President/CEO Carrie Pickett-Erway

There’s no doubt the leadership change in Washington will affect our local community. In fact, it already has. While every transition in the White House comes with some degree of change and uncertainty, this one seems unprecedented in many ways. One thing we want to share with our local stakeholders and partners is that our role, our priorities, and our care for this community will not waver.

We remain committed to our core value of diversity, equity and inclusion. Our journey began when we implemented our Diversity Policy in the early 2000s.

We stepped deeper into this work when we revised our vision statement to focus on building a community where every person can reach full potential. Last year, "resident legal status" was added to the list of identities to be included in our work and that of our community partners, per our Inclusion Statement.

We stretch further every day, learning from you, our community. And we will continue to serve as one of your local philanthropic partners committed to making Kalamazoo a welcoming community for all. Our mission, vision and values require us to take positions on issues, while recognizing the limitations we have as a nonprofit organization.

Many of our nonprofit partners have new concerns about the changes in Washington. Worries are mounting about decreases in funding, major policy changes in education, and members of the greater Kalamazoo area’s LGBTQ and immigrant communities losing their rights.

We will always be committed to our community, investing in programs that serve our most vulnerable residents, educating policy makers, and working with donors to leverage their gifts for the greater good.

March 28, 2017