African American Legacy

Strengthening African American Families and Communities

African American Legacy (AAL) is a philanthropic and educational 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 grassroots and nonprofit organizations working on the ground to solve community problems. With a permanent endowment as its foundation, AAL uses the power of collective giving and the philosophy of community engagement to make a significant impact on organizations focused on community based services. AAL has granted nearly $1.8 million to more than 50 organizations with innovative ideas for impact. AAL is driven by its mission and committed to supporting innovation that influences real change in the community—innovation that influences a positive shift toward sustainability, longevity and prosperity of Chicago’s African American community.

Learn more about African American Legacy and meet its grant recipients


To support African American Legacy, you can make a gift to The Legacy Fund. Donors pool their resources in this endowment for greater giving power. You can donate online or contact us for other options.

You can also start an individual fund. Families, groups or individuals establish their own funds for giving that supports the African American community. Contact us to learn about starting your personalized charitable fund.

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African American Legacy is now accepting applications for the 2020 grant cycle to community organizations with a strong commitment to social justice and a programmatic focus on the following areas:

  • Arts: we seek to support artistic expression that shares and celebrates the lived experience of Black Chicagoans.
  • Immigration: we seek to support policy/systems change and direct service specific to those of the African Diaspora.
  • Mental Health: we seek to support trauma-informed care that actively responds to street, gun and police violence.
  • Youth Micro-Entrepreneurship: we seek to support 6 to 12-month efforts that prepare youth, ages 16-24, to start, run and grow a business.

You can find complete eligibility and application details in the 2020 AAL 2020 Request for Proposal (PDF). To apply, please complete and submit your application through GrantCentral, the Trust’s online grants management system, by May 18, 2020.

Contact Us

Nicole Layton, Philanthropic Advisor