“Young people, don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourselves with a good education…then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise.” – Michelle Obama

The African American Legacy Fund (AALF), a fund of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, envisions a thriving community where people and resources converge to support the prosperity of all of its children, youth and families, today and in the future.

Founded in 2013 by esteemed educator, philanthropist, and civic leader Dr. Anna Jolivet, Ph.D., the African American Legacy Fund (AALF) works to address the educational and economic disparities faced by African Americans who call Southern Arizona home.

Our mission is to improve the quality of life of African Americans living in Southern Arizona by promoting philanthropy and strengthening the community through collaboration. Our core values are: Integrity, Empowerment, Community, Diversity and Inclusion, and Equal Opportunity.

AALF is working to improve the quality of life in Southern Arizona 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
  • Funding innovative, collaborative programs that improve the quality of life for Southern Arizonans of African heritage.

Since 2015, the African American Legacy Fund, a fund of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, has awarded $235,661 to 22 organizations. AALF 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. Applications for AALF Grants 2022 are now closed.

501c3 nonprofit organizations serving the African American Community in Southern Arizona are invited to submit grant requests that focus on collaborative, innovative programs designed to improve educational outcomes. While the definition of education is very broad, examples might include projects focusing on early childhood education, retention strategies to keep children in school, enrichment, leadership development, higher education preparation, and more.

Grantmaking Priority

Education: Holistic Approaches to Supporting and Improving Educational Outcomes

Our grantmaking focuses on nonprofit organizations serving the African American community here in Southern Arizona. We invite applications from organizations with holistic and innovative approaches to support and improve educational outcomes within the African American community.

AALF understands the definition of education is very broad. Examples include, but are not limited to, projects that focus on:

  • Early childhood education,
  • Retention strategies to keep students in school,
  • Enrichment and other non-traditional opportunities,
  • Leadership and personal development,
  • acquisition of specific skills,
  • Preparation for higher education

Proposals must fall within established guidelines and funding priorities, and are limited to a maximum of $10,000 per application.

Important Dates

  • January 17, 2022: Application Open
  • January 21, 2022:  AALF Grant Information Session (Virtual)
  • February 11, 2022 | 5 p.m. MST: Application Due
  • February 2022 – March 2022: Application Reviews & Virtual Site Visits
  • June 8, 2022:  Award Notifications

Please contact Jeaiza Quiñones Ivory, Director, Community Investments at 520-770-0800 & jqivory@cfsaz.org for questions.

Application Guidelines & Preparation

Applications for 2022 are now closed.


Please contact Natalia Gabrielsen, Program Manager, at ngabrielsen@cfsaz.org or call 520-289-8003

AALF Past Grant Recipients

2020-2021 Recipients

Barbea Williams Performing Company: Kuumba in AfriKan Arts, S.T.E.A.M and Professional Development

Books for Classrooms: Books for Title 1 Schools With High Concentrations of African American Students

Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson: Alpha Genta + Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson

Educational Enrichment Foundation: Greatness Academy STEM Program

I Am You 360: Your Hair is Your Crown

LPKNC: LPKNC Positive Ways

Sustainable Tucson: Building Sustainable Communities Through Green Infrastructure

Tucson Educational Empowerment for Minorities (TEEM): Saturday Academy Summer Academic Foundation for Enrichment Program

2019-2020 Recipients

Alpha Phi Alpha Tucson + Barbea Williams Performance Company
Program: Engage, Enrich, Encourage: Alpha BWPC

Arizona’s Children Association + Dunbar Barber Academy
Program: Naturally Me

Books for Classrooms + Tucson Educational Enrichment for Minorities
Program: Books for Classrooms TUSD Pilot Project

I Am You 360 + Tucson Boys and Girls Club
Program: Removing the Band-Aid

2016-17 Recipients

Blair Charity Group + Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson
Program: Tucson Synergy

Goodwill of Southern ArizonaCalvary Missionary Baptist Church
Program: The African American Youth Village Initiative,

Culture of Peace AllianceOur Family Services
Program: Youth Leadership Project

Thrive Generations + Tucson Spartans Basketball
Program: CHOICES 

Southern Arizona Black College Community Support Group + Garden Youth Development Project
Program: Summer Academic Foundation for Enrichment – Saturday Academy