the gilliam foundation history


An Important part of the lives of James H. Gilliam, Sr. and his wife Louise Hayley Gilliam was service to the community and more specifically causes that benefit people of color. This desire to serve the community has also been important to their children James, Jr.,  businessman, community leader, philanthropist and attorney, as well as Patrice, community leader, educator and psychologist. 


The vision of the community service was enhanced by the formation of The Gilliam Foundation, in 1998.  The Gilliam Foundation became a vehicle for the Gilliam family to channel resources into the community, to share inter-generational ideas, to address society's ills and to establish an endowment to fund future grants.


The Gilliam Foundation was the culminated brainchild of James Gilliam, Jr. Between 1980 and 2000, Jim Jr. contributed more than $7 million to fund the operations of the Foundation.  At its inception, the officers of The Gilliam Foundation were: Jim, Jr., both his parents, wife: Linda, sister Patrice and both daughters, Alexis and Leslie.  The Foundation also engaged the services of an experienced executive assistant and a certified public account. 


Jim, Jr. served as Chairman of the Foundation until his untimely passing in 2003.  From inception through 2003, the Foundation awarded grants of over $1 million. Currently, Jim's sister Patrice, chairs the Foundation.  Patrice, also, serves as President, a cousin Cydney, serves as Vice-President, his daughters: Alexis serves as Secretary and  Leslie serves as Treasurer.


Through December 2009, The Gilliam Foundation has made grants in excess of $2.5 million, and maintained an endowment for future grants of nearly $5 million.


The Foundation's support includes:

  • Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League
  • Louis Redding endowed chair at the University of Delaware
  • Appleseed Foundation
  • Albert Einstein Academy
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • ​Clark Atlanta University
  • Christina Cultural Arts Center
  • East Side Charter School
  • Delaware Art Museum
  • Delaware Community Foundation
  • Delaware State University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Habitat For Humanity
  • Latin American Community Center
  • Morgan State University
  • Nativity Preparatory School​
  • Operation Warm
  • Rob's Barbershop Community Foundation
  • ​United Way of Delaware