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Community Foundation Awards $10K in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Fund Grants

[Photo credit: Mash Up Rock & Roll Musical, one of our fall 2021 DEI Fund grant partners // Image description: Two actors during a Mash Up play. One actor is reading a magazine and is wearing an expression of shock/awe. The other actor has their hands on their hips and have an intense expression on their face.]

The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation has awarded $10,000 in grants from its Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) Fund. The Foundation launched the DEI Fund during the summer of 2021 to support DEI efforts across the five-county region. The DEI Fund primarily provides support for organizations led by BIPOC, LGBTQ+, immigrant, neurodiverse, and/or disability community members in addition to other programs, trainings, initiatives, and opportunities promoting equity and inclusion.

“We’re really proud to support DEI efforts across Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau Counties with our recently launched DEI Fund,” said Gina Thornbury, Program and Grants Manager for the Community Foundation. “This work is critical to advancing a more equitable, inclusive region that benefits all people.”

During this winter grantmaking round, seven organizations received support, ranging from $500 to $2,500, including:

  • BrickWays to help make local activities more accessible for residents by providing inclusive transportation and staff assistance.
  • Great Lakes Children’s Museum to support a new child-focused human culture exhibit that celebrates people of various regions, beginning with the populations surrounding the Great Lakes.
  • Inland Seas Education Association to support development and strengthening of partnerships to facilitate diverse audience travel to the region through school trips, teacher workshops, conferences, internships, and more.
  • Justice for Our Neighbors to expand legal capacity to serve immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers by supporting a full-time Traverse City-area attorney.
  • Traverse Area Public Schools to purchase inclusive books for elementary school libraries, including 10 picture books and five book club sets to be shared across the district.
  • Traverse City Dance Project to support the New Voices in Music and Dance Initiative that offers a cross-disciplinary growth opportunity to promising music and dance artists with an emphasis on supporting women, BIPOC, and LBGTQ+ artists.
  • Up North Pride to provide general operating support for the 100% volunteer-led organization in providing inclusive events and programming.

“It is impossible to foster a culture of belonging in our region without literally investing in it. These grants provide community partners ways to build systems that can change our society,” said Brett Sinclair, member of the DEI Fund Advisory Committee.

Community members interested in supporting organizations and efforts like those receiving funding from the DEI Fund are invited to visit www.gtrcf.org/supportDEI to make an online donation; single and recurring gifts are accepted.

The DEI Fund’s next grant application deadline is March 1. Nonprofit, governmental, and Tribal entities across Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau Counties are eligible to apply for grant requests up to $2,500. To learn more about the Community Foundation’s DEI Fund, visit: www.gtrcf.org/grants.

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