Fund Story

Established in 20021 by Unity’s Board of Directors, the purpose of Unity’s African American Empowerment Fund (AAEF) is “to improve socioeconomic conditions and celebrate the contributions of African Americans in La Porte County.”

The initial focus of the fund is on entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

The African American Empowerment Fund aims to help achieve the Vision for La Porte County created by citizens via the Vibrant Communities of La Porte County process in 2019: We envision La Porte County as a vibrant collection of unique communities that invest in their diverse people, grow their economic and health vitality, and promote innovative leadership through talented citizens for a rich quality of life for all.

The Community Foundation of St. Joseph County’s African American Community Fund began more than 20 years ago. This fund has inspired African American donors and funded: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, programs featuring relevant authors, a life-size statue of Harriet Tubman, and many arts and cultural projects. Together we will accomplish similar success in La Porte County!

Since the fund’s inception in 2021, grants have been awarded for the following: $5,000 each year to support the 2022 & 2023 Kwanzaa Celebrations, $5,000 each year to support the 2023 & 2024 Juneteenth Celebration, $250 to support the Martin Luther King, Jr. event hosted by Purdue Northwest Westville Campus and $250 to support the 2024 Michigan City MLK Jr. Day Celebration.

To learn more about the AAEF or to help the fund grow contact: Denice Shipp-Glenn, Unity's Professional Volunteer, at 219-877-8242 or Maggi Spartz.

  • Your gift is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
  • You will receive a tax receipt electronically for your records once your donation is processed.
  • Gifts by credit card incur a processing fee for each transaction which will be deducted from your gift. The current fee is 3.5% per transaction. When donating online, we invite you to select the option to increase your gift to cover this fee so that your charitable intent can be fully realized.
  • If you would like to make a one-time or recurring payment from a bank account, please contact the Unity Office at (219) 879-0327 or
  • If you prefer to donate by check, our mailing address is 422 Franklin St, Suite C, Michigan City, IN 46360. Please include the fund name(s) you wish to donate to in the memo line.