KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. -- Elena Mireles-Hill has been selected to be the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation (KZCF). The new leadership position was created to advance DEI and Anti-Racism (AR) standards and practices internally.
"The current conditions of our community, especially around issues of racism and oppression, implore that institutions like KZCF take seriously our role and influence in advancing the equitable community that Kalamazoo County deserves," Mireles-Hill said. "We know that we cannot hold our community accountable to that which we aren’t willing to do in our own institution. I look forward to applying my leadership in this new role and working alongside our Anti-Racist Transformation Team to continue to transform the ongoing work of KZCF."
After more than 20 years of equity work, KZCF created the first dedicated position to provide leadership inside the organization, collaboration capacity across the organization and engagement with donors, nonprofit partners and community. In this role, Mireles-Hill will join KZCF's Strategy & Leadership team, assuming responsibility for expanding the organization-wide plan for DEI/AR work, supporting the work of the ARTT and leading the planning for DEI training and development for staff and board members.
Sholanna Lewis was recently promoted to Director of Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Kalamazoo. Previously, Lewis served as a Community Investment Officer on the foundation's grantmaking team.
"It's been an honor to work alongside community to build upon the transformative work happening here," said Lewis. "I'm proud of how far we've come and I'm excited to see where this work will go as we continue to grow our partners and explore ways to bring healing to Kalamazoo."
When the TRHT initiative came to KZCF in 2016, she played a critical role in leading its development locally and convening community partners to support and implement projects and programs to advance racial equity in Kalamazoo County.
"We're delighted to have Elena and Sholanna in their new roles and take our DEI work to the next level," said Carrie Pickett-Erway, president/CEO of KZCF. "In addition, we've recently hired some outstanding folks into newly-created positions and promoted a number of staff members. This speaks to the growth and evolution of our work in and with community, as well as the high caliber of our team here."