UPDATE | Summer 2019

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Use your collective power to end inequity This past spring, I had the opportunity to give the keynote address for Western Michigan University’s School of Social Work 2019 Hooding Ceremony. While writing my remarks, I reflected on my time as a student in the very same program more than 20 years ago. I remember the numerous conversations about equity, race and justice. These conversations were front and center in 1999 and they continue to be a priority today in the community as well as at the

Carrie Pickett-Erway President/CEO

Kalamazoo Community Foundation (KZCF). Our KZCF team analyzes a number of factors when we review programs, initiatives and community efforts. Before we consider investing time and other resources, we ask a series of questions, such as how the work affects people of color and how community voice is incorporated into the design. The greater Kalamazoo community needs to continue using its collective power, influence and resources to build equitable

UPDATE is a newsletter published three times a year by the Kalamazoo Community Foundation.

practices in everything we do. I shared the following practices to advance equity in my address to the recent graduates and I would highly recommend them for your consideration also: • Apply an equity analysis at the beginning, middle and end of everything you do. • Evaluate everything as a measure of your ability to make life better so everyone can reach full potential. Above all, I implore you to use your power to end inequity. This is hard work that lasts a lifetime. It will require stamina, tenacity and resilience. Thank you for your consideration and joining KZCF on this journey.

MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS TEAM Sarah Lee, Director Jordan Duckens, Communications Officer Tom Vance, Communications Officer CROSS-FUNCTIONAL EDITORIAL TEAM Sandy Barry-Loken Sue Bos Joanna Donnelly Dales Kururama Sánchez LAYOUT & DESIGN Ashley Stark

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? Please email Sarah Lee at slee@kalfound.org.



• Give online at kalfound.org/give-now

• Kalamazoo County 501(C)(3) nonprofits

• Mail a check directly to KZCF

• Scholarships for college



connect KALFOUND

A new preschool on the horizon In the fall of 2018, El Concilio (formerly the Hispanic American Council) felt a responsibility to address a need

Adrian Vazquez (right) with staff members, Sofia Ovalle and Juliana Hafner, in the new preschool classroom at El Concilio.

expressed by parents within

High-quality pre-K works to increase

opportunities with donors that align

the community.

the number of children in the

with what they care about most.

“Parents came to us saying we need childcare and we wanted to help and do more to make a positive impact on kids,” said Adrian Vazquez, executive director of El Concilio, a nonprofit, community-focused organization that seeks to help Latino residents support their families. “Not only did we want a safe space where families can leave their children, but also where they can start learning more at an early age.” Through research and extensive discussion among the board and community leaders, Escuelita Nuevo Horizonte (New Horizon Preschool) was born. The school, housed at El Concilio, will serve as the only fully bi-lingual, bicultural preschool in the Edison Neighborhood.

Equity through education

Latinx community who arrive ready for kindergarten, thus increasing

It takes a village

their chances of remaining on

“We identified a donor who has

track throughout their educational

supported education for young children

career and beyond. Not only are

throughout the community in a variety

the educational needs of children

of ways through their Donor Advised

addressed, but the model also meets

Fund,” says Joanna Donnelly Dales, vice

the cultural and language needs of

president of Donor Relations. “We felt

parents who previously have not been

they would appreciate learning about

able to access quality preschool in

El Concilio’s request and it didn’t take

their neighborhood.

long for the donor to agree this was a

“We hear our kids say they don’t feel part of the community or part of this country because they are labeled

perfect fit.” The fund was able to cover the full amount of the request, which was slightly more than $21,000.

Latino, Hispanic, or Brown, even

This success story is what sets KZCF

though they were born here and speak

Donor Advised Funds apart from those

the language,” Vazquez explains. “We

offered by other financial institutions.

want this program to give them an

It is one of the services made possible

opportunity to learn about their culture. through a team effort that makes an We want them to be proud of who they impact on donors as well as are, where they come from, and also be nonprofit partners.

Research shows that high-quality

proud of their community.”

La Escuelita Nuevo Horizonte is

preschool experiences benefit all

Once members of Kalamazoo

preparing to welcome 10 to 15

children, and children from traditionally

Community Foundation’s (KZCF)

three-year-olds this fall with hopes

vulnerable populations benefit most.

