The Kalamazoo Community Foundation (KZCF) received a $20,000 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation to advance diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts in Kalamazoo County. This grant is part of $100,000 awarded by the Consumers Energy Foundation to support five community foundations across Michigan who are directly working with local organizations actively engaged in DEI initiatives.
The award from the Consumers Energy Foundation boosts funding for KZCF’s new Sustaining BIPOC Leaders Grant initiative. The grant provides rest, respite, professional development, executive coaching, and wellness options to local nonprofit leaders.
The opportunity is offered specifically to leaders who are Black, Indigenous and/or People of Color (BIPOC).
“The critical work of our nonprofit partners can sometimes come at the expense of their own well-being,” said Carolyn Bloodworth, secretary/treasurer of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “We’re proud to partner with the Kalamazoo Community Foundation to ease the financial burden on nonprofit leaders and provide access to the resources and support they deserve as they work to advance equity in the local community.”
In the pilot round of funding, KZCF made $60,000 in total grant awards to 28 local nonprofit leaders. The main requests were for healing and wellness, professional development and taking a sabbatical or leave of absence.
“When our nonprofit partners are focused on ensuring the cost of their operations is covered, wellness support can become inaccessible or deprioritized,” said Lily Salas, KZCF Community Investment Officer. Salas led the grant pilot at the Community Foundation.
“Leaders of color often sacrifice their own well-being to stay committed to their cause. Leaders of color – women leaders of color in particular – frequently carry the greatest load in advancing racial equity and social justice work.”
About the Consumers Energy Foundation
The Consumers Energy Foundation is the charitable arm of Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider. The Foundation enables communities to thrive and grow by investing in what’s most important to Michigan – its people, our planet and Michigan’s prosperity. In 2021, the Consumers Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy, its employees and retirees contributed more than $17.5 million to Michigan nonprofits. For more information, visit ConsumersEnergy.com/foundation.