African-American Women’s Giving and Empowerment Circle awards first grants

The African-American Women’s Giving and Empowerment Circle, a fund of the Arizona Community Foundation, awarded the first grants in its history at an intimate celebration in early October.

The giving circle’s first grantees sought funding to support programs in leadership development, education and the arts.

Grants were awarded through a competitive application process in alignment with the giving circle’s stated mission to empower women and girls in Arizona.

“This is a historic moment for us as members of the African-American Women’s Giving and Empowerment Circle,” stated Kim Covington, senior director of Philanthropic Services for Community Initiatives with the Arizona Community Foundation, in a press release. Ms. Covington is also a member of the giving circle.

“We joined the giving circle to give back and strengthen our community through collective philanthropy, and when we awarded our first grants to these inspiring projects, we really felt we’d achieved what we set out to do.”

African-American Women’s Giving and Empowerment Circle Inaugural Grantees

  • Life Paradigms received a grant for its fifteen-week leadership development program for teenage girls called Rites of Passage.
  • The Black Theatre Troupe received a grant to facilitate discussions following productions of plays emphasizing the stories of empowered women of color in the 2015-16 season.
  • Future Stars, Inc. received a grant for the Hands On STEM program, which will expose minority students to the fields of science, technology, engineering and math and the career paths possible through them.
  • Phoenix AKARAMA Foundation received a grant to launch ASCEND, a youth enrichment program that focuses on achievement, self-awareness, communication, engagement, networking and development to support young women on their journey to college, vocational training or employment.

Funds for grants are available through the gifts of giving circle members, whose regular contributions support both grantmaking and the growth of an endowed fund to support the giving circle’s goals in perpetuity.

“The great thing about these grants is that they are only the first,” stated Ms. Covington in the release. “With more time and members, our impact will only increase.”

The African-American Women’s Giving and Empowerment Circle is one of two giving circles established under the ACF Black Philanthropy Initiative, which was established in 2008 to advance equity, health, education, leadership and social justice for African-Americans in Arizona, the release stated. Real Engagement through Active Philanthropy is a giving circle that provides Black men with a mechanism for community investment.

Individuals interested in becoming a member or supporter of the giving circles should contact Kim Covington at or call 602-381-1400.

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