Community Investment (CI) team

of extending the program through

This two-year preschool model begins

became aware of El Concilio’s need for

the summer so the kids “never stop

to address some of the achievement

operating funds to open the preschool,

learning,” Vazquez says.

gaps that exist along racial lines,

they connected with the KZCF Donor

thus addressing the root cause of

Relations team for assistance. The

educational disparities seen in

CI team leverages a wide range

For more information about El Concilio’s community impact visit elconciliokzoo.org

later grades.

of resources and works to share SUMMER 2019



Western Michigan University students Shane Harden, Crea Taylor, Jazimin Williams on the final day of class.

It is the last day of the Spring 2019 semester at Western

on American history. Getting that information now

Michigan University, and the first-ever Truth, Racial Healing &

is beneficial.”

Transformation (TRHT) course at WMU has just wrapped up the final class.

The goal of the course was to offer students an opportunity to explore the national TRHT movement. The

While some students hurried out of the classroom in Sangren

aim, according to the syllabus, was to expose students

Hall to enjoy the rest of the sunny spring day, Shane Harden,

to how the movement is working to initiate deep societal

Crea Taylor, and Jazimin Williams hang around, eager to

transformation by changing the ways narratives around

speak about their experience in the TRHT course

race are created and circulated throughout the

that semester.

United States.

Like many who encounter TRHT for the first time, Taylor did

The course was taught collaboratively by Dr. Douglas

not know exactly what to expect. “’Truth and Healing’ was so

Davidson, an associate professor in the Department of

mysterious to me,” says Taylor, a junior Graphic Design major

Sociology, as well as instructional leaders from the TRHT

from Chicago. “I kept wondering if this is going to be some

Kalamazoo movement. Mimi Abdul Bellamy, TRHT Arts

therapy-type stuff?’”

& Education Narrative Change Design Team lead, was

Despite looming questions, each of the students decided to engage with the unknown and enroll in the course. And now, on the last day, they do not regret the decision. “Honestly, this class was something I never knew I needed,” says Williams, a senior Communication Studies and Sociology major from Taylor, Mich. “I didn’t expect my eyes to be opened so wide. I knew I wasn’t getting a complete education


instrumental in creating the course curriculum and bringing it to Western. Bellamy, in addition to their work with TRHT Kalamazoo, works for the Walker Institute for the Study of Race and Ethic Relations at WMU. Winifred Wilson, TRHT Youth Leader Coordinator and Evaluation Intern, taught the majority of the course and had a front-row seat to the students’ growth and transformation.

Speaking your truth

interrupted. I spoke my truth and it didn’t matter whether

The class met twice a week for a little over an hour to discuss

somebody agreed or disagreed.”

various topics the students were familiar with, but did not

Harden says hearing other students open up about their

have a complete understanding of the origins, in addition

experiences created a stronger sense of unity. “Hearing how

to topics they had never encountered. Within the course, an

many people had the same experience really stuck with me.

emphasis was placed on open and honest discussions rather

As an African American, if you are always isolated, you feel like

than assignments. These discussions are what left a lasting

you’re the only one really going through it.”

impression on the students. The discussions brought light to concepts that they were acutely aware of but could not

Moving forward

necessarily name.

All three students recommend the class to “anyone who wants

“For me it was redlining,” says Williams when asked which

reevaluate their thoughts and behavior.

class discussion stood out to her the most. She remembers driving through her hometown and other cities in Michigan and noticing very clear distinctions between where people of different racial groups live and go to school. “You internalize it and you see it, but you don’t really know what’s happening

to learn.” Taylor added that it’s exciting to see people learn and

Harden, Taylor and Williams all identify as people of color, like the majority of the students enrolled in the course. They agree that it would have been interesting and beneficial to have more races in the class to share their viewpoints. They hope a more

or why. Getting the technical terms and the history of

diverse group of students will enroll in the future.

segregation was really eye-opening.”

