A.L. Lewis Black Opportunity & Impact Fund Makes First Grants Totaling $275,000

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Kappa Alpha Psi: (from left to right) Dr. Barbara Darby, Judge Brian Davis, Gregory Owens, Velma Monteiro-Tribble, Dr. C.B. McIntosh, Lawrence Dennis, Dennis Gamble, Dr. Atiya Abdelmalik, Wanda J. Willis, Carol J. Alexander, Dr. Floyd B. Willis

FOBT Pipeline: (from left to right) Wanda J. Willis, Gregory Owens, Velma Monteiro-Tribble, Rebecca Williams, Moses Williams, Carol J. Alexander, Dr. Atiya Abdelmalik, Judge Brian Davis, Dr. Barbara Darby

LISC Jax: (from left to right) Wanda J. Willis, Gregory Owens, Velma Monteiro-Tribble, Dr. Irvin “Pedro” Cohen, Judge Brian Davis, Dr. Barbara Darby

The funds represent strategic investments designed to help Black communities thrive

The A.L. Lewis Black Opportunity & Impact Fund announced its first competitive grants, which total $275,000, in a series of strategic investments designed to help Black communities thrive in Jacksonville.

As a collective giving initiative of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, the A.L. Lewis Fund launched in 2022 with a focus on health, education and economic development in Jacksonville. The Fund is named after A.L. Lewis, Florida’s first African American millionaire and co-founder of the Afro-American Life Insurance Company, and continues Northeast Florida’s rich tradition of Black philanthropy.

“These grants would not have been possible without the volunteer time and financial support of the A.L. Lewis Fund members and donors, and we want to thank them for their commitment, passion and support,” said Velma Monteiro-Tribble, chair of the A.L. Lewis Fund. “We also wish to congratulate our grantees on their important work to make a difference in the lives of individuals and communities in Jacksonville.”

Funds awarded include large and small grants, designed to match the size and scope of the nonprofit organizations’ programs. Grantees include:

  • Fruit of Barren Trees (FBOT) Pipeline, INC, which will receive $90,000 for affordable housing, workforce development and community resiliency in the Moncrief Park neighborhood.
  • Kappa Alpha Psi Jacksonville Foundation, which will receive $85,000 to assist with the construction of C. B. McIntosh Community Achievement Center, named for first Black pediatrician in Jacksonville, a community health and education center in Northwest Jacksonville.
  • LISC Jacksonville, which will receive $50,000 for its down payment assistance program through Project Boots, focusing on first-time home buyers located in the ZIP codes of 32206, 32208, 32210, and 32216.

In addition, the A.L. Lewis Fund has awarded 25 small grants of up to $2,000 each to support projects that will empower residents to improve their neighborhoods by leveraging their talents, experiences, and expertise. The projects will address health, education, and economic development in ZIP codes 32202, 32204, 32206, 32208, 32209, 32218 and 32254. These grants were awarded through an open, competitive process, in which 38 applications were received, reviewed, and recommended by the A.L. Lewis Fund’s grantmaking committee.

Small grants were awarded to Melanin Market, Inc.; Bridge Builders United, Inc.; Unified Community Builders; Delta Research and Educational Foundation; I AM The Prize, Inc.; The Center One Foundation; Us & Our Children, Inc. (Kash Kids Program); Gameface 413 Training Academy; Empowerment Academy; KRUMPIN 4 SUCCESS INC; Adore Me Nanny; Justice Leagues of Fitness; Quench the Violence; Foundation of My Success; Northside Coalition of Jacksonville; The Moxie Group; Another Change Breakthrough Ministries; Shine-Seeking Harmony in Neighborhoods; Subliminal Dreamz Inc; Women Writing for (a) Change Jacksonville; Marie Barney Boston Scholarship Foundation; Silent Women Speaking Foundation, Inc.; Royal Court Mentoring Inc; Jacksonville Brotherhood of Firefighters, Inc.; UNF Black Alumni Association.

“Promoting Black philanthropy has long been a priority for The Community Foundation, and we couldn’t be more pleased to see these resources being put to work in the community,” said Isaiah M. Oliver, President of The Community Foundation. “My gratitude goes out to the generous donors and committed community leaders who have given time, talent, and treasure to make these grants possible.”

These grants follow an initial grant announced last year of $25,000 to 904WARD to support their ongoing work against racism in New Town/Grand Park and the broader Jacksonville communities following the racially motivated shooting on August 26, 2023. The support for 904WARD will allow them to curate a collection of oral histories from residents of the area, including the history and context around the shooting, as well as community response and healing.

About the A.L. Lewis Black Opportunity & Impact Fund
The A. L. Lewis Black Opportunity & Impact Fund is a collective giving initiative of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. The Fund invests in solutions to advance equity, justice, and transformational change in Black communities, continuing the legacy of Abraham Lincoln Lewis, was a local entrepreneur, humanitarian and philanthropist who became Florida’s first African-American millionaire.

About The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida 
The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida (, Florida’s oldest and one of its largest community foundations, works to stimulate philanthropy to build a better community. The Foundation helps donors invest their philanthropic gifts wisely, helps nonprofits serve the region effectively, and helps people come together to make the community a better place. Now in its 60th year, the Foundation manages more than $650 million in assets as of 12/31/2023 and has made more than $750 million in grants since inception.


Contact: Stephanie Garry Garfunkel  

VP, Strategic Communications 


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