The Black United Fund of Illinois is a non-profit, tax-exempt federated organization and a social movement designed to improve the quality of life for African Americans through reliance on self-help at the local community level. At the root of this philosophy is the statewide goal of developing systematic mechanisms to rally resources for the African American community.
These mechanisms for liberation are designed to encourage individuals at every economic level to set aside a portion of their own resources (i.e., ideas, money, supplies, strategies, energy, skills, and time) to support economic development, alternative education projects, arts and culture, health and human service programs, social justice, legal services, research, and emergency needs.
The process of contributing varied resources is viewed as a logical method of self-investment for a labor-intensive population with increasing buying power, but limited ownership or capital. It is believed that self-investment will yield long-term social, psychological and economic dividends for the African American population just as it has for various ethnic groups.
In addition, the self-help approach is viewed as one significant way to help break the inveterate cycle of economic dependency and social powerlessness that have characterized African American organizations and communities.
The goal of the Black United Fund of Illinois is to support organizations that have the demonstrated ability or potential to:
advance economic development in the African American community;
develop effective educational programs for youth and improve education in the public schools;
preserve African American history and advance creative work in the performing, literary, and visual arts;
offer health and social services to the community, especially services designed to improve the quality of life for African American families;
respond to community needs and empower people to eliminate root causes of deprivation rather than just treat symptoms;
engage in independent research, where required, to determine needs and to evaluate the quality of life in the African American community.