Skip to main content

News / Articles

Lunch with the League: South Bend Heritage Foundation

Published on 12/22/2023

January 12 at noon

South Bend Heritage Foundation: A little History, and a lot about what the South

Bend Heritage Foundation has done and is doing for the betterment of South Bend.


Click here to join the Zoom meeting.

Meeting ID: 824 2646 1463

Passcode: 704500



South Bend Heritage Foundation was established in July 1974 to help reverse the physical and social decline taking place in South Bend neighborhoods. It is committed to the stabilization and empowerment of our neighborhoods with the purpose to enhance the beauty and value of neighborhoods and to empower residents, through collaboration, physical transformation, advocacy, and education. Speaker Gladys Muhammad will discuss the Foundation’s activities and how is our the community is benefiting from the work being done.



Gladys W. Muhammad served as the Associate Director of South Bend Heritage Foundation for over 35 plus years and continues to run the Charles Martin Youth Community Center. 


Speaker’s Bio:   

Born in Mississippi, Ms. Muhammad came here with her family at the age of three and has spent a lifetime serving the city of South Bend. In 1978, she helped establish and became the first director of the YWCA’s Shelter for Battered Women. After six years she became the Deputy Director of South Bend’s Department of Code Enforcement and, in 1987, she joined the staff of South Bend Heritage Foundation (SBHF) as a Community Organizer. Specifically, through SBHF, she played a major role in the development of affordable housing in a once notorious, drug-infested west side neighborhood. She was also instrumental in the vision, planning and establishment of the Charles Martin Youth Center and the Salvation Army Kroc Center. Gladys’ skills and experience in working with diverse groups of people have been in demand and have yielded positive results in community change both locally and nationally. Her community and national involvement have been extensive, as have her awards and recognitions. Gladys is a founding member of the Martin Luther King Jr. Foundation of St. Joseph County which has held a MLK Celebration for the past 35 years. She is also a Founder of the United Community Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse (and coordinates the annual Red Ribbon March Against Drugs), and was instrumental in the establishment of the African American Community Fund, and the Civil Rights Heritage Center (formerly the Engman Public Natatorium).


She was in the first class of the Washington D.C. based Center for Community Change, “Change Agent Project” and participated in President Clinton’s roundtable on neighborhoods held in Little Rock, Arkansas. Her awards have included the President’s Award from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Sagamore of the Wabash, Indiana’s Golden Hoosiers Award, South Bend Hall of Fame, and Center for Hospice Care’s Helping Hands “Honoring a Life of Service to the Community” Award. She has received several Keys to the City of South Bend and St Joseph County.