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An advocate today, a philanthropist forever

Black Philanthropy Month

An initiative of the African American Women’s Development Fund USA that began in

A global celebration of African-descent giving observed every

During this special month, ACF is highlighting people and projects that advance
and work to improve
quality of life for
African-Americans in

Wherever she has lived, Jean Fairfax has championed education to elevate people, and she has been a key motivator of meaningful change.


The daughter of two college graduates, Jean excelled in higher education, graduating with Honors in Liberal Arts from the University of Michigan and being inducted into the honorary fraternity Phi Beta Kappa. She went on to earn a master’s degree in World Religions from Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

Jean began her career as Dean of Women at Kentucky State College and later served in the same post at Tuskegee Institute. She committed much of her time and talents to the American Friends Service Committee working as a direct relief worker in Austria following World War II, a director of college programs and as an administrator of Southern Civil Rights programs. She was a leader among citizens who rallied behind the cause of free- and reduced-lunch programs following publication of the 1968 study, “The Daily Bread,” and she was instrumental in the desegregation of higher education.

Jean and her sister Betty moved to Arizona where they were teachers and began new philanthropic pursuits. They created the Betty H. & Jean E. Fairfax Fund for Educational Equity, and Jean went on to found the Black Legacy Endowed Fund, which she still serves as a trustee.

The Black Philanthropy Initiative

The Arizona Community Foundation leverages philanthropy as a tool to transform and build community. In 2008, dedicated staff, board members, and a task force of respected African-American leaders came together to establish the Black Philanthropy Initiative to address relevant issues in Arizona’s Black community.

Through strategic grantmaking, the endowment supports nonprofit organizations that serve African Americans in such critical areas as health, education, workforce development and community building.

If you would like to get involved, you can make an online donation or contact Keva Womble to learn how you can contribute your time and talents. For more information about Black Philanthropy Month, visit

GIVE to the Black Philanthropy Initiative

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