April 8, 2021

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As a leader in the community, and as an organization motivated by relationships and partnerships, the Saginaw Community Foundation (SCF) must represent the diversity of the community it serves, provide equitable grant opportunities to support broad community needs, and listen to resident’s voices when making impactful decisions. We recognize that for our community to thrive, now and in the future, SCF must affirm its commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the work it does and the culture it creates in its workplace.


According to the Council of Michigan Foundations, diversity includes “all the facets and characteristics that make each person unique, including but not limited to their race, nationality, age, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, region, language and documentation status.” Diversity is important because, acknowledging “difference helps to drive smarter decisions, increased innovation and stronger performance”.


Mindfulness of Equity means “intentionally elevating equity to the center of all of our work to guide our priority setting and decision making; and marshaling our resources to advance equitable opportunities and outcomes at a systems level that positively affects the lives of individuals.” 


Inclusion is defined as “intentionally creating environments in which all individuals and groups are welcomed, respected, supported, valued and encouraged to participate fully; ensuring that all voices and perspectives are heard and understood; sharing power and leadership; being mindful of both who is at the table and who is not at the table; and thoughtful of how, when and where the table is set.”


The SCF staff and Board of Directors are taking this journey with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion very seriously – a journey that will no doubt be on-going. Recently we surveyed ourselves to identify what we know, what we don’t know, what we need to know, and how to get there, as it relates to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. At this point, we’ve identified the need for continuing education and training, the need to better understand our community’s demography and needs, and the need to better articulate our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion intentionality in SCF’s policies, procedures, and materials. In doing so, this process will allow SCF to develop the tools necessary to address our community’s critical needs through