2022 Winter PARTNERS in community, The Equity Issue

Page 5

in community



Diana R. Sieger President

Ashley René Lee Vice President, Strategic Communications

Kate Luckert Schmid Vice President, Program

Stan Vander Roest Chief Financial Officer

“Building a community that ensures everyone has access to the same opportunities and outcomes requires power dynamics to be recalibrated. We are continually working to shift power and decision-making to those with direct knowledge, experience and relationships in places where inequities persist.”

Kate Luckert Schmid Community Foundation vice president, program



Marilyn W.


Kyle D. Caldwell (Chair)

Reneé Williams (Vice Chair)

Ken Fawcett, M.D. Thomas Kyros

Emily Loeks

Brandy Lovelady Mitchell, Ed. D. Ana Ramirez-Saenz Samantha Rivera Richard Roane

Kathleen B. Vogelsang Daniel Williams, Ed. D. Tel: 616.454.1751 Fax: 616.454.6455 Email: Info@GRFoundation.org Website: GRFoundation.org

PARTNERS in community is a quarterly publication of Grand Rapids Community Foundation

Contributing writers: Heather Gill Fox, Audra Hartges-Stern, Diana R. Sieger, DeShawn Pope

Graphic Design: Michele Keren Design

Photography: Alfield Reeves Photography, Bird + Bird Studio, Isabel Media Studios

Copyediting: Joan Huyser-Honig

“Achieving racial equity in our community is vital to a thriving community where everyone participates. Equity focused work enables people in the community impacted by racism to advocate for systematic change and be part of providing the solutions. The allocation of resources by individuals and organizations closest to the issue of systematic racism can help effect sustainable movements for change, building toward racial equity in our community.”

Kathleen Vogelsang Community Foundation trustee

Grand Rapids Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization that connects people, passion and resources. Over the last 100 years, people who care about the future of Kent County have built the Community Foundation through their time, financial resources and thought partnership. Our partners - donors, nonprofits, leaders, doers and more - consistently trust us to help bring key issues to the forefront to build community will, investment and collaboration needed to inspire change.


PARTNERS in community WINTER 2022 | Issue 94

PARTNERS in Equity

Our centennial year is drawing to a close, but the celebration will continue beyond this year! In this issue of PARTNERS in community, we highlight equity. Like previous issues, we will look through the lens of our history, impact, growth and learning over the last century, as well as our future focus.

If you have partnered with Grand Rapids Community Foundation for several years, you have read stories about our diversity, inclusion and equity journey. Whatever we may have called our work through the years, the Community Foundation’s focus has always been on assuring that needed supports and services are accessible to everyone.

Our commitment today to racial, social and economic justice is something each of us brings our personal understanding to. As a “seasoned” (meaning my outside appearance) white woman I don’t have lived experience with racism. But even recalling an event on the playground as a little girl—when I saw my own family member express predjucide to strangers—brings forth feelings that have shaped how I have led the Community Foundation over the past few decades. I feel things deeply and have used that strength of empathy to stay sensitive to the experiences of others.

As the Community Foundation continues to focus on eliminating the systemic causes of inequity, we are shifting how we provide support and with whom we partner. We have learned that the people closest to the pain, are also closest to the

solution. So, we listen to community members in many ways to inform our investments. We aim to invest in projects that are community-led in voice, scope of work and the iterative process for change.

Listening to our community’s voices and understanding that solutions and approaches come from the people most affected by the problems is an important lesson, because it allows us to adapt to Kent County’s most pressing needs. I am thrilled by the emerging leaders in our community. Diverse and bright, those who are willing to share their expertise to create a more equitable community are doing a service to us all.

Equity is not a new concept. It has been expressed in many ways over the years, from diversity, representation and equality to equity. It is a continual journey and something we need to explore carefully as we launch into our next century of service and impact. As we do this, we answer the question, “What is the why?” The why is not steeped in divisive rhetoric or divisions that seem to continue to grow in our country. Instead it is rooted in our position as the community’s foundation: created to be open, a resource and a partner to everyone!

This is a joyful journey, one that speaks to our past and speaks to our future.

