The following three co-investment opportunities highlight some recent funding requests from local nonprofit organizations.
Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo
The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, based at the Epic Center - and home to 11 other arts organizations - is in the quality of life business, enriching and engaging the community through arts. ACGK networks with other community organizations, including in the education, human services, and economic development sectors, to make the arts part of our community dialogue. They are committed to serving a diverse community. Now, with partners, including Kalamazoo Symphony, Public Media Network, The Gilmore, and Stulberg Competition, ACGK plans to increase inclusive practices throughout the arts community by hosting free workshops for staff from 45 arts organizations in Kalamazoo County. Using a professional social justice trainer, the one-day workshops will accommodate 255 individuals over a six-month period, including a follow-up session and a six-month check-in for participants.
Goodwill Industries of Southwestern Michigan | Guias de Vida
Guias de Vida is the portion of Goodwill Industries of Southwestern Michigan’s Life Guides program directly serving Latinx families with children up to three-years-old. The program offers these families culturally sensitive comprehensive and lasting solutions to poverty, racism, marginalization, and lack of inclusion through long-term (20 years) coaching and customized support services. In conjunction with Guias de Vida, other Goodwill team-members provide wrap-around services around employment, financial literacy, community resource navigation, mental health counseling, and adult basic education. This 20-year commitment assists participants in achieving their greatest potential so current and future generations can have a better life. Guias de Vida currently has 10 Latinx families working directly with a bi-lingual Life Guide and other bilingual team-members. The goal is for Latinx children to graduate from a post-secondary institution with a living wage.
Kalamazoo Defender, Kalamazoo County's first public defender office, opens this July. Founded by public health experts, former judges, service providers, and civil and criminal attorneys, Kalamazoo Defender will treat indigent criminal defendants holistically, through community engagement and in collaboration with Kalamazoo County's existing service providers. Social determinants play a major role in who enters the criminal justice system. Children often enter the school-to-prison pipeline when they experience unstable housing, exposure to domestic violence, poor nutrition, and parents with inadequate skills and resources. Kalamazoo Defender incorporates this understanding into its representation and referral practices. As the law office for nearly every indigent criminal defendant in the county, Kalamazoo Defender is in a unique position to incorporate countywide indigent services into systematic legal representation that can, in many cases, move criminal defendants from the margins of society to becoming healthy members of our community.
Note To Our Donor Advisors:
If you would like to support one or more of these projects through the Advised Fund you established at the Community Foundation, please make a grant suggestion using Kalamazoo Connect at https://connect.kalfound.org or complete the grant suggestion form and return it to us by email, USPS or fax. You also may email members of our Donor Relations team, who are available to provide you with more information about these and other community needs.