African American Community Fund Celebrates 25 Years of Impact

Founded in 1999, the AACF has given more than $1.3 million back to St. Joseph County

When Richmond and Virginia Calvin brought together the first stakeholders to help establish the African American Community Fund, do you suppose they ever imagined the outsize impact their work would have a quarter-century later?

You bet they did.

As co-chairs of the campaign to create the AACF, the Calvins were working with the future in mind. And thanks to the power of endowment, it’s a long future indeed. Built from one primary fund and 20 individual funds established by African American families and organizations, the AACF is a unique and vital community resource.

It’s been more than 25 years since those first meetings and conversations, and in the time since, the African American Community Fund has given more than $1.3 million to African American causes and organizations across St. Joseph County.

The Fund has helped renovate Dismas House, supported the expansion of the St. Joseph County Public Library, supported arts productions, provided dozens of scholarships, and helped launch Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in St. Joseph County.

Most recently, the African American Community Fund helped bring a Harriet Tubman statue to South Bend and committed its largest-ever gift to the new MLK Jr. Dream Center. The AACF continues to look for new and effective ways to identify and support projects of importance to the local African American community, and they’re going to be able to do so for a very, very long time.

You can help continue the long legacy of the African American Community Fund by making a gift at

Published: February 27, 2024
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