The Black Development Fund was established in 1969 as the response of New York Yearly Meeting to the needs of the Black and Puerto Rican communities within the area of the Yearly Meeting. There was originally a goal of $50,000 per year, and it was provided that the fund would be administered by a committee of Friends, the majority of whom would be Black. While the original goal has never been reached, funds in the range of $15,000 to $20,000 per year have been contributed and used for a wide variety of projects. The name was changed in 1978 to recognize the work of Barrington Dunbar for the Yearly Meeting.

Purposes & Objectives

The committee has a twofold objective:

  1. To educate Friends on the needs of the Black and Latin American sectors of the community and to stimulate Friends' concern and cooperation in responding to the needs of the wider community.
  2. To administer the Black Development Fund as the money is made available to the committee.

Functions & Activities

The committee has used the funds contributed to provide seed money to maintain or expand the services of a variety of projects, including scholarships for disadvantaged students at high school and college level; to assist in community-development projects aimed at helping preschool children, youth, and aged who are victimized by the adverse conditions of poverty and racism in their communities; to provide legal aid, rehabilitation of offenders, and bail bond projects; to provide job training, repairs, and fixing up of housing facilities; and many other projects of a like nature.

Organization & Method of Appointment

The committee to administer the Barrington Dunbar Fund for Black Development comprises seven members appointed by the Yearly Meeting for one-year terms on the recommendation of the Nominating Committee. It is provided in the original minute of appointment that the majority of the members of the committee shall be Black.

The committee selects its own clerk. Disbursements are made by the committee.

Meeting Time & Places

Meetings of the committee are to be held at the call of the clerk, usually three or four times a year.


The Barrington Dunbar Fund for Black Development is a participant in the Sharing Fund of New York Yearly Meeting, from which it receives most of its financial support.