Wilson was excited to report more students will have the

Harden, a freshman from Canton, Mich., was encouraged by

opportunity to enroll when the course returns in the Spring of

his classmates’ willingness to participate in conversations and speak their minds. “You really have to be in this class if you want to be involved in the learning,” he says. “You really won’t learn anything if you just sit back and do the written assignments. This class wasn’t necessarily about the work, but what you take away

2020. The inaugural class achieved its goal of teaching a more complete history to students and empowering them to get engaged. “We had different members of the TRHT Leadership as guest speakers during the course and that provided tangible examples for students on how to get involved in the work,”

from it.”

Wilson said.

The discussion-heavy structure pushed the students to

“There needs to be a change

engage with each other, even when the topics were sensitive. Taylor applauded Williams for opening up about difficult discussions she had with her family about topics related to the class. Both students got emotional when talking about the bravery it takes to have uncomfortable conversations —

and the change starts with us,” reflects Williams. “It is time for us to point out and challenge these stereotypes. They are there because a lot

especially with people you love.

of people don’t see them —

On the final day of the course, the students participated in a

until I took this class.”

Racial Healing Circle, an experience characterized by sharing

and I was one of those people

individual truths and stories in order to reaffirm humanity and increase consciousness, awareness and empathy. “I had never heard of Healing Circles until this class,” says Taylor. “I think it’s something that should be done within families and at school or at work. You get a chance to put everything out in the open. You don’t feel judged. Today, I felt like I really got a chance to just talk and not be SUMMER 2019



Unrestricted funds address greatest needs At Edwards, “People Matter.” That’s one of their core values, but when they say people, it’s not just their 175 associates. It’s also the community they’ve called home for more than 150 years. The company has been supporting the community in many ways, including making annual contributions to KZCF’s Love Where You Live Fund for more than two decades. Because the company’s gifts over the years have far exceeded the

Edwards staff volunteering at the Big Brothers Big Sisters event Bowl for Kids Sake.

business was sold in the early 1970s those same beliefs were continued by the new owners who have supported multiple charitable missions, including the Community Foundation.”

$5,000 necessary to establish an unrestricted fund, KZCF

Jennifer Feinman, director of Human Resources, says

invited the company to name a fund. The new

“Edwards and our associates are making a lasting impact

Edwards | Family Enrichment Fund will forever support the

for future generations through in-kind and monetary

greatest needs throughout Kalamazoo County and serve as

donations, along with volunteer opportunities that

a reminder of the philanthropic legacy of Edwards.

emphasize children, education and families.”

A family legacy

Community outreach

Edwards, headquartered on 9th Street in Oshtemo

Community outreach initiatives include partnerships with

Township, services uniform apparel programs for corporate,

Big Brothers Big Sisters, United Way of the Battle Creek

career and casual markets specializing in hospitality,

and Kalamazoo Region, First Day Shoe Fund, Communities

restaurant, casino, health care, hotel/resort properties,

In Schools, Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes and Kalamazoo

transit and security.

Gospel Mission. Working with the YWCA last year, Edwards

When you visit their offices you’re greeted by an oil painting of their founder, Samuel Rosenbaum. He created the Kalamazoo Pant Company in 1867 in downtown Kalamazoo

provided 50 outfits for people re-starting their careers. And Feinman adds that associates may participate in volunteer activities during their work shifts.

on East Michigan Avenue; the building — now the site

Schultz says their corporate gift to KZCF made sense

of the Kalamazoo Entertainment District — still bears the

because “the Community Foundation is in a better position

Rosenbaum name. It’s on the corner of South Edwards

to decide the best use of these funds.”

Street, the namesake of the garment manufacturer and distributor. With a market covering all of North America and the Caribbean, the company outgrew that location and moved to it’s current location in 1988.

In addition to “People Matter,” another core value at Edwards is “Results Tell the Story.” That applies to the fund they’ve established at KZCF, which is already impacting the community. Combined with other unrestricted gifts held

Gary Schultz, president and CEO, has been with Edwards

at KZCF, the Edwards | Family Enrichment Fund becomes

for 17 years and is proud of the shared history the company

another part of the community heritage begun by founder

has with the community. “Our founding family, through

Samuel Rosenbaum.

multiple generations, appreciated how the vitality of the community is important for business success. When the



Contact a Donor Relations Officer at 269.381.4416 to learn more about KZCF’s unrestricted funds.

