African American Legacy

Advancing philanthropy and empowerment in the African American community since 2003.

  • $4.5+ Million

    Dollars Granted

  • 250

    Grant Recipients

  • 600+

    Active Donors

  • 500+

    Organizations Impacted

Open Call 2024:
Request for Proposals

African American Legacy  has closed applications for its 2024 grant cycle.

Applications were due on Monday, May 13, 2024. Award decisions and notifications coming soon.

AAL’s 20th Anniversary:
Reaching Back, Giving Forward

African American Legacy, an initiative of The Chicago Community Trust, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary honoring the vision and legacy of AAL’s founding members and supporters, two decades of impact, and hope for AAL’s future. Learn more.

Grantmaking in Chicago

Since its founding in 2003 as an initiative of The Chicago Community Trust, African American Legacy (AAL) has granted nearly $4 million to numerous nonprofit organizations with innovative ideas for impact. AAL 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.

2023 Grant Recipients

Advisory Board Members

Kimberly A. Casey, ChairKafi Moragne-Patterson
Natashia Holmes, Vice ChairClaude Robinson
Inger Burnett-ZieglerNicole Robinson
Janice EvansMironda Ross
Glenn EdenSteven Shaw
Tyrone FormanAlex Sims
Denitra GriffinShawn Smith-Robinson
Sequane LawrenceSarah Ware
Jawanza Malone
Professionals with a wide range of experience across numerous industries comprise the Advisory Board. Board members actively participate in community engagement, donor cultivation, and grant making activities.

Life Directors

Brenda AsareMarguerite Griffin
Daniel AshSuzanne Griffith
Claudette BakerDeborah Harrington
Andreason BrownLoann Honesty King
Julian ColemanDiane Latiker
Carol CrenshawRobert McGhee
Amina DickersonMary Patillo
Rebecca Ford-TerryShawnelle Richie 
Denise GardnerBaronica Roberson
Corliss GarnerMelody Spann-Cooper
Graham Grady
Life Directors are individuals who have rendered exemplary service in advancing the goals of African American Legacy, with special consideration given to former Advisory Board members.


  • Give to AAL

    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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Affinity funds are groups of donors united by a shared heritage, identity, or common interest. They offer an efficient way to support a specific group of people and the nonprofits that aid them by leveraging contributions through collective giving.