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Community Foundation Spearheads New Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Fund

[Image description: A young girl in yellow dress with bunnies on it holds the hand of her grandfather in a gray polo shirt. The image is cut off at their shoulders/head area. They are on a beach with water and a harbor in the background.]

The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation has launched a new Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) Fund that is dedicated to DEI efforts in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau Counties.

The DEI Fund was established with $15,000 from Community Foundation funds, including a generous contribution from the Foundation’s Youth Advisory Council.

Community donor partners are invited to support the DEI Fund; to donate, visit: http://www.gtrcf.org/supportDEI.

The DEI Fund will be used to support a variety of organizations and initiatives, including Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and LGBTQ+ led organizations; DEI training and learning; and other partners, programs, and opportunities promoting equity and inclusion. 

“While the DEI Fund is new to the Community Foundation, it is a manifestation of our long-held mission—to enhance the quality of life in our region for all people,” said David Mengebier, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “To achieve healthy, resilient, thriving communities in region, all people must have equitable and inviolable access to the resources they need to reach their full potential. That’s why we are committed to using our leadership, resources, and voice to build toward a better future for the diverse people and places of our region.”

The Community Foundation has previously supported DEI efforts in the community, awarding grants to nonprofit partners such as the Native Justice Coalition, Justice for our Neighbors, and Arts for All of Northern Michigan as well as the City of Traverse City for anti-racism training for law enforcement, among others.

Applications for the DEI Fund will open later this summer with the first grant deadline set for September 1. Nonprofit, governmental, and tribal entities across Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau will be eligible to apply by submitting an online application.

Grant decisions will be made by a review committee with a diversity of representation from BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities, allies, and equity leaders and advocates. This committee will provide leadership in determining priorities for the fund, establishing a grant process, and making grant decisions.

To learn more about the Community Foundation’s commitment to DEI, please visit: https://www.gtrcf.org/priorities/diversity-equity-inclusion.