Black Legacy Fund

Continuing our legacy

Our Black Legacy Fund, led by community volunteers, builds on the legacy of giving in Black communities in greater Grand Rapids. Support this cause today by contributing to Our Black Legacy Fund. Your gift will support the fund's endowment, as well as provide resources for immediate grantmaking directed by the Black Legacy Fund committee. This ensures your giving will help now and in the future. Click here to give today.

Give Now

2024 Love in Action Gala

sold out event

Black Legacy Fund, a fund of Grand Rapids Community Foundation, is hosting a gala on February 16. We will gather for an evening of dinner, dancing and music to celebrate Black philanthropy in Kent County. The program will explore the topic of love in action - honoring Black philanthropy of our past, present and building toward the future.

Learn more about our work

  • Grantmaking Priorities 2023

    Our 2022 grantmaking process and priorities were informed by feedback gathered at community engagement sessions. Brigham Consulting detailed the process and themes from those sessions. See the whole report here.

  • Committee Volunteers

    Committee members include Denavvia Mojet (Co-Chair), Zahna Woodson(Co-Chair), Synia Jordan, Kessia Graves, Wardell Frazier and Kyle Kimble.

  • Community Debrief

    After our 2023 competitive grant awards were announced, Black Legacy Fund hosted a community debrief session to discuss the grantmaking process, decision making and grants awarded. Click here to watch the debrief.

Support the Fund Today

Legacy is something that we are part of, something we are adding to.

Support this cause today by contributing to Our Black Legacy 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.

Give Today

Black Legacy Fund donors as of July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023

  • Andrew and Sonja Acosta
  • Tonya Adkins-McKeever
  • Ms. Emily Aleman-McAlpine
  • Anonymous (15)
  • Mr. and Mrs. Maurice A. Barnes
  • Mercedes Barragan
  • Nikeidra Battle-Debarge
  • Ken Betz* and Pat Brewer
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • Shawndea Boyd
  • Barbara Bradley and Ronald Feenstra
  • Brenda Brame
  • Ms. Teresa Branson
  • Eric and Maleika Brown
  • Bobbie Butler
  • Kyle and Juliann Caldwell
  • Jessa Challa
  • Veneese Chandler
  • Molly and Colin Chelovich
  • Sergio C. Cira-Reyes
  • City of Grand Rapids
  • Craig and Alison Clark
  • Duriel Sr. and Shannon Cohen
  • Huey G. and Mary Copeland
  • Corewell Health
  • Janean and Michael Couch
  • Michelle Covington
  • Brenda Cox
  • Gwendolyn D. Dawkins
  • Diatribe
  • Paul T. and Celeste Doyle
  • Jermale and Anissa Eddie
  • Taylor Ellison
  • Ryan and Danielle Engle
  • Essential BLK GRL
  • Lynne Ferrell-Robinson and David Robinson Jr.
  • Wardell and Shaundra Frazier
  • Frey Foundation
  • Sharhonda Fudge
  • Arlen and Sandra Gaddy
  • Synia and Johnnie Gant-Jordan
  • Rasheda Gibson
  • Bing and Jean Goei
  • William Gonzalez
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Phillip and Vanessa Greene
  • Derether Greer
  • Jaila Hall
  • Graci Harkema
  • Kevin and Laura Harmelink
  • Sierra Hatfield
  • Kirk and Tatum Hawkins
  • David Hill and Elizabeth Kidd
  • G & K Hoffman
  • Victor J. Holt
  • Preston and Sylvia Hopson
  • Ms. Margaret P. Idema
  • Michael Davis and Michael Inge
  • Andrea Inostroza Castro
  • Win and Kyle Irwin
  • Ellen M. James
  • Matthew and Keri Jaynes
  • Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy
  • Jennifer Kimball James
  • Pastor Brad and Christy Knetsch
  • Cris and Tom Kutzli
  • Nakia Kyler
  • Ben Langston
  • Mr. and Mrs. William J. Lawrence III
  • Ashley and Ryann Lee
  • Ms. Emily Loeks
  • James and Tiffany Logan
  • Janis Lunquist and Michael May
  • Tracy Lunquist
  • Chandra Macon
  • Bill and India Manns
  • Dr. Ralph E. Mathis
  • Brian and Aimee McCants
  • Jazz and DL McKinney
  • Diane McMillan and Robert B. Hurd, Sr
  • Tom Merchant
  • Michigan Nonprofit Association
  • Will and Alexandra Miller
  • Mr. Marc Mitchell and Dr. Brandy Lovelady Mitchell
  • Denavvia Mojét
  • Danah Montgomery
  • Ciciley and Louis Moore
  • Nancy L. Morales
  • Sheona Nidefski
  • Terry McGovern and Carol Paine-McGovern
  • Nikeyia Perkins
  • Jenny Peterson
  • Janis Petrini
  • Claudia and Joe Pohlen
  • John and Ann Puckett
  • The Rapid
  • Mrs. Carole C. Redwine
  • Nastaciea Robert
  • Latasha Robertson-Crump
  • The ROCK Neighborhood
  • Milt and Barbara Rohwer
  • Patrick Roscoe
  • Matthew and Kate Schmid
  • Jenni Shaffer
  • Shaun and Ruth Shira
  • Percell and Harriet Singleton
  • Ryan and Emily Slusarzyk
  • J. Patrick and Kathleen M. Smith
  • Peggy J. Smith
  • Lisa Sostecke DDS
  • Rebecca Spann
  • Stryker Employee Matching Gift Program
  • Kamara Sudberry
  • Eddie T.L. Tadlock
  • Jim and Pat Talen
  • Bradley J. and Jennifer J. Taylor
  • Aleka Thrash
  • Jenine and Jose Torres
  • Selma Tucker
  • Robert and Sandra Upton
  • Erika VanDyke
  • Vanguard Funds Employee Matching Gift Program
  • Andy and Tracy Van Solkema
  • Beca Velazquez-Publes
  • Iman Verser
  • Williams Group
  • Reneé Williams
  • Kurt and Sally Yost
  • Jonse and Allen Young
  • Leslie Young-Martin
  • Marilyn and Garrett Zack

