Black Philanthropy in Northeast Florida

Cleve Warren talks about the Eartha M.M. White Legacy Fund at The Community Foundation

Black Philanthropy has a rich history in Northeast Florida. From the earliest days following the Civil War, through Reconstruction, the Jim Crow era and the Civil Rights movement, Black families have contributed to the betterment of the community. In ways large and small, this strong inclination continues today as Black philanthropy takes ownership of the work that needs to be done.

A.L. Lewis

A.L. Lewis
A.L. Lewis from the Locals and Legends mural on the Eastside

Perhaps the best-known Black philanthropist was A.L. Lewis, Florida’s first Black millionaire, who co-founded and led the Afro American Life Insurance Company in Jacksonville. His charitable pursuits included the purchase of land for American Beach, support for Edward Waters College (now University) and Bethune-Cookman University and numerous other projects.

Eartha M.M. White

Eartha M.M. White
Eartha M.M. White

Eartha M.M. White and her mother, Clara White, were deeply involved in charitable work in Jacksonville. Clara fed the hungry and homeless from her back door, and daughter Eartha built on her tradition by creating an agency to improve the condition of Jacksonville’s poor. She established the Clara White Mission in 1928 and founded the Eartha M.M. White Nursing Home in 1967. When the former nursing home was sold, the assets created a $1.4 million endowment, the Eartha M.M. White Legacy Fund, at The Community Foundation. Cleve Warren has led the fund's Advisory Board since its creation in 2004. More than $1 million has been granted from the fund since inception.

100 Black Men of Jacksonville

100 Black Men of Jacksonville
[Watch] Charles Griggs on the importance of an organization like 100 Black Men of Jacksonville

100 Black Men of Jacksonville “What They See is What They’ll Be” provides mentoring services across a lifetime to people of African descent to achieve educational excellence, health and wellness, and economic empowerment. Nearly 25 years ago, they established an endowment at The Community Foundation so that this vital work would go on forever.



MyVillage Project

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The MyVillage Project works to develop platforms for Black-led organizations to collaborate, create and implement their own vision of equality. "As a community, we are taking owndership of the work that needs to be done." MyVillage Project is dedicated to organizing talent and resources to support Black-led nonprofits that are making a difference in the community. 



“The most innovative thing I’ve seen …. is the ability of underfunded Black nonprofits to continuously serve and provide programming for their communities. These include our African American Greek organizations, churches, and so many other nonprofits that are 100% volunteer led and operate with minimal financial contributions compared to their counterparts. Their ability to remain active and provide quality programming year after year is by far the most innovative activity in the philanthropic world.”

- Ronnie King, co-founder of MyVillage Project -



Did you know?

Nearly 2/3’s of Black households donate to community based organizations and causes, for a total of $11 billion each year. (W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, 2012)

As a share of Median Family Wealth, Black families contributed the largest proportion of their wealth to charity between 2010-2018 (Urban Institute)

Giving Black Boston

Giving by Black donors generally falls into three categories: “Cornerstone” (giving to higher education and the arts), “Kinship” (donating to organizations serving the Black community) and “Sanctified”(supporting Black churches.) (New England Blacks in Philanthropy, 2015)

Contact Information

245 Riverside Avenue, Suite 310
Jacksonville, FL 32202

The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida

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