CATALYZING Community Giving

In 2019 Grand Rapids Community Foundation received a Catalyzing Community Giving grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Community Foundation has invested those resources into building trust and relationships in Black and Latinx communities. Incredible volunteer partners and community feedback informed the establishment of our Somos Comunidad Fund and our refocused Black Legacy Fund.

Each fund’s advisory committee has extensively thought through how to connect the Community Foundation’s position, resources and philanthropic tools with Black and Latinx communities’ legacy of community care, expertise and culture. The advisory committees seek to balance the need for immediate community resources with creating a legacy available for future generations to distribute. Their new community engagement process is informing their grantmaking priorities. They have created innovative ways to ensure that resources reach new partners, community organizations and more.

For example, they’ve intentionally invested efforts and resources to reframe who is celebrated as a philanthropist. The Community Foundation has a century-long legacy of incredible support from people in this community who are passionate about caring for people. We recognize, though, that our legacy has been largely shaped by resources from primarily white communities, including those with generational wealth. We have missed the opportunity to partner with and highlight the deep history of community care in communities of color and among people from every socioeconomic position. Catalyzing Community Giving is one way for the Community Foundation to reconsider how to build trust and relationships with communities who have not been our partners previously.


Lea Tobar has been an advocate and leader in the Latinx community since she moved to Grand Rapids in 1961, and an active volunteer on the Somos Comunidad Fund Advisory Committee since 2019. She is passionate about ensuring the fund is accessible and inclusive of people from every part of the community.

“Muchas veces somos (la comunidad latina) una comunidad invisible. Cuando estamos en las reuniones de Somos Comunidad, yo insisto mucho que tenemos que llevar la información a la gente, porque están en la obscuridad. Hay un dicho que dice: ‘que si tu no tienes conocimiento, no tienes poder.’ Mientras más información tu tengas, mas poder vas a tener de involucrarte en la comunidad,” says Lea.

(Translation: I see in our community, many times we are an invisible community. When we are in the Somos Comunidad meetings, I always insist we must bring this information to the community because often they are in the dark. There is a saying, ‘if you don’t have knowledge, you don’t have power’. The more information you have, the more power you will have to get involved in the community.)

Somos Comunidad Fund will award its first competitive grant round in January 2023. The advisory committee will grant up to Somos Comunidad Fund will award its first competitive grant round in January 2023. The advisory committee will grant up to $75,000 to programming that serves Latinx communities, with specific focus on areas highlighted in community engagement sessions. “We are spending it in this way because it is what you [our communities] said was important,” says Sergio CiraReyes, committee member. “So we are asking community to continue building into this effort so we can continue to respond to community.” Somos Comunidad Fund is striving to raise $250,000 by summer 2024 so they can continue making significant grant awards.


Over 15+ years, Black Legacy Fund has shifted its name and refocused its purpose, but never wavered from its passion for investing for and by Black communities. That investment will continue with their largest-ever competitive grant round, where the advisory committee will award up to $300,000 in January 2023.

The fund has seen incredible partners—volunteers, donors, nonprofits and more—who are committed to uplifting Black brilliance and Black joy throughout Kent County. One such community hero is Jewellynne Richardson, known by many as Mama Jewel. She’s a mother, grandmother, chef, ordained minister, cosmetologist through MS Jewel’s Natural Hair Care, owner of The One Stop Culture Shop and founder of West Michigan Jewels of Africa. Mama Jewel is the picture of philanthropy, truly leveraging her gifts to care for those around her. Supporting Black Legacy Fund through a financial donation is just one of many ways she chooses to share her resources.

“I am community, I am love. I am here as support. I want to show Ubuntu, which means your problems are my problems and that we can make it through together,” says Mama Jewel.

