50 years, 50 stories: Story #22 African American Endowment Fund

Improving the Quality of Life for African Americans

More than 20 years ago, Willis Patterson, a Trustee at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation and Professor of Music at the University of Michigan, was introduced to what was then a new concept: community foundation endowments specifically created to meet the needs of African Americans.  

The idea struck a chord. In 1994, Patterson and fellow AAACF Trustees Barbara Meadows and Joe Dulin led the Board’s efforts to establish the African American Endowment Fund to help improve the physical, economic, social and educational conditions that affect the quality of life for African Americans in the Ann Arbor area. The fund grew quickly. AAACF matched the first $100,000 raised with a $50,000 contribution. The fund has since awarded $68,000 in grants to support local schools, programs, and organizations that serve African Americans.

In 2011, Barbara Meadows established the Ted & Barbara Meadows Endowment Fund to augment the African American Endowment Fund’s grant program. She notes, "AAACF has played an important role in bringing a diverse group of community leaders together. Both funds are an important way to support the African American community which benefits our entire community."

One of the many ways the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation supports all that is good in our community.

Read more "good" stories at: aaacf.org/stories
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