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Community Foundation Awards Nearly $23K to Support DEI Efforts

[Photo credit: Grand Traverse Industries // Image description: A group of GT Industries' clients, dressed in outerwear, posing for a photo in a room with a blue wall and red flooring.]

The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation recently awarded nearly $23,000 from its Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) Fund and is currently accepting grant applications for the DEI Fund’s spring cycle, with applications due March 1.

Through its DEI Fund, the Community Foundation supports equity and inclusion efforts across the five-county region, including primarily proving support for organizations led by Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), LGBTQ+, immigrant, neurodiverse, and disability community members. Trainings, programs, and other partners advancing equity and inclusion are also considered.

Recent DEI Fund grant partners include:

  • Child & Family Services of NW MI to support Spanish translation of materials, an ad in Gay Parent magazine, and educational workshops for staff, board, and volunteers about Anishinaabek cultural traditions and practices.
  • Grand Traverse Industries to support the organization’s community engagement activitity program that provides transportation and access to community activities for individuals with disabilities.
  • Grass River Natural Area to support facilitated engagement, for the organization’s staff and board, of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a cross-cultural assessment of intercultural competence.
  • Mashup Rock & Roll Musical to support artist stipends for “Grimm’s Alternative Fairytales,” an inclusive musical production that will be performed at The Alluvion in Traverse City from March 3, 4, 10, and 11.
  • National Writers Series of Traverse City to support the February 23 author event featuring Alvin Hall, author of “Driving the Greenbook: A Road Trip through the Living History of Black Resistance”.
  • Northern Michigan E3 (via Utopia Foundation) to support the completion of the organization’s strategic planning process.
  • Pathfinder School to support the creation of a DEI framework that will be embedded within the school’s inaugural strategic plan.
  • Planned Parenthood of Michigan to support sexual health education that specifically addresses the needs of LGBTQ+ individuals in Antrim and Kalkaska Counties.
  • PoWeR! Book Bags to support literacy bags containing books and writing and language play materials for children attending Mancelona Elementary School.
  • Title Track to support the BIPOC Healing Ourselves program, which aims to engage local Black, Indigenous, and people of color community members to explore decolonization, heal from racial trauma, and learn to facilitate similar trainings across the region.
  • Traverse Area Historical Society to support the Kchi Wiikwedong Anishinaabe History Project, which aims to elevate public awareness of the Anishinaabek’s long history in the Grand Traverse region by increasing opportunities to access Anishinaabe teachings, language, and history.

Since its inception in 2021, the DEI Fund has awarded more than $81,000 in grants to organizations across Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau Counties. Consumers Energy Foundation, the Community 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 continues to accept gifts to support the DEI Fund at www.gtrcf.org/supportDEI.

In addition, the Foundation is currently open to DEI Fund grant applications from nonprofit, educational, governmental, and Tribal entities in the five-county region, with awards available up to $2,500 per organization. Grant applications are due by March 1 and can be found on the Community Foundation’s website: www.gtrcf.org/grants/apply.