PARTNERS in community | 4
H.G.F. Lea Tobar Jewellynne Richardson with granddaughter Isabel Media Studios, provided by Jewellynne Richardson

VISUALIZING Our Commitment to Equity


our priorities through
We are
establishing relationships with partners, and we’re reflecting our values through organizational policies, procedures and operations.
Over the last century, Grand Rapids Community Foundation has used the tools of philanthropy to respond to pressing community needs. Our North Star is the direction of our current and future work as we, with partners, look to overcome the racial, social and economic inequities that persist today.
in Kent County,
are looking at
deepening and
For West Michigan to grow and prosper, we must make sure that everyone can apply their talents and creativity to fuel our future. It is only by connecting across perspectives and overcoming inequities that we can build and sustain an inclusive economy and thriving community. In 2010: The Community Foundation established an internal DEI committee. Staff members are accountability partners and provide thought partnership and resources to staff. ASSET FRAMING We highlight the strengths of people or groups when telling their stories, instead of defining them by their challenges. THROUGH OUR STEWARDSHIP AND FUNDRAISING APPROACHES, VALUING THE LEGACIES OF GIVING IN DIVERSE WEST MICHIGAN COMMUNITIES IN GRANTS AWARDED TO COMMUNITY + NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS + STUDENTS... of grant funds awarded through our Fund for Community Good Advisory Committeein 2021-2022 supported organizations led by people of color 64% of scholarships awarded for the 2021-2022 school year went to students of color 59% BY LISTENING TO AND BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH COMMUNITY MEMBERS WHO SHARE THEIR TIME, EXPERTISE AND TESTIMONY AS COMMUNITY FOUNDATION PARTNERS AND VOLUNTEERS 7 BY SHARING AND AMPLIFYING THE STORIES OF PARTNERS WITH LIVED EXPERIENCE WITH A COMMITMENT TO CONTINUED LEARNING THROUGH ORGANIZATIONAL OPERATIONS 2010 THROUGH OUR PURCHASING POLICY, WHICH OUTLINES OUR INTENTION TO PRIORITIZE LOCAL, PERSON-OF COLOR-OWNED BUSINESSES WHENEVER POSSIBLE. 4X EACH YEAR, A VENDOR ANALYSIS IS SHARED INTERNALLY, HIGHLIGHTING EACH DEPARTMENT’S PURCHASING WITH PERSONOF-COLOR-OWNED, LGBTQOWNED, WOMEN-OWNED AND SMALL LOCAL BUSINESSES. BY INVESTING THE RESOURCES ENTRUSTED TO THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION 47.5% of investment portfolio was managed by minority/women-owned managers in 2021-2022 last year 29.6 % Up from

Historical Perspectives On Equity

Since our founding, Grand Rapids Community Foundation has responded to the everchanging needs of Greater Grand Rapids. Our work building relationships with and providing supports to community organizations, philanthropists, students and more has helped create access to opportunity, prosperity and belonging. It has strengthened the place we all call home. The lessons learned over the last century inform and shape our approach as we work to overcome the racial, social and economic inequities that persist today.

1922 1966 1990 1999

The Community Foundation’s first Board of Trustees includes Minnie C. Blodgett, a community leader who advocated for public welfare, community health and women’s advancement.

Funding priorities reflect an increased interest in activism and addressing social issues. Grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations to improve inner-city housing, establish an Urban Studies Institute at Grand Valley State College and create a policecommunity relations program.

Pictured: A Grand Rapids neighborhood

Partners in Progress

The AIDS Foundation, funded in 1987, becomes a Community Foundation fund. Money raised is used for education about and prevention of HIV/AIDS and for programs that assist and treat people affected by the disease.

Pictured: Local artwork

Local philanthropic organizations and other partners join in the Grand Rapids Education Reform Initiative. Formed in response to community concerns around public education, the effort seeks to improve academic performance, help schools develop a structure and culture that provides a world-class, high-performance work environment.

Pictured: Diana Sieger and John Logie, former mayor of Grand Rapids, at an ERI event

In August 2022, Grand Rapids Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees approved 14 grant awards totaling $1,218,529 from our Fund for Community Good and Field of Interest funds. The range of nonprofits and organizations shows many forms of equity through the variety of needs met in our community by our community.


AYA Youth Collective creates a safe space for youth in crisis to belong, be themselves and build a future. It creates circles of support for 14- to 24-year-olds facing homelessness or instability. This grant award supports their work to end the cycle of chronic homelessness with a focus on equity through an innovative model that combines case conferencing and direct cash transfer for BIPOC and LGBTQ youth.


BWS equips boys and men of color with financial education, leadership, healthy behaviors, confidence, life skills, and strong relationships, thus reducing barriers to access and opportunity. This grant will help BWS increase capacity by hiring a full-time program coordinator, part-time grants manager, part-time administrator, and materials and supplies.

