Honoring African-American Philanthropy

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 African-American Philanthropy Committee Legacy Fund is supported by individuals of all ages, churches, businesses, sororities and fraternities, and community-based organizations.

The committee also 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 endowments, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on key community issues. Contact the African-American Philanthropy Committee  and follow @CleveFoundation #GivingHasNoColor.


Enormous thanks to the more than 400 caring individuals who gathered April 23, 2016, for the ‎Cleveland Foundation African-American Philanthropy Summit!

Special thanks to presenting sponsor Medical Mutual for its ongoing support, and thank you to the many volunteers, committee members and honorary co-chairs who made the Summit possible! Your time, talent and wisdom is much appreciated, and we could never accomplish such a gathering without your help. Congratulations to all Philanthropy Tank participants and the winners: Duffy Liturgical Dance EnsembleOperation HOPE, Inc. Cleveland, and Seeds of Literacy!

Honorary Summit Co-Chairs and members of the African-American Philanthropy Committee with keynote speaker Donna Brazile and morning featured speaker Jeff Johnson at center.

Honorary Summit Co-Chairs and members of the African-American Philanthropy Committee with keynote speaker Donna Brazile and morning featured speaker Jeff Johnson at center.















News and Information

Sisters in Service for 100 Years: Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson, L.H.D., International President, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., speaks at The City Club of Cleveland

Black Giving Matters: Interview with Terri Bradford Eason of the Cleveland Foundation

Download our 2014 Philanthropic Giving Summary

View video highlights from the 2014 African-American Philanthropy Summit

Check out this WKYC Channel 3 segment: 7 Minutes with Russ Mitchell: Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.


An interview with African-American Philanthropy Committee Co-Chairs Robert Madison, CEO,
Robert Madison International; Debra Green, Director, Community Relations, Medical Mutual; Ronald B. Richard, President & CEO, Cleveland Foundation; Dr. R. A. Vernon, Senior Pastor, The Word Church; Connie Hill-Johnson, Owner and Managing Director, Visiting Angels; and Justin Horton, Wealth Advisor, Stratos Wealth Partners.

Member Spotlight

Connie Hill-Johnson, Committee Co-Chair and 2015 recipient of the Cleveland Foundation’s Frederick Harris Goff Philanthropic Service Award

Connie Hill-Johnson, in her role as co-chair, is dedicated to increasing awareness of philanthropy and charitable giving within the African-American community. Under Connie’s leadership and service, the prominence and scope of the committee has been elevated and serves as a national model. Connie and her husband, Kevin, are Cleveland natives and successful entrepreneurs whose careers are dedicated to serving the elderly. Their Visiting Angels business, part of a national franchise, helps older adults live as independently as possible in their own homes. Both Connie and her husband have a strong desire to give back to the community.


African-American Philanthropy Committee Members

Ellen Burts-Cooper, Ph.D., Chair
Senior Managing Partner, Improve Consulting and Training

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

Constance Hill-Johnson
Owner and Managing Director, Visiting Angels

Justin Horton
Wealth Advisor, Stratos Wealth Partners

Jeff I. Johnson
Principal, JIJ Communications

Ronald V. Johnson, Jr.
Vice President, Associate Counsel, KeyBank National Association

Bracy E. Lewis

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 in Charge, Thompson Hine LLP

2016 African-American Philanthropy Summit Honorary Co-Chairs

Warren E. Anderson
President, General Manager, Anderson-DuBose Company

Margot James Copeland
Chair and CEO, KeyBank Foundation

Doris Evans, M.D.
Pediatrician & Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, MetroHealth

Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African-American Research, Harvard University

Debra Green

Vice President, Community Outreach & Chief Diversity Officer, Medical Mutual

Carole F. Hoover

President and CEO, Hoover Milstein

Steven A. Minter

Executive-in-Residence, Cleveland State University

Ronald B. Richard
President and CEO, Cleveland Foundation

Rev. Dr. Stephen Rowan
Senior Pastor, Bethany Baptist Church