Preserving Wealth, Honoring Legacies & Raising Awareness

The Cleveland Foundation’s African American Philanthropy Committee (AAPC) was created in 1993 to promote awareness and education about the benefits of wealth and community preservation through philanthropy. Awareness led to stewardship in 2010, when the Committee established a fund to help support a variety of organizations within the African American community of Greater Cleveland. 

African American Philanthropy Summit

The committee convenes a Philanthropy Summit once every two years to raise the visibility of African American philanthropy in the region and to honor local African American philanthropists who are making a lasting and significant impact.

Friends of the African American Philanthropy Committee

Would you like to have a meaningful and lasting impact in the community? The Friends of the African American Philanthropy Committee was launched in 2020 to connect philanthropic minded individuals to work together in advancing philanthropy within the African American community. To join contact Terri Bradford Eason, Senior Director, Advancement Equity Initiatives at

Recent News

Common Threads of Philanthropy: A Love of Humanity that Transcends Generations by Terri Bradford Eason (Senior Director of Advancement Equity Initiatives) via the Winter 2022 issue of The Black Professional.

The Environmental, Social and Governance Framework in Philanthropy: Going Beyond Grants to Achieve Impact by Terri Bradford Eason, Senior Director of Advancement Equity Initiatives (Spring 2022 issue of The Black Professional)

So, You Want to Be a Philanthropist? by Terri Bradford Eason, Senior Director of Advancement Equity Initiatives (Summer 2022 issue of The Black Professional)

Ways to Give Back

Collectively, members of the AAPC also support the mission of the Cleveland Foundation, which includes building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on key community issues. The African American Philanthropy Committee Legacy Fund supports a variety of organizations within the African American community of Greater Cleveland. This fund is bolstered by individuals of all ages, businesses, sororities and fraternities, faith-based organizations, and multiple member organizations.

Contact the African American Philanthropy Committee and follow @CleveFoundation #GivingHasNoColor.

Recent Events

2022 African American Philanthropy Summit, Philanthropic Equity: Making an Impact

Hundreds of change-makers gathered to discuss philanthropic equity and creating impact in communities at the 2022 Cleveland Foundation African American Philanthropy Summit on April 30. Attendees had the opportunity to network and dive into deep conversations around pressing topics in philanthropy at breakout sessions throughout the day. They also heard insights from featured speakers Kevin Clayton, vice president of diversity, inclusion & engagement for the Cleveland Cavaliers; and Michele Ghee, CEO of EBONY and JET magazines. Mellody Hobson, co-CEO & president of Ariel Investments and vice chair of Starbucks, also shared remarks via Zoom. Visit our blog here for highlights

Rhythm on the River 2022

“2020 Vision: Disrupting the Cultural Landscape Through Philanthropy — The Conversation Continues with Eddie and Sylvia Brown”
The Cleveland Foundation African American Philanthropy Committee welcomed Baltimore philanthropists Eddie C. and C. Sylvia Brown virtually Nov. 10, 2020, to continue the conversation on “Disrupting the Cultural Landscape Through Philanthropy” that began at that summer’s first-ever all-virtual African American Philanthropy Summit.

“2020 Vision: Disrupting the Cultural Landscape Through Philanthropy”
The 2020 Cleveland Foundation African American Philanthropy Summit took place via Zoom on May 30 featuring a conversation between Featured Speaker Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Business Leader and Co-Founder and CEO of WEEN-Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network, and moderator Jeff Johnson, AAPC Committee Member and Chief Curator for Men Thrive.

Archived News and Information

Cleveland Heights couple Justin and Andrean Horton share what motivates them to give back and why they’re excited about the 2020 African American Philanthropy Summit via the Cleveland Foundation

The brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Delta Alpha Lambda Chapter, help their community cope with the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic via the Cleveland Foundation

Celebrating African American Philanthropy


Belva Denmark Tibbs and Imani Denmark Tibbs describe how philanthropy became an important part of their mother-daughter relationship. 


Clevelanders Valdia Burns, Barbara Harris and Ann-Marie Ogletree explain the events and people that inspired their philanthropic giving.


Consultant and entrepreneur Ellen Burts-Cooper, Ph.D., and architect Bob Madison share how their education and professional backgrounds help inform their philanthropic passions.

African American Philanthropy Committee Members

Ellen Burts-Cooper, Ph.D., Co-Chair
Chief Improvement Officer, Improve Consulting and Training Group

Ronald V. Johnson, Jr., Co-Chair
Chief Ethics Officer, KeyBank National Association

Montrie Rucker Adams
CEO, Visibility Marketing, Inc.

Bishara Addison
Director, Job Preparation, The Fund for Our Economic Future

Justin Horton, CFP
Wealth Advisor, Stratos Wealth Partners

Jeff I. Johnson
Chief Executive Officer, JIJ Impact

Jazmin Long, MSSA, MNO
Chief Executive Officer, Birthing Beautiful Communities

Kevin McDaniel
Executive Director, Neighborhood Leadership Institute

Antoine Moss, Ph.D.
DEIA Integration Lead, NASA Headquarters Office of Communications

Ann-Marie Ogletree
Executive Director, Fundamentals Early Childhood Development Academy

Steve Sanders
Founder, Training Camp for Life

Robyn Minter Smyers
Partner, Thompson Hine LLP

Belva Denmark Tibbs
Community Partner

2022 African American Philanthropy Summit Honorary Event Chairs

Eddie and Sylvia Brown

The Rev. Dr. Robin Hedgeman
Senior Pastor, Bethany Christian Church, and Member, Board of Directors, Cleveland Foundation

Dr. Alex Johnson
President, Cuyahoga Community College

Darrell McNair
President and CEO, MVP Plastics 

Anthony Price
Advisor, Dell Technologies

Ronn Richard
President & CEO, Cleveland Foundation

Kashim Skeete
Market Executive and Managing Director, Bank of America