THE DIATRIBE, $5,000 AND $106,929

The Diatribe uses performing arts to empower young people to share their stories, raise awareness of social issues and create community change. The $5,000 We Are Water grant, a partnership with Blandford Nature Center and LGROW, helps students deepen their understanding of and connection with local waterways and nature. They do so through handson activities, media, and poetry. This partnership was made possible by the Charles Evenson Fund for the Environment. The $106,929 grant will help The Diatribe hire a student engagement and opportunity manager who will build power in

student voices and provide opportunities for youth community action. This partnership was made possible by the Challenge Scholars Fund.


This grant affirms the Community Foundation’s continued engagement in the Michigan Partnership for Equity and Opportunity, a statewide coalition of civil rights, social justice and civic and business leaders working to promote educational equity for all Michigan students. This partnership was made possible by the Challenge Scholars Fund.


GRAAHI promotes healthcare parity in the local African American community through advocacy, education, and research to achieve positive health outcomes. This grant for a Juneteenth Community Blood Drive will help increase Black blood donors, advance research on sickle cell disease and treatment and advocate so all patients have access to treatment.


This grant supports participants in Cure Violence; a program focused on violence interruption and reduction.


HCWM serves the needs of Latino and broader communities.

Pictured: Minnie Blodgett, photo courtesy the Archives and Special Collections of Vassar College Library
PARTNERS in community | 6

The Communities of Color Initiative, a multiyear event aimed to engage African American, Hispanic, Asian and American Indian communities in philanthropy, begins. The African American Heritage Fund (now Black Legacy Fund) is established in response to a community desire for partnership with African American communities.

Pictured: Members of the African American Heritage Fund in 2006

A new grantee inclusion statement reflects the Community Foundation’s commitment to promote diversity and inclusion and its mission to partner with organizations that demonstrate these beliefs through their policies, practices and action.

Pictured: Ambrose at West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology, a 2013 grant awardee

Grand Rapids Community Foundation is among the international grant partners selected for W. K. Kellogg Foundation’s new Catalyzing Community Giving cohort. The initiative seeks to amplify locally driven philanthropy by and for communities of color and will provide the Community Foundation with $350,000 over three years.

Pictured: Partners at a 2019 event

The Community Foundation joins the Michigan Justice Fund, a collaborative of 14 foundations. That fund seeks to stem the flow of individuals into the criminal justice system, support the investment of public dollars in community-driven alternatives to incarceration and ensure those returning home after incarceration receive the support they need to flourish.

Pictured: Grand Rapids

It provides an avenue for education and openness to promote discussion of the distinctions and values of different nationalities and cultures. This three-year grant will support HCWM in crafting strategic priorities to empower Hispanic communities to achieve equity, self-sufficiency, and personal prosperity.


MICHIGAN, $50,000

IACWM works to provide equal access for affordable legal services. This grant for its Dignified Destinations Partnership Program will expand immigration legal services for low-income individuals and establish a network of vetted community supports for high-risk clients.


URBAN CORE COLLECTIVE, $100,000 AND $150,100

UCC comprises six community organizations working with and advocating for one another to end systemic racism. The $100,000 grant allows UCC to act as a fiduciary to support technical assistance for the City of Grand Rapids participatory budgeting process. It was made possible by the Kent County COVID-19 Recovery Fund. The $150,100 grant will support UCC’s emerging education justice work by developing grassroots leaders and designing structures that support those leaders in applying their gifts to hold education systems accountable to their constituencies.  The grant will cover costs associated with additional staffing dedicated to education justice organizing, convening and compensating community members and targeted strategic communications.


Michigan Solidarity Bail Fund provided resources for activists and organizers fighting for social change and liberation who were targeted by the police at protests surrounding the killing of Patrick Lyoya.


Boston Square Neighborhood Association, Support for Our Neighbors to create equitable outcomes within community growth. This grant supported Oakdale neighbors with Boston Square Neighbors Association as a fiduciary for August rent.



WRC equips women with workplace support and economic opportunities. This grant will help WRC serve more women by diversifying and enhancing services. It will provide a professional clothing closet and resources, or classes related to financial independence, mentoring, resume writing, career planning, job searches, and skill building.

