The IPCDF Story


Our Vision

Our small and meaningful good deeds will create a ripple effect of service from others who will help and encourage others.

The IPCDF Story

In 2005, 101 Alpha Kappa Alpha women created the Imani Pearls Community Development Foundation to build stronger, healthier neighborhoods on Chicago’s South Side. One year later, IPCDF gained status as a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt charitable foundation.

Named after the Kwanza principle, Imani, which is also the Swahili word for “faith,” we operate on the premise that a helping hand can transform the life of someone who can spin adversity into something beautiful – like a cultured pearl – and bring new hope to our communities.

In the beginning, IPCDF functioned as the fundraising and philanthropic arm of  Chi Omega Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®. In addition to awarding community grants and college scholarships, we administered a wide variety of community outreach programs prescribed by our sorority’s international leadership. These programs addressed issues like domestic and teen violence, human trafficking, economic inequity, literacy, physical and mental wellness, global poverty, hunger and homelessness — to name a few.

We’ve restructured to operate as a stand-alone charitable organization and fine-tuned the scope of our efforts to make a bigger difference. In order to make a more significant impact on education, crime, and joblessness within our service area, IPCDF now focuses on:

  1. Helping high school students graduate, gain acceptance into college, and pay college and/or vocation  education costs.
  2. Strengthening entrepreneurship and local business development that may eventually provide much-needed jobs.
  3. Supporting grassroots community action that improves the quality of life in the South Side communities we serve.