*deceased

Sponsorship Requests

Have an opportunity that you are interested in Grand Rapids Community Foundation sponsoring? Learn more about our sponsorship application process!

Sponsorship Request Information

2023 Grant Awards

Recipient

Amount

Date

Purpose

  • 1000 Families of Color

    Amount Awarded: $24,000

    Date Awarded:

    To promote wealth building opportunities through financial literacy, career pathways, and homeownership education programming. This grant was made possible through additional support from the George M. Ames Fund.

  • 15 Pearls and a Promise

    Amount Awarded: $44,500

    Date Awarded:

    Addressing food insecurity, mentoring, academic support, and cultural exposure programming for Black youth. This grant was made possible through additional support from the Armand F. and Gretchen B. Burch Fund, the Gordon and Janet Moeller, Food Security Fund and the Cherry (Mrs. James) Carpenter Fund for Children.

  • A Glimpse of Africa

    Amount Awarded: $100,000

    Date Awarded:

    General operating support for cultural celebrations and mental health programming in African immigrant and refugee communities. This grant was made possible through additional support from the George M. Ames Fund.

  • BAM Talent

    Amount Awarded: $110,000

    Date Awarded:

    Building a starting salary for an Artistic Director & funding proposed programming scheduling & staffing needs for the span of one calendar year. This grant was made possible through additional support from the Leonard and Eileen Newman Fund for the Arts.

  • Battle Ground Jeet Kune Do, a program of Youth Fitness and Finance

    Amount Awarded: $7,850

    Date Awarded:

    Culturally relevant financial literacy and fitness programming for Black youth.

  • Better Wiser Stronger

    Amount Awarded: $25,000

    Date Awarded:

    Supporting the Blue Collar program for young men of color in the areas of Trades to create a legacy to increase their opportunity for wealth.

  • Beyond the City

    Amount Awarded: $18,720

    Date Awarded:

    To help Black youth grow and explore the world outside of their own community through immersive travel experiences to sites featuring Black history and culture. This grant was made possible through additional support from the Cherry (Mrs. James) Carpenter Fund for Children.