PARTNERS in community | 7
2006 2013 2019 2021

Realism Is Loyalty

Grand Rapids Community Foundation has been striving to create more equitable investments and inclusive partnerships in part by supporting more grassroots organizations led by people of color. Realism Is Loyalty is a grassroots nonprofit service provider offering mentoring and life coaching blended with mental health and substance abuse supports in the Baxter community. A recent grant award from the Community Foundation supported their Each One Teach One program, an intensive mentoring program focused on parent engagement for youth returning to the community from residential placement, jail or prison. This program supports youth mental health and mentoring by pairing them with an adult advocate with similar lived experiences. This helps youth navigate their psychosocial development, economic realities and self-discipline. RIL’s approach to building meaningful relationships is unique: it purposefully hires people with familiarity in the penal system so that shared experience, not sympathy, helps build deep relationships. They pride themselves on working through a culturally relatable and competent lens and emphasize that they meet people where they are at. “One of the things I know just from personal experience: you can’t teach me; you can’t show me anything unless I’m open to it. And if I’m open to it, just walk alongside me, and, if I stumble a bit, correct me,” says JD Chapman, Jr., RIL executive director. “The struggles these families have, they ain’t new. I’ve been through a lot of the same things that they’ve been through.”

RIL’s mission statement is to empower, encourage and strengthen in spite of story, system or choice. This is lived out through the relationships they build with their youth participants. “Do your best to be your best,” JD says to RIL participants and families. “If you invest in yourself, other people will invest in you.” RIL mentors befriend participants. Mentors are there for the 2 a.m. calls and are honest when people need to correct their behavior. They have seen how their relationships with participants help

to create an evidence-based model to demonstrate impact.

RIL staff develop these trust-based, genuine friendships and then invite the entire family into the process. They believe that everyone in the household should be involved in the programming. They understand that individual behavioral and academic problems are primarily symptoms of systemic poverty and political, economic, health and housing inequities. That’s why they create personalized approaches for each family’s specific journey. “What matters to me the most is what the families that we work with, what’s their opinion? What do they have to say? Cause they the experts of their own trajectory. We just here to help and guide them along the way,” JD says.

When discussing systemic injustices and how RIL sees its role in disrupting systems, JD says that Realism Is Loyalty focuses on the impact they can make on their neighborhood. “I got a small organization that can be very, very impactful to a small group of people. That provides something that a lot of these families haven’t experienced ever with service providers. We pride ourselves in that,” says JD. “But at the same time, we gotta push back to both funders as well as government because the grassroot organizations are really the organizations that are effective, but they get the least funding.”

JD challenges the Community Foundation and other nonprofits and businesses who have discussed their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in recent years to make sure it is not a trend but lasting, major change: “Grand Rapids historically hasn’t been an equitable place. So why would we believe it would just all of a sudden become equitable now?” he wonders. “Self-evaluation and correction is great. But just because you done some self-reflection and identified some things that you probably can do better, that doesn’t erase everything from the past. Moving forward, yeah, let’s do better. But what does ‘let’s do better’ look like in terms of outcomes and impact?”

PARTNERS in community | 8
H.G.F. Realism is Loyalty staff team Katy Batdorff

“When we center equity in our work, we correct historical injustices, often based on race, in the balance of community resources. We still have work to do, but by ensuring that our grantmaking processes are accessible and transparent, prioritizing grant partnerships with organizations that reflect the communities that they serve, investing in both immediate needs and long-term, systemslevel change, and committing to continuous learning and improvement, we move closer to a Grand Rapids where everyone can thrive.”

What Our Partners Are Saying:

Exploring Equity

During our centennial year, the Community Foundation has included a variety of voices and perspectives from partners in each special issue of PARTNERS in community. For this winter issue, we are exploring the theme of equity. We asked partners to share why using an equity lens for all aspects of our work is important.


“Need for adequate hospital care for every person, rich and poor is recognized by all thinking people.”

“We are inspired by the Community Foundation’s North Star, particularly as it relates to connecting across perspectives and overcoming inequities. An educated, civically-engaged and inclusive community is what we want for Grand Rapids. And we believe that the Grand Rapids Community Foundation is committed to the same definition of prosperity.”

