Community Foundation of St. Joseph County

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African American Community Fund

Richmond and Virginia Calvin

For African Americans, philanthropy is no new concept. It’s a long-standing tradition with roots that reach back to the very beginning of the black experience in America. African American giving—time, talent, and money—has established churches, built schools, instituted social programs, and launched leaders.

In recognition of this, the Community Foundation established the African American Community Fund initiative in 1999. Thanks to a million-dollar campaign lead by Richmond and Virginia Calvin, this initiative consists of one primary fund and more than 20 individual funds established by African American families and organizations. The AACF’s assets will soon exceed $1.5 million, and the fund has made more than $460,000 in grants to date to improve the lives of local African Americans.

The AACF makes an important statement about the commitment of African Americans here in St. Joseph County. It’s one of a very few endowed funds in the U.S. where the dollars that seeded the fund came directly from members of the African American community. These Founding Families remain closely involved with the fund, working with the Foundation to make decisions about reinvesting in the African American community. They’re passionately committed to building awareness of the fund, raising the AACF’s profile while they raise contributions.

The African American Community Fund initiative is working on a new million-dollar campaign. As the fund grows, so does its potential to help spur and support programs that matter to the African American community now and long into the future.