During this Black History Month, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation (KZCF) is honored to shine a spotlight on the incredible contributions of our Black and African American donors. Through their generous donations, which have spanned the course of decades, KZCF has been able to continue the work of helping to make Kalamazoo the most equitable place to live.

For the Honorable Carolyn H. Williams, the decision to invest in her community by becoming a donor at KZCF was a logical next step. Williams, Kalamazoo’s first African American female judge, ventured into the world of philanthropy as a donor more than 20 years ago. After becoming a member of KZCF’s Board of Trustees, what began as a simple commitment to give a gift to KZCF later blossomed into a more consistent giving strategy. Williams went on to become KZCF’s first African American board chair, and since then, Williams and her husband, Sidney, established the Carolyn & Sidney Williams Community Fund. Unrestricted funds like theirs provide our organization with the most strategic flexibility to meet the needs of community members as they arise.

I firmly believe in the mission and vision statement of the organization.

- Honorable Carolyn H. Williams

Williams has always valued the opportunity to support her community through her charitable giving pursuits and volunteerism. After her retirement from the bench, she also served as board chair of United Way of South Central Michigan and Communities in Schools Kalamazoo. She and her husband encourage community members to remember the importance of community service and discover all the joy that supporting others through philanthropy can bring.

“If we're all going to be part of a community and receive the recognition and support that the community deserves, and I've lived here for more than 50 years, then it's also important to be visibly engaged in supporting the broader community foundation organization,” Williams said.

Share a gift today to join the Honorable Carolyn H. Williams and Sidney Williams in making an impact that lasts!