African American Legacy
Advancing philanthropy and empowerment in the African American community since 2003.
History & Mission
African American Legacy (AAL) was founded in 2003 as an educational and philanthropic initiative of The Chicago Community Trust when leaders at the Trust and in the African American community recognized the opportunity to have more reach and impact in Chicago’s neighborhoods and communities of color. Under the leadership of Mercedes Laing and Rev. Ken Smith, and supported by the efforts of Frank Clark, former CEO of ComEd, AAL created an endowment to help support the needs of organizations that do great work for the African American community in Chicago.
The mission of AAL is to involve more African Americans in philanthropy collectively and individually, and to provide support to the not-for-profit institutions that improve the quality of life of the residents of our communities. 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.
Advancing Philanthropy & Empowerment
African American Legacy (AAL) activates an engaged network of African American civic and community leaders who share the common goal of improving the quality of life among African Americans throughout metropolitan Chicago through the power of collective giving, community engagement, and grant making.
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.Make A Gift
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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.