“We should shift our thinking into ‘how can I empower an underresourced community to have the autonomy to make their own decisions about how to better their own communities?’ Even if those ideas or plans don’t align with our own personal thoughts of what advancement should look like. We must allow the people closest to the pain to be the ones to make the final decisions for their own lives.”

In the centennial issues of PARTNERS in Community, we have explored a host of themes. Interested in hearing all of the partner voices shared? Check out the ‘What Our Partners Are Saying’ segments at: GRFoundation.org/PartnersInCommunity

M.R. Community Foundation trustee in 1940 commenting about a gift to local hospitals, before modern health insurance CIARRA C. ADKINS, J.D. Founder + president of AQUME Foundation and equity analyst for City of Grand Rapids CHRIS
| 9
PARTNERS in community

Donors For Identity-Based Funds

The partners below represent donors and volunteers supporting Black Legacy Fund, Our LGBTQ Fund, and the newly launched Somos Comunidad Fund. The identity-based funds are led and informed by volunteers from our community and support initiatives within the communities they represent. Donor partners listed represent those who made a financial gift between July 1, 2021 to November 1, 2022 and those partners who are currently supporting the funds through volunteerism.


Our Black Legacy Fund was established in 2006, is led by community volunteers and builds on the legacy of giving in Black communities in greater Grand Rapids. The fund committee recently engaged community members in a Community Listening Session and focus groups. The time, feedback and lived experiences shared were immeasurably valuable. In result, the fund recently unveiled a new grantmaking framework centered around the following main themes: opportunities for wealth building, leadership development, social and cultural institutions celebrating Black communities, mental health and community healing supports, and community organizing and advocacy. The fund is committed to being a permanent resource for our community, and this direction focuses on local Black communities who are most impacted. Visit GiveGr.org/BlackLegacyFund to make a gift online and join the community of supporters.

Anonymous (1)

Mr. and Mrs. Maurice A. Barnes

Mercedes Barragan

Brenda Brame

Christina Brewton

Dr. Veneese V. Chandler

Margarita and Jeffrie Chappell

Brian Cloyd and Agnes Kempker-Cloyd

Shannon Cohen, Inc. / Duriel and Shannon


Aimee A Cole-Laramore

Ann M. and Robert P. Cooper

Huey G. and Mary Copeland

Dr. Gerald* and Gwendolyn Dawkins

David and Doris Drain

Barbara Bradley and Ronald Feenstra

Lynne Ferrell-Robinson and David Robinson Jr. Wardell Frazier

Dr. and Mrs. George Grant Jr. Phillip and Vanessa Greene Derether Greer David Hill and Elizabeth Kidd


Preston and Sylvia Hopson

Michael Davis and Michael Inge Win and Kyle Irwin

Ellen M. James

Kenneth and Tamasha James Matthew and Keri Jaynes Jubilee Jobs

Kyle Kimble Nakia Kyler

Ashley and Ryann Lee Dallas and Senita Lenear Mr. Marc Mitchell and Dr. Brandy Lovelady Mitchell

Tracy Lunquist Dr. Ralph E. Mathis Diane McMillan and Robert B. Hurd, Sr Denavvia Mojét Rev. Nathaniel and Mrs. Laura Moody James and Sherry Moyer Nexstar Media Inc. Isaac V. and Lisa Norris Terry McGovern and Carol Paine-McGovern

Carole Redwine

Ms. Jewellynne S. Richardson

Milt and Barbara Rohwer

Keyuana Rosemond

Dieterik Rozelle Holli Schlukebir Matthew and Kate Schmid

Peggy J. Smith

Jennifer and Matt Snyder

Eugene Sueing

Jim and Pat Talen

Doug and Alix Thompson Aleka Thrash Jenine and Jose Torres Aaron Turner Erika VanDyke Reneé Williams Zahna A. Woodson Allen and Jonse Young Karina Zarate

Our LGBTQ Fund was established in 2014 to provide a safe, welcoming and healthy environment for LGBTQ+ communities in West Michigan by increasing wellness and prosperity levels, visibility, acceptance, support and access to resources. The fund unveiled a new grantmaking framework centered around these main themes with special emphasis on supporting LGBTQ+ communities of color and youth: increasing access to housing and health services; increasing opportunities for wealth building and social, cultural and recreational activities; community organizing and advocacy; and research and data collection around key issues impacting LGBTQ+ communities.

