Together We Can
“There is no problem that we can’t solve if we corral our resources behind it. That means people. That means money. That means the good will and cooperation of a large segment of people.”
-Coretta Scott King
We have all heard the statistics about the challenges that African American children, youth, and families face in Southern Arizona. The words of Mrs. King remind us that, no matter how intractable problems appear to be, together we can address the community’s most pressing needs.
In 2012, a group of African American community leaders, led by Dr. Anna Jolivet, met with the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona to develop charitable resources for the African American community. The result was the African American Initiative (AAI).
The AAI has a vision of what Southern Arizona can be when we bring together people, money, and goodwill to make sure all of our children, youth, and families have the opportunities and resources to prosper. The AAI is working to improve the quality of life in metropolitan Tucson by:
- Strengthening relationship and fostering collaboration among community members, donors, and organizations serving the African American Community
- Enhancing the capacity of organizations that are working to improve the African American Community
- Encouraging greater giving from and to the African American Community, and
- Funding innovative, collaborative programs that improve the quality of life for Southern Arizonans of African heritage.
The initiative is led by an advisory board whose members are committed to making an impact in our community, raising funds each year to grant to nonprofit organizations and building a $1 million endowment that will ensure philanthropic dollars are available in perpetuity.
2016 Grant Recipients
In 2016, the AAI conducted its second grant-making round, for nonprofit organizations that were engaged in collaborative, innovative projects. Six projects were funded in November 2016:
- Tucson Synergy: a collaboration of the Blair Charity Group and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson;
- The African American Youth Village Initiative, a collaboration of Goodwill of Southern Arizona and the Calvary Missionary Baptist Church;
- Youth Leadership Project: a collaboration of the Culture of Peace Alliance and Our Family Services;
- CHOICES Program, a collaboration of Thrive Generations and the Tucson Spartans Basketball, and
- Summer Academic Foundation for Enrichment – Saturday Academy, a collaboration of the Southern Arizona Black College Community Support Group and the Garden Youth Development Project
Both the grantmaking and the endowment fund welcome contributions.
For more information about AAI, please contact Laci Lester, Program Manager, Iniatives at (520) 382-9203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.