2019 First round grants Kalamazoo Community Foundation (KZCF) awarded $2.3 million in grants to 57 nonprofit programs in the first round of grantmaking in 2019. The nonprofit programs supported by these grants align with the Community Foundation’s giving priorities: equity and education. Grants were made to nonprofits serving Kalamazoo County in a variety of sectors including youth development, housing and healthcare. Local nonprofits also received grants and distributions from Advised and Designated Funds held at KZCF. For more details on the nonprofits programs funded, visit kalfound.org/Grants/GrantsAwarded. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Action for Liberation Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo Big Brothers Big Sisters Boy Scouts of America Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kalamazoo Can-Do Kitchen Christian Neighbors City of Kalamazoo City of Kalamazoo Parks & Recreation Communities In Schools CARES Community Healing Centers, Inc. Community Homeworks Community Living Options Disability Network Southwest Michigan El Concilio* Equality Michigan Goodwill Industries of SWMI Healthy House Heritage Community of Kalamazoo InterAct of Michigan, Inc.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

InterFaith Homes • Planned Parenthood of Michigan Intrepid Professional Women Network, Inc. • Pretty Lake Camp Kalamazoo County Ready 4s • Queer Theatre, Inc. Kalamazoo Institute of Arts • Read and Write Kalamazoo Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes* • Renaissance Enterprises Kalamazoo Neighborhood Housing Services • Residential Opportunities, Inc. Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra • Seeding Change KYDNet • Senior Services Kalamazoo Probation Enhancement • SLD Read Program (KPEP) • State of Michigan Department of Health Leader Dogs for the Blind & Human Services Michigan Nonprofit Association • The Arc Community Advocates Michigan United • Urban Alliance Milwood United Methodist Church • Vibrant Kalamazoo (Kalamazoo County Ministry with Community Land Bank) Muscular Dystrophy Association • Western Michigan University Foundation Northside Association for Community • YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo Development* • Young Kings and Queens, Inc. Northside Preschools *multi-year funding Open Roads Bike Program Pine Rest Foundation

Donors create new funds at KZCF KZCF donors established five new funds since the spring issue of UPDATE. These include Designated Funds, Field-of-Interest Funds and Scholarship Funds. Other funds include Unrestricted and Advised Funds. DESIGNATED



These funds benefit a specific nonprofit:

These funds focus on specific issues or causes:

Scholarships invest in post-high school

• Lowell and Nellie Freeman Fund for

non-traditional students:

• Diane C. Lang/Communities In Schools Fund • Diane C. Lang Fund to support Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation,

Elderly and Physically Limited Persons

education and training for traditional and

• David & Priscilla Morris Education Fund

• Lowell and Nellie Freeman Fund for

Communities In Schools, and Pretty

Protection and Humane Treatment of

Lake Camp.


For a complete list of KZCF funds visit kalfound.org/howtogive/listoffunds. Contact a Donor Relations Officer at 269.381.4416 to learn more on how to open a fund. SUMMER 2019



Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage paid Kalamazoo, MI Permit Number 66

402 East Michigan Avenue Kalamazoo, MI 49007 269.381.4416 kalfound.org

Black Refractions coming to Kalamazoo Sept. 14 to Dec. 8, 2019 Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 435 West South Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49007 For the first time in its history, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (KIA) is temporarily removing its permanent collection to make way for Black Refractions, a traveling exhibit that showcases 100 years of creative history and achievements by artists of African descent. Kalamazoo was chosen as one of only six exhibition venues in the county — and the only in the Midwest. Black Refractions comprises more than 90 works by 77 artists and will fill all of the main floor KIA galleries. The KIA will also present two accompanying exhibitions, Resilience: Black Artists as Agents of Change and Where We Stand: Black Artists in Southwest Michigan to highlight local artists of African decent. The exhibitions will offer a unified narrative about the development of Black artists in the 20th and 21st centuries with the understanding that there is no single narrative among Black artists or their art. Kalamazoo Community Foundation proudly supports creating equitable spaces in our community to show appreciation for and learn more about artists of Photo courtesy of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.

African decent. For more information, visit kiarts.org.