The fund is committed to being a permanent resource for our LGBTQ+ communities, and this new direction is infused by those who are most impacted. Visit GiveGr.org/LGBTQFund to make a gift online and join the community of supporters.

Allegan Foundation

Emily Ambs

Nathan W. Anderle

Anonymous (5)

Frederick J. Antczak and Deborah J. Hughes

Mr. Roger Arbury

Paul Asselin and Jack Sytsma

Mark and Mary Kay Baker

Ken Bandstra and Ken Terpstra

Mr. Mark Barrone

Pamela D. Bayes*

Matt and Kristy Becker

Mary Bejian

Connie Bellows and Darlene Zwart

Ricardo Benavidez

John and Claudia Berry

Rick and Kimerlee Billings

Lynne Black

Laurel Blasi and Larry Nolan

Mike and Kelly Born

Thomas and Tracy Breihof Charitable Fund

The Brooks Family Campit Outdoor Resort

Aaron Carbaugh

Ms. Janet Carbonneau-Jones

Marsha Caspar and Glenna DeJong

Holly Cole

Paul Cook and Andy Brookhouse

Roger and Marcia DeKock

Dennis and Merrit DeLano-Taylor

PARTNERS in community | 10

Lucy Dyer Joswick and Scott Joswick

Romeo Ferrer Jr. and Sam Curcuruto

Barbara and Leslie Frank

Arthur H. Frederick

G & D Builders

Lawrence Gammons

Graci Harkema

Haworth, Inc.

Jason Herlands and Gen Kobayashi

James V. Higgins and Kathleen Delp Higgins

David Hill and Elizabeth Kidd

Randy and Carol Hoekstra

Dirk and June Hoffius

Sue Hood and Anne Vlcek

Sandra Hopwood

John Hunting Win and Kyle Irwin

Peter Jacob

Vicki and Don Jansma

Mark and Beth Johnson

Teri Jourdan

Brett Karhoff

Mary and Dan Karrip

Mike Kerkorian and Chris Penzien

Antionette King-Short

Walter J. Klimek

Michael E. Kooistra

Jan Koopman

Peter Kurdziel

James and Jennifer LaHaie

Marilyn Lankfer and Jeff Schad

Jan Lunquist and Michael May

Tracy Lunquist

Sam and Jean Martin

Jill May and Jen DeHaan

Michele McIsaac and the Eleveld Family

DL McKinney

Austin McNeal

Tom Merchant

Mr. Brian Merucci

Stephanie Myott-Beebe

Mark Nettleton

Open Systems Technologies Inc.