  • Black Youth Creatives

    Amount Awarded: $16,150

    Date Awarded:

    To fund Black Youth Creatives free summer 2023 photography camp for Grand Rapid Public Schools students.

  • Cirque Boucle

    Amount Awarded: $25,000

    Date Awarded:

    A mission-driven circus project to increase equity in the circus arts for children 10+ and their families in Grand Rapids’ most underserved neighborhoods. This grant was made possible through additional support from the Estate of Annette Richards.

  • DOPE Black People

    Amount Awarded: $22,100

    Date Awarded:

    To provide outlets through workshops and events for Black professionals who work in predominantly white spaces to reflect, network, and have dialogue about specific topics which directly impact Black people in the workplace. This grant was made possible through additional support from the Fund for Arts and Social Engagement and the Social Venture Investors Fund.

  • Grand Rapids Area Mutual Aid Network

    Amount Awarded: $25,000

    Date Awarded:

    To provide mutual aid, direct giving support, and community care to Black communities. This grant was made possible through additional support from the George M. Ames Fund and Kathryn L. Adamson Fund for the Elderly.

  • Grand Rapids United Rocket Football League

    Amount Awarded: $55,000

    Date Awarded:

    Provide football and cheerleading programming to teach youth in Grand Rapids, sportsmanship, teamwork, respect, work ethic and great life skills; while providing them with a nurturing environment and education on the fundamentals of the game and life. This grant was made possible through additional support from the Healthy Youth & Healthy Seniors Fund.

  • Motherland Business Coaching

    Amount Awarded: $41,500

    Date Awarded:

    Mentor and empower African immigrant women to become thriving at home food entrepreneurs by providing tools, coaching, and community support.

  • New Destiny Pathways

    Amount Awarded: $23,500

    Date Awarded:

    Supporting the My Destiny program, which provides young women who have aged out of foster care with short-term housing opportunities and quarterly workshops on life skills, job skills, nutrition, wellness, and relationships to live a prosperous life.

  • Respite for Wives

    Amount Awarded: $10,000

    Date Awarded:

    For support group that help women of color identify, understand, acknowledge, and heal from compound, complex, and ensuing trauma to help them break the cycle of generational and inherited family trauma, and develop healthier emotional and mental health, families, and communities.

  • Tha Butterfly House

    Amount Awarded: $30,000

    Date Awarded:

    To provide safe, affordable, and supportive housing opportunities for Black and Brown individuals from the LGBTQIA+ community and/or living with HIV.

  • The HUNT Chapter

    Amount Awarded: $25,000

    Date Awarded:

    Weekly programming for teens and young women to grow self-esteem, mental health coping skills, cooking and etiquette skills, and provide volunteering and leadership opportunities to build strength and remove barriers to a wealthy life and legacy of wellness. This grant was made possible through additional support from the Fund for Children and the Cherry (Mrs. James) Carpenter Fund for Children.

  • Together We Are Safe

    Amount Awarded: $20,000

    Date Awarded:

    To build community and organizing within Black communities in the Greater Grand Rapids Area. This grant was made possible through additional support from the George M. Ames Fund.

2022 Relationship Building Grants

  • Better, Wiser, Stronger

  • Black Book Exchange Box

  • Our Kitchen Table

  • Endless Opportunities

  • Legacy of Love LLC

  • Grand Rapids Media Initiative and Film Incubator

  • Young Money Finances

  • Delta Project

  • Aqume Foundation

  • The Deborah House

  • A Glimpse of Africa

  • Be a Rose

  • New Destiny Pathways

  • Mirror Me Inc

  • Black and Brown Cannabis Guild

  • Mus(ed)

  • Mental Health Clinicians of Color

  • Succeeding While Achieving Greatness (SWAG)

  • Dreams Take Work

  • Meaning in Colors

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Our Black Legacy Fund

Over the last few years, the African American Heritage Fund committee members have been exploring the strengths, values and guiding posts of the fund's purpose. Through working with a consultant and deep conversations among the committee members, we are proud to announce the African American Heritage Fund has transitioned its title to our Black Legacy Fund. This intentional renaming is meant to honor the heritage of ancestors, invite a more inclusive understanding of Black communities in Kent County and create a legacy for future generations.