Dr. Michael Twyman - Why I Give: To Model Giving to Others

Posted on December 06, 2021

Michael Twyman Photo Headshot Resized

A longtime supporter of the Library Foundation, Dr. Michael Twyman drew the attention of the Library and Library Foundation to the lack of diversity among the author names inscribed on the walls of Central Library. Of the 81 names of literary figures engraved at Central Library, only five were women and none were of the African Diaspora. He is leading the effort to raise funds to add the names of authors of color to the walls. New names being added include Maya Angelou, James Baldwin and Toni Morrison.

“Giving and philanthropy is second nature, in terms of knowing that as much as we are given, the more that is required, relative to time, talent and treasure,” Dr. Twyman said. “So my giving is very much a value that is not so much a choice, but an obligation that is a part of not only who I am, but a part of living, part of the price we pay for renting space here on earth.” Dr. Twyman is a lifelong user of The Library who has frequently visited Central Library throughout his childhood and adult life, which led to him noticing the lack of authors of color inscribed on Central Library’s walls.

“It’s an honor to be able to give to an organization and to a cause that is so near and dear to my heart,” he said. “My motivation is also to model giving, and stewardship and philanthropy, particularly to other African-Americans who have a strong legacy of philanthropy, but oftentimes are not looked to as being generous.”

He is particularly interested in providing opportunities to historically marginalized individuals, saying, “What makes the naming project a great way to continue to increase and expand philanthropy and philanthropic support of the library is to have greater representation and to be more equitable.”