Mrs. Enid Packard

Daniel Padnos and Dex Phillip Family Fund

Mr. Douglas and Nancy Padnos

Hannah Padnos

Terry McGovern and Carol Paine-McGovern

Chris* and Joan Panopoulos

Ward A. Paul and Charles G. Schoenknecht


Mr. Mark B. Periard and Dr. Barbara Periard

Wally Petersen and Mike Tischleder

Mr. and Mrs. William P. Peterson

Susan Pierson Marge Potter

Jim and Marie Preston Rebel LLC

Timothy Reeder

Renaissance Charitable Foundation

Matt Richenthal and Katherine Sage

Richard A. Roane and Leandro Robles

Milt and Barbara Rohwer

John Paul Roselle


Megan and Noel Rydecki

Mary Ann Sabo and Jeff Ott

Saugatuck LGBT Charitable Foundation

Jim Sellman

Shaun and Ruth Shira

Colweck-Silverstein Family Fund

Jackie Sirianni

Linda A. Smith

Crystal Snider

Judy Snider

Ms. Ellen V. Sprouls

Steve & Jason

George Stoutin and Dave Heilman

Philip and Dawnielle Streng

Lon and Sandy Swartzentruber

Kevin Toler and Joseph Trudeay

Jenine and Jose Torres

Selma Tucker

Scott Urbanowski

Lou VanderHave Erika VanDyke

Jaye VanLenten and Janette Tazzia

Carl and Sandra VerBeek

Warner Norcross + Judd

Lynn Warshaw and Vicki Esch

Richard Waskin and W. Larry Hanlin

Karin and Steve Waterbury

Justin White

Lizzie Williams and Steve Faber

Bruce Young

Susie Ziegler

Karen Zivi and Michael Moody

Somos Comunidad Fund, led by community volunteers, was established to support Latinx focused and driven initiatives. Informed by Latinx communities in Kent County, the advisory committee strives to create an adaptable approach to balance support for immediate needs while addressing root causes of inequity. After over a year of planning and community feedback, The Somos Comunidad Fund was recently launched. The committee has already supported various non-profits in the area through some initial seed funding supported by the community foundation, but the fund is seeking additional donors to help continue its support for the Latinx community. Visit GiveGr.org/SomosComunidad to donate online and help this fund grow and flourish.

Anonymous (5)

Amanda Berry

Ms. Bonnie L. Blandford

Brett Bradshaw

Tom Braun and Marlene Kowalski-Braun

Andrew and Janay Brower

Kaylee Moreno Burke

Sergio Cira-Reyes

Omar and Miriam Cuevas

Giuliana and Aaron Estrada

Michelle Jokisch Polo

Lettie Lundman

Paola Mendivil

Ciciley and Louis Moore

Breannah Alexander Oppenhuizen

Alexis and Brandon Reame

Laci Reséndiz

Leslee Rohs

Juan Rosario

Allison Rudi

Carlos Sanchez and Lynne Pope

Shaun and Ruth Shira

Ms. Stacy Stout


Lea Tobar

Jenine and Jose Torres

Betsaida Valdivia

Erika VanDyke

Andy and Tracy Van Solkema

Lynn Verdusco

Milinda Ysasi and Rafael Castanon

Marilyn and Garrett Zack


We go to great lengths to list each donor according to their personal preference. If you wish to have your recognition name listed differently or spotted a typo in your name, please accept our apologies and let us know by calling 616.454.1751 with any changes.

PARTNERS in community | 11

MI 49503

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Join us in welcoming Angela Reyna Perez, who recently joined Grand Rapids Community Foundation as our scholarship coordinator. She supports scholarship applicants, scholarship recipients, committee members and community partners. Angela joined the Community Foundation with experience in school-based mentoring programs, most recently having spent 4.5 years at Affinity Mentoring. She is looking forward to centering her work around student voices to lead equity-based action based on community members’ lived experiences.


In November, the Council of Michigan Foundations presented Diana R. Sieger, president, with the Dr. Russell G. Mawby Award for Philanthropy. This award honors an individual or family who has encouraged private action for the public good through philanthropy and demonstrated leadership in championing collaborative solutions for communities.


Our Black Legacy Fund was recently honored with an award from the steering committee for Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited. This pop-up, abridged

edition of the exhibit showcased the impact of Black giving in the form of time, talent, testimony and treasure. Learn more about the exhibit at TheSoulOfPhilanthropy.com


The Community Foundation’s general scholarship application is now open until March 1, 2023. Students who complete the application will be entered in the selection process for 500+ scholarships from 80+ funds. Share the application with the students in your life! Visit GRFoundation.org/Scholarships.


Investments from donor partners are critical to our community’s future. To be credited for 2022 tax returns, gifts must be postmarked or given online by December 31. More complex gifts, like stock and mutual fund shares, may take longer to facilitate. We encourage you to begin contributions as soon as possible and confirm deadlines with your financial institution. If you prefer to make a gift in person, please call 616.454.1751 to schedule an appointment, and deliver the gift by noon on December 30.


The Association of Fundraising Professionals, West Michigan Chapter recently honored the Community Foundation with the President’s Award during its National Philanthropy Day celebrations. This special award recognizes 100 years of the Community Foundation’s work in Kent County. Thank you for your partnership and contribution to our collective impact!

Grand Rapids Community Foundation 185 Oakes Street SW Grand Rapids,
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WE’RE WRAPPING UP OUR CENTENNIAL YEAR! Be sure to check out the entire PARTNERS lineup at: GRFoundation.org/PartnersInCommunity CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION PRESENTING SPONSOR:
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