Preserving Wealth, Honoring Legacies & Raising Awareness

The Cleveland Foundation’s African-American Philanthropy Committee 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. 

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. The summit also provides tools and insight for individuals who are participating in charitable giving. In the years it is offered, the summit attracts local, regional and national attention. Collectively, members of the African-American Philanthropy Committee also support the mission of the Cleveland Foundation, which includes building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on key community issues. Contact the African-American Philanthropy Committee and follow @CleveFoundation #GivingHasNoColor.

First row: Justin Horton, Connie Hill-Johnson, Robyn Minter Smyers, Dr. Ellen Burts-Cooper, Wes Moore, Terri Eason, Ron Johnson, Bishara Addison, Ann Marie Ogletree Second row: Jeff Johnson, Dr. Antoine Moss, Steve Sanders

Dr. Ellen Burts-Cooper

Jeff Johnson and representatives from Presidents Council and United Black Fund – third place Philanthropy Matchmaker winners

Jeff Johnson and representatives from The Kids of 216 and Urban League of Greater Cleveland – second place Philanthropy Matchmaker winners

Jeff Johnson and representatives from the Urban Barber Association and American Heart Association – first place Philanthropy Matchmaker winners

Rev. Steven Rowan, Ronn Richard, Christal Jackson, Wes Moore

African-American Philanthropy Committee Legacy Fund

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.

Give to the AAPC Legacy Fund

News and Information

Details: 2018 African-American Philanthropy Summit via WKYC Channel 3

Wes Moore to be featured speaker at 2018 African-American Philanthropy Summit via Cleveland Plain Dealer

African-American Philanthropy Summit in April will feature keynote speech from bestselling author Wes Moore via Crain’s Cleveland Business

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
Senior Managing Partner, Improve Consulting and Training

Ronald V. Johnson, Jr., Co-Chair
Senior Vice President and Senior Counsel, Law Group, KeyBank National Association

Montrie Rucker Adams
President, Visibility Marketing, Inc.

Bishara Addison
Senior Manager, Policy & Strategic Initiatives, Towards Employment

Justin Horton
Wealth Advisor, Stratos Wealth Partners

Jeff I. Johnson
Principal, JIJ Communications

Bracy E. Lewis

Jazmin Long

VP Fund Development, Birthing Beautiful Communities

Antoine Moss, Ph.D.
Logistics Management Specialist, Logistics & Technical Information, NASA Glenn Research Center

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

Melvin G. Pye, Jr.
Chief Executive Officer, Fairfax Place

Steve Sanders
Metro Cleveland Director, Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Robyn Minter Smyers
Partner, Executive Committee, Thompson Hine LLP

2018 African-American Philanthropy Summit Honorary Co-Chairs

Teresa Metcalf Beasley, Partner, Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP

Margot James Copeland, Chair and CEO, KeyBank Foundation

Carole Hoover, President and CEO, Hoover Milstein

Alex Johnson, Ph.D., President, Cuyahoga Community College

Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, M.D., Associate Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, University Hospitals

Steven A. Minter, Executive-in-Residence and Fellow, Cleveland State University

Ronald B. Richard, President and CEO, Cleveland Foundation

Vanessa Whiting, President, A.E.S. Management Corp. dba Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen