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.

Donate to this organization


African American Legacy is now accepting applications for the 2021 grant cycle to Black community organizations working in alignment with the following focus areas:

  • Education. We seek to support organizations that provide academic enrichment assistance to Black students, grades K-12.
  • Mental Health. We seek to support organizations that prepare providers or community members to deliver or advocate for trauma-informed care that actively responds to the disproportionate burden of stress on Black people and Black communities due to employment instability, financial strain, family stress, trauma, and gun violence.
  • Activism. We seek to support organizations that actively dismantle anti-Black racism and advance the Movement for Blacks Lives in Chicago.
  • Arts. We seek to support arts and cultural organizations that share and celebrate the lived experiences of Black people, past and present.
  • Job Creation. We seek to support organizations that create jobs through social enterprises, worker cooperatives, or micro entrepreneurship for youth, ages 16 to 24.

You can find complete eligibility and application details in the 2021 Request for Proposals (PDF format).

To apply, please complete and submit your application through GrantCentral, The Chicago Community Trust’s online grants management system, by Tuesday, May 11, 2021.

To view the recorded webinar, click here.

Contact Us

Nicole Layton, Philanthropic Advisor