Our African American Heritage Fund

Together we will impact the future.

Our African American Heritage Fund was created in 2006 in response to a community desire to create a philanthropic partnership between the African American community in Kent County and Grand Rapids Community Foundation. It was led by community leaders including but not limited to Shirley Daniels, Bev Drake, Margaret Sellers Walker. With a match from the Community Foundation of $10,000 the fund was built. This is an endowed Field of Interest Fund with a current focus of providing education and job opportunities for African American youth.

Support this cause today through a variety of means. Choose to give your time, talents and treasure to support this important work. 

Give Today
  • Give Today

    Support this cause today by contributing to Our African American Heritage Fund. You will have the opportunity to choose an endowed gift or non-endowed. Both ways of giving will help  now and in the future. Click here to give today. 

  • Juneteenth to Juneteenth Campaign

    This year our African American Heritage Fund launched a special campaign to increase capacity for grantmaking in our community. Please join us to help raise $100,000 between Juneteenth 2019 and Juneteenth 2020. Click here to support this fundraiser.

Recent Grants

Grants awarded in 2018





  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth

    Amount Awarded: $1,500

    Date Awarded: Apr. 2018

    Summer Reading Club
    To address summer reading loss by implementing the Sylladot reading curriculum at all three Grand Rapids locations for elementary students. 

  • Ebony Road Players

    Amount Awarded: $1,500

    Date Awarded: Apr. 2018

    Telling-Our-Stories: Story to Stage
    To create an opportunity for young people of color to tell their stories by writing and producing a staged play production.

  • Girls Growing II Women, Inc.

    Amount Awarded: $500

    Date Awarded: Apr. 2018

    Fit to Win Life Skills Edition
    The purpose is to provide girls growing to women ages 13-18 the opportunity to stimulate learning and apply techniques for academic success throughout the summer.

  • Helping Important People Succeed

    Amount Awarded: $750

    Date Awarded: Apr. 2018

    Failure Is Not an Option Conference
    HIPS provides youth development training for 100 at-risk female youth from Greater Grand Rapids Communities located in the target areas defined by the Hope Zones. 


    Amount Awarded: $1,250

    Date Awarded: Apr. 2018

    Know Peace No Violence Summer Jam
    To assist with funding the city's first outdoor, back to school concert and expo designed to emphasize violence reduction and dispute resolution in Grand Rapids.

  • Messiah Baptist Church

    Amount Awarded: $1,500

    Date Awarded: Apr. 2018

    SAT College Prep Program
    The SAT College Prep 6-week program is instrumental in helping students to gain a better understanding of the components of this exam.

Our African American Heritage Fund Donors

As of February 12, 2019

African-American Heritage Fund Donors since fund establishment date of March 2006 through February 12, 2019

  • Anonymous (4)
  • Brandy Arnold
  • Ms. Christina Arnold
  • Mr. and Mrs. John Aves
  • Maurice A. and Connie Barnes
  • Baxter Community Center
  • Ms. Nancy Beard*
  • Dr. Rhae-Ann Booker and Mr. Michael Booker
  • Wayman and Dinah Britt
  • Tamber Bustance
  • Bobbie Butler
  • John* and Marie Canepa
  • Susan J. Carl*
  • Ms. Veneese V. Chandler
  • Margarita and Jeffrie Chappell
  • Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Cheadle
  • Mr. and Mrs. Richard Clanton
  • Brian Cloyd and Agnes Kempker-Cloyd
  • Shannon M. Cohen
  • Ms. Minnie Cole*
  • Committee to Retain Elias Lumpkins
  • Community Choice Michigan
  • Ann M. and Robert P. Cooper
  • Huey G. and Mary Copeland
  • Rev. Chico Daniels
  • Joseph Daniels M.D* and Shirley K. Daniels*
  • Mr. and Mrs. Edgar L. Davis
  • Dr. and Mrs. Gerald Dawkins
  • Mr. and Mrs. Stephen B. Deem
  • Paul and Celeste Doyle
  • Beverly Drake
  • Barbara and Ronald Feenstra
  • Ms. Lynne Ferrell-Robinson and Mr. David Robinson
  • Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Frazier
  • Frey Foundation
  • Enid Gaddis
  • Brent and Ronda Geers
  • Mr. Aaron Gill
  • Grand Rapids Community Foundation
  • Grand Rapids Red Hat Sistas, Red Hat Society
  • Dr. and Mrs. George Grant Jr.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Phillip X. Greene
  • Mr. and Mrs. James P. Hackett Sr.
  • Dr. Lynda Haith
  • Ms. Maggie Hankins
  • Mr. Ralph Hauenstein*
  • Mr. and Mrs. Steven R. Heacock
  • George and Susan Heartwell
  • Dirk and June Hoffius
  • Preston and Sylvia Hopson
  • Sonya Hughes and Marianne Butcher
  • Robert Hurd and Diane McMillan
  • Win and Kyle Irwin
  • Carlton and Wendy Jackson
  • Ellen M. James
  • Ken and Tamasha James
  • Mrs. L. Helen Johnson
  • Ms. Louise J. Johnson*
  • Mr. Michael B. Johnson, Sr.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Russell E. Johnson
  • Courtney P. Jones and Ora M. Jones
  • Cynthia Jones
  • Joe and Jessie Jones
  • Mr. Fred P. Keller
  • Ruth and Carl Kelly
  • Kurt and Randy Kimball
  • Anthony King and Lisa Oliver-King
  • Roberta F. King and Mike J. Miesch
  • Ms. Birgit Klohs
  • Paul Kutsche*
  • Ms. Nakia Kyler
  • Ms. Ollie Lacy
  • Marilyn Lankfer and Jeff Schad
  • Ryann and Ashley Lee
  • Ms. Darlene Lee
  • Rev. and Mrs. Dallas Lenear
  • Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Likely
  • Rev. and Mrs. Irvin Little
  • Mr. and Mrs. Larry Love
  • Ms. Dee Lucas
  • Mr. and Mrs. Elias Lumpkins
  • Tempy Mann
  • Bill and India Manns
  • Mrs. Mary Martin
  • Ms. Eugenia Marve
  • Bradford and Andola Mathis
  • Dr. Ralph E. Mathis
  • Mr. Mansfield W. Matthewson
  • Ms. Linda A. McCarter
  • McClain Properties
  • Ms. Donnell Mersereau
  • Messiah Missionary Baptist Church
  • Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
  • Mr. and Mrs. Patrick A. Miles
  • Patrick A. Miles, Jr.
  • Erica Millbrooks
  • Bonnie K. Miller
  • G. Michael and MaryAnn Minton
  • Mr. and Mrs. Louis Montgomery
  • Rev. Nathaniel and Mrs. Laura Moody
  • Margaret Sellers Walker Morris
  • Mr. and Mrs. James Moyer
  • Khan and Liza Nedd
  • New Hope Baptist Church
  • Kishen Newton
  • Ms. Debra Nixon
  • Isaac V. Norris and Associates, P.C.
  • Isaac V. and Lisa Rene' Norris
  • Ms. Pam Olsen
  • Ms. Lauri S. Parks
  • Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Pearson
  • John and Penny Pestle
  • Gene Proctor*
  • John and Ann Puckett
  • Pyper Products Corporation
  • Carole C. Redwine
  • Jennice Richardson
  • Jacob and Delores* Robinson
  • Milt and Barbara Rohwer
  • Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Rose
  • Mr. and Mrs. Gerrit J. Ruiter
  • Ms. Celia C. Said
  • Dr. Elaine Schott
  • Secchia Family Foundation
  • Seyferth & Associates, Inc.
  • Rev. and Mrs. Robert O. Shaver
  • Joe and Clara Shelton
  • Diana R. Sieger
  • Dr. and Mrs. C. Eugene Sims
  • Mr. and Mrs. Percell Singleton
  • Rueben Smartt*
  • Frank* and Deloris Smith
  • Ms. Peggy Smith
  • Ms. Shayon Smith
  • Mr. and Mrs. Kirk Spencer
  • Edward* and Leona* Spencer
  • Dennis and Deborah Sturtevant
  • Mr. and Mrs. Willie R. Suber
  • Lon and Sandy Swartzentruber
  • Jim and Pat Talen
  • Ms. Bessie Ward*
  • Ms. Sandra Ward
  • Ms. Anita Watson-Phillips
  • Dale and Ingrid* Weekley
  • Ms. Gloria Weekley
  • West Michigan Medical Society
  • Mr. and Mrs. Willis Weymon
  • Reneé Williams
  • Francesca Wiseman
  • Bob and Aleicia Woodrick
  • Allen and Johngerlyn Young
  • Marilyn and Garrett Zack
  • Ms. Betty V. Zylstra and Rev. David P. Baak