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Community Foundation Awards More Than $17K to Support DEI Efforts

[Photo credit: Up North Pride | Image description: People matching down Front St. in Traverse City holding up rainbow balloons shaped into the letters of "Pride."]

The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation has awarded $17,650 from its Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) Fund to support 10 organizations across Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau Counties as well as the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, a federally recognized tribe. In addition, the Community Foundation recently received a $20,000 grant from Consumers Energy Foundation to support its DEI Fund.

The Community Foundation’s DEI Fund supports equity and inclusion efforts across the region, including primarily providing support for organizations led by community members of color, including Black and Indigenous people, as well as LGBTQ+, immigrant, neurodiverse, veteran, and/or disability community members. Trainings, programs, and other partners advancing equity and inclusion are also considered.

This summer’s DEI Fund grant partners include:

  • Arts for All of Northern Michigan ($750) to support its Art in the Garden program that aims to use outdoor space for accessible yoga, exercise, and art projects that are open to individuals of all abilities.
  • Experiential Ink, Inc. ($2,500) to support its Camp4All program at YMCA Camp Arbutus Hayo-Went-Ha, which provides LGBTQ+ youth with a supportive network, safe space, and resources to learn more about themselves and the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Grand Traverse Dyslexia Association ($2,500) to support its Tuition Assistance Project, which offers low-income students financial support for specialized tutoring.
  • Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy ($750) to help purchase a heavy-duty electric wheelchair that will improve access to trails and nature preserves for people with mobility disabilities.
  • Housing North ($1,000) to support its development of a DEI plan, which will include an initial DEI training and an Intercultural Development Inventory evaluation for both board and staff.
  • Leelanau Montessori Forever Foundation ($2,500) to support universal design and access for its four-acre campus that will include playground structures with universally accessible swings as well as pathways and connectors between the school and parking areas.
  • Northport Indian United Methodist Church ($2,400) to support the purchase of a virtual streaming program that will allow the organization to more widely share its worship, study, and events with the community.
  • Remain in Touch ($1,500) to support its mission of keeping local children connected to their incarcerated parents through the shared experience of reading and storytelling.
  • The Dream Team Northern Michigan ($1,250) to support the renovation of four softball field dugouts at the Grand Traverse County Civic Center so that they can be universally accessible to players using wheelchairs or other assistive equipment.
  • Up North Pride ($2,500) to support the 2023 Pride Week Celebration which will take place from September 27 to October 1 and include a pride bike ride and sign-making party; a pride pool party; a comedy night; Visibility Rally and March; drag night and silent disco; and the Big Gay Brunch.

Since its inception in 2021, the Community Foundation’s DEI Fund has awarded more than $104,900 in grants. Consumers Energy Foundation, the Foundation’s Rotary Endowment directed by Rotary Charities of Traverse City, and other local donor partners have made these grant awards possible. The Community Foundation welcomes gifts of all sizes to support the DEI Fund at www.gtrcf.org/supportDEI.

To apply for a DEI Fund grant, nonprofit, educational, governmental, and Tribal entities across the region are invited to submit an online or video application by September 1 on the Foundation’s website: www.gtrcf.org/grants/apply. Grant awards are available up to $2,500 per organization per year.