Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise (PACE) is a nonprofit organization formed almost 50 years ago through a partnership of the United Fund and the Community Chest (forerunners of the United Way of Allegheny County), the Health and Welfare (Planning) Association, the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and key leaders in the African American community.

Born out of the tragedy of the April 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the resultant civil uprisings in Pittsburgh, PACE was created to support the creation and growth of nonprofit organizations in the African American community.

Since its inception, PACE has provided over $10 million in grants plus technical assistance to over 300 nonprofit organizations in isolated and neglected areas of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. Community jewels we supported in their early years include: Kingsley Center, Pittsburgh Literacy Council, NEED, and the Bidwell Cultural and Training Center (Manchester).

As stated by University of Pittsburgh researcher Dr. Ralph Bangs and others in the March 2004 Highlights Of The Black-White Benchmarks Reports, “Comparisons of African American conditions in the 70 largest cities, 50 largest counties, and 50 largest metro areas show that African American children, working-age adults and elderly in the Pittsburgh area are among the most disadvantaged in America”. In addition, “Comparisons of African American and white conditions in the Pittsburgh area show that African Americans are much more disadvantaged than whites.”

Numerous community-based nonprofits tirelessly labor to address these conditions.  With great competence in their content area, many lack the information, expertise, human and financial resources to grow, stabilize and effectively serve their communities. PACE’s customer centric programming is designed to assist them in their organizational development and service delivery.