About

Overview Of Who We Serve

BPACF facilitates a professional development pipeline, as an organization committed to excellence in Northeast Ohio. Our programs and services offer opportunities for success and synergy between students, aspiring professionals and civic leaders to connect with the many businesses, companies and civic institutions that make Northeast Ohio a community.
BPACF works with Northeast Ohio high school and college students, by providing career development and social support for their post-secondary academic and professional goals. As the students transition from graduates into aspiring professionals, BPACF provides opportunities for networking and civic leadership development.
Each year, we make connections for students, young professionals and civic leaders to connect with some of the most accomplished professionals in Northeast Ohio – our Black Professionals of the Year, Lifetime Achievers and Trendsetters. Our events and programs create a platform for civic leadership, professional development and career innovation to take place.

Our Mission

To create opportunities for African American professionals by providing scholarship, leadership and career development.

Our Vision

To be a catalyst that prepares and develops emerging rofessionals, celebrates distinguished leaders and elevates our community.

Our Values

Professionalism: We believe in upholding a high standard of professionalism.
Leadership: We support the development of professionals into leaders.
Career Development: We create unique experiences for career development.
Innovation: We encourage innovation at every stage of a career trajectory.
Civic Engagement: We inspire civic engagement as a catalyst to professional development

Mission & Vision

The mission of the Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation (BPACF) is to create opportunities for African American professionals by providing scholarship, leadership and career development. Our vision is to be a catalyst that prepares and develops emerging professionals, celebrates distinguished leaders and elevates our community.

Our Heritage & Origin

Created in 1977, the Black Professionals Association (BPA) was an organization dedicated to networking, professional growth and development in Greater Cleveland’s African American community. To celebrate the accomplishments of successful Black Professionals, BPA held the first Black Professional of the Year Gala in 1981. The goal of that first gala was to honor the accomplishments of Bertram Gardner, a banker, who served as a mentor for many, as well as for his contributions made to our community. The celebration was greatly received and thus the tradition of the annual Black Professional of the Year was established.

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The Creation of The Foundation

The legacy of raising awareness and supporting the development of Black leaders in our community is the primary purpose of the Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation (BPACF). BPACF, an outgrowth of BPA, was established in October of 1985 after the gala revenues reached a significant return on investment. The leadership of BPA then determined the need to establish a charitable foundation, to raise and distribute charitable funds and assure that African Americans from Northeast Ohio with academic and leadership potential have an opportunity to advance to higher education and join the ranks of our region’s outstanding leaders and professionals.

Continued Growth

The legacy of raising awareness and supporting the development of Black leaders in our community is the primary purpose of the Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation (BPACF). BPACF, an outgrowth of BPA, was established in October of 1985 after the gala revenues reached a significant return on investment. The leadership of BPA then determined the need to establish a charitable foundation, to raise and distribute charitable funds and assure that African Americans from Northeast Ohio with academic and leadership potential have an opportunity to advance to higher education and join the ranks of our region’s outstanding leaders and professionals.

Why Support BPACF?

With the need for advanced education and training on the rise in the state of Ohio, we must invest in and prepare our community for the workforce shift that is impacting our region. BPACF has been committed to elevating our community of professionals for more than 30 years and will continue to serve in this capacity. Economically disadvantaged, minority youth are often unprepared for college success, unsure of how to navigate the competitive job market and lack exposure to individuals who can mentor them and set a positive example for them to follow. BPACF exists to commit time, talent and resources to minority talent development and retention in our region by providing scholarships to low and moderate income students from Greater Cleveland, creating unique opportunities for career advancement and shaping the quality of leadership and professionalism in this region.