Strengthening African American Communities in Metropolitan Chicago

African American Legacy (AAL) is a philanthropic initiative led by African American civic and community leaders who share the common goal of improving the quality of life among African Americans throughout metropolitan Chicago. AAL engages African Americans in philanthropy, collectively and individually, and provides support to nonprofit organizations that work at the grassroots level to educate and engage communities, and to provide neighborhood-based services and solutions addressing community problems. Grounded in the philosophies of collective giving, community engagement and grant making, AAL serves as a convener and catalyst, making significant impact through the organizations it supports.

Since its founding in 2003 as an initiative of The Chicago Community Trust, AAL has granted more than $2 million to numerous nonprofit organizations with innovative ideas for impact. AAL is driven by its mission and committed to supporting innovation that catalyzes real change in the community, innovation that creates a positive shift toward the sustainability, longevity and prosperity of Chicago’s African American community.

AAL’s current grant making theme is Empowerment for Peace. AAL recognizes that reducing violence requires building our strength from within and coordinating our collective talents, ideas and leadership in order to garner the necessary resources to foster peace. Hence, Empowerment for Peace brings together teams of organizations whose collective efforts get us further than any one organization working alone.

Donations may be made online to AAL, where you can also find information about the grant guidelines. The next application cycle will open in Spring 2019.  Online donations are welcomed by AAL.  Please leave general inquiries on our contact page, where you also can sign up to be notified about our next grant application cycle.


Our Mission

African American Legacy activates an engaged network of community leaders who share the common goal of improving the quality of life of African Americans in Chicago through the power of collective giving, community engagement and grant making.

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Community and civic leaders with a deep commitment to addressing the needs of the African American community

Advisory Board Members

The Advisory Board is comprised of professionals with a wide range of experience across numerous industries. Board members actively participate in community engagement, donor cultivation and grant making activities.

Andreason Brown, Chair

Baronica Roberson, Vice Chair

Brenda Asare

Daniel Ash

Claudette Baker

Troy Boyd Jr.

Sharon Bush

Julian Coleman

Amina Dickerson

Corliss Garner

Graham Grady

Marguerite Griffin

Suzanne Griffith

Deborah Harrington

Tim Jones

Diane Latiker

Robert McGhee

Suzet McKinney

Mary Pattillo

Nicholas Pearce

Shawnelle Richie

Darryl Rodgers

Melody Spann-Cooper

Christal Stinson

Rebecca Ford Terry

Life Directors

Carol Crenshaw

Denise Gardner

Loann Honesty King

African American Legacy Grant Recipients

Alliance for Community Peace

Austin Peoples Action Center

Beloved Community Family Services

Better Boys Foundation

Bronzeville Children’s Museum

Carole Robertson Center for Learning

Center for Higher Development

Chetwyn Rodgers Drive Development Committee

Chicago Legal Clinic

DBA Studios

Developing Communities Project

Faith Organizations Committed in Unity to Serve Youth

Family Rescue

Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance


Greater Roseland West Pullman Food Network

Heritage Community Development Corporation

Imagine Englewood If

Inner-City Computer Stars Foundation

Jane Addams Hull House Association

Jobs For Youth/Chicago

Kids Off the Block

Kidz Express

LeClaire Courts Community Development Corporation

Life Directions

Love To Serve

Metropolitan Area Group for Igniting Civilization (MAGIC)

MPAACT/Maat Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theatre

Monroe Foundation

New Direction Outreach

North Lawndale College Preparatory Charter High School

Phoebe’s Place

Quinn Community Services Alliance of Chicago

Saving Our Seeds

South Shore Drill Team & Performing Arts Ensemble

South Side Community Federal Credit Union

Southwest Women Working Together

Taskforce for Prevention and Community Services

Teamwork Englewood

The Cara Program

The Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center

The Inner Voice

The Law Project

The Neighborhood Capital Budget Group

The University of Chicago Division of the Humanities

Trinity Higher Education Corporation

Ujima, Inc.

We The People Media

Theme: Strengthening the African American Family

Amani-Trinity United Community Health Corporation

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Cook County

GRANDFamilies Program of Chicago

Holy Family Ministries

The Inner Voice

Passages Alternative Living Programs

Proactive Community Services

Stateway Community Partners

Young Men’s Educational Network

Youth Guidance

Theme: Voice Not Violence

Academy of Scholastic Achievement

Community Outreach Volunteers, NFP

Institute for Positive Living

Restoring the Path


Theme: Empowerment For Peace

Austin Coming Together

Chicago Youth Centers

First Defense Legal Aid

Young Men’s Educational Network (YMEN)


United we can improve the lives of African Americans


The Chicago Community Trust


Making good happen. Every day.


© Copyright 2016 African American Legacy. Website design, animation and content by Art On The Loose, Inc. Video production by Epilog Media Design Group. Original photography by Lauren Harris, Tommy Inglis and Jason Jones. Additional photos and footage courtesy of Bruce Powell, Jean-Marc Giboux and the African American Legacy grantees.


225 N. Michigan Avenue
Suite 2200
Chicago IL 60601
FAX: 312.616.7955