Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation Honorary Board. A Catholic, she served on the board of the Jewish Board for 28 years and now is one of their honorary trustees.
In addition, Jean is an ambassador for American Humane and is the national spokesperson for the organization’s “Feed the Hungry” Covid-19 program, an initiative designed to provide food for 1,000,000 shelter animals. Jean is the ambassador of the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation and a key donor and volunteer fundraiser for their work. She is a New York Women’s Foundation Board Alumna who remains very active with the Foundation and with women’s issues in general.
For her philanthropy, Jean has been honored many times by groups including the Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, New York City Mission Society, Southampton Animal Shelter, Surgeons of Hope, Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, the Ellen Hermanson Foundation, Pet Philanthropy Circle, Animal Zone International, Youth Counselling League, the NYC International Film Festival Foundation, the Jewish Board, and the Hadassah. In December 2020 Dan’s Paper named her Philanthropist of the Year at their Long Island Power Women’s Award Ceremony.
Jean is the producer and host of the television show “Successful Philanthropy” which airs six times weekly through LTV studios in East Hampton, NY, as well as in New York City on Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN): Spectrum Channel 34 and 1995, Verizon/FiOS Channel 33, and RCN Channel 82. The show will open in additional markets in 2021. On her TV program Jean interviews an eclectic mix of leaders in the world of philanthropy as well as actors, artists, business and civic leaders, and even a U.S. presidential candidate.
Photo credit: 1)Jean Shafiroff, Brenda Simmons, Aisha Christian. 2) Jean Shafiroff, Martin Shafiroff, Aisha Christian, Michael Steifman by Patrick McMullan. 3) Karen Phillips, Charles Phillips by Patrick McMullan. 4) Karen Phillips, Charles Phillips by Patrick McMullan. 5) Jean Shafiroff, Marilyn Crawford by Patrick McMullan. 6) Khephra Burns, Tisha Collette, Susan L. Taylor, Dan Gasby by Patrick McMullan 7) Jean Shafiroff, Loida Lewis, Aisha Christian by Patrick McMullan. 8) Angie Samii, Siamak Samii, Jay Schneiderman.9) Elizabeth Shafiroff, Richard Ballard. 10) Elizabeth Shafiroff, Richard Ballard by Patrick McMullan. 11) jean Shafiroff, Bill Pickens by Patrick McMullan. 12) Atmosphere by Patrick McMullan.
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