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


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Welcome to the official website of the Imani Pearls Community Development Foundation. I am honored to serve as the President of this foundation with 360+ college degree and professional women who are dedicated and faithful in providing programs and resources in the areas of Education, Health and Wellness, Financial Literacy, the Arts, and Global Impact in the community.


On November 17, 2005, IPCDF was established as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempted organization operating as the fundraising and charitable entity of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Chi Omega Omega Chapter. The Imani Pearls Community Development Foundation (IPCDF) empowers individuals and organizations to become forces of positive change in the Bronzeville, Douglas, Englewood, Grand Boulevard, Hyde Park, Kenwood, Oakland, and Washington Park communities of Chicago, Illinois. The Imani Pearls Community Development Foundation takes pride in improving the quality of life in the communities we serve by strategically planning and implementing the 2022-2026 International Program Initiatives of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated under the program theme of Soaring Through Greater Heights of Service and Sisterhood.

IPCDF awards over $25,000 in scholarships to high school seniors and college students annually. We host an annual HBCU College Fair as well as a Thanksgiving Day of Service that highlights programs and resources offered to the community in conjunction with Turkey and Ham give-aways. IPCDF has impacted communities globally in Rwanda, Ghana, and Mexico with monetary donations, school supplies, books, toiletries, shoes, and clothing.


We encourage community partners to Embrace the Power of Intentional Leadership and Service making a positive impact and providing needed support that strengthens marginalized and underserved communities.  As a Purpose Driven Foundation, we will go Back to the Basics of Advancing Excellence, Moving Forward and staying Focused on HERstory of maximizing community outreach Making it Happen, Together!


Sisterly in Service,


LaTanisha Williams-Smith


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. In the same year, 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.


Eugenia Reese, Vice President

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.


President - LaTanisha Williams-Smith
Vice President - Eugenia Reese
Secretary - Lisa Stephens
Treasurer - Tami Wofford
Asst. Treasurer - Kelly Shelton*
Financial Secretary - Alexia Huggins
Asst. Financial Secretary - Jackie Sowell*
Parliamentarian - Gena Miller Chung
Fundraising Chairman - Brandy Garris

*Treasurer and Financial Secretary for the Foundation.

Nancy Banks 2023-2024
Malika D. Smith 2023-2024
Rachel Washington 2023-2024
Kim Brown 2024-2025

Debbie Williams 2024-2025

Dion Redfield 2024-2025


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