About The Cemala Foundation

The Cemala Foundation History

The Cemala Foundation was chartered in 1986 by Martha and Ceasar Cone II. A son of the co-founder of Cone Mills, Mr. Cone was president and chairman of the textile manufacturing corporation headquartered in Greensboro from 1956 to 1973. Mr. Cone died in November 1986. The foundation received its initial endowment from the estate of Mrs. Cone after her death in 1993 and began operations in 1994.

The Cones envisioned the Foundation as a way of continuing the family's history of personal and business commitment to Greensboro. With an understanding that tomorrow's issues and problems might differ from today's, the Foundation charter places no limitation on the charitable projects to be undertaken but entrusts the board to respond to changing times and needs. A vision statement that articulates its goal of moving Guilford County forward guides the Foundation.

The Foundation is located in the restored Cone Export and Commission Company (the precursor to Cone Mills) building, now known as Foundation Place, located at 330 South Greene Street in Greensboro.
The Cemala Foundation is a sustaining member of the NC Center for Nonprofits and a funder of the Guilford Nonprofit Consortium.

The Cemala Foundation Mission

The Cemala Foundation continues a family tradition of commitment to enhancing the quality of life of the community through grants to qualified organizations.

The Cemala Foundation Vision

The Cemala Foundation envisions a vibrant and innovative Greensboro that is nationally known as a magnet for individuals, families, and businesses where:

  • Collaboration and Community building are at the forefront of civic engagement.
  • Every child is developmentally ready to succeed and thrive in school.
  • Center City Greensboro is the robust hub of the community with accessible parks and recreation, as well as, thriving arts and culture.
  • There is a vibrant economy

    which supports:

    • A living wage
    • A thriving workforce
    • Plentiful job opportunities
    • Safe, affordable housing

    which encourages long term or permanent investment in the community.

  • Environment and conservation are embraced and valued to preserve the unique beauty and shared resources of the region.

Cemala Focus Areas:

  • Early Childhood Development
  • Job Training
  • Transformational Spaces & Opportunities
  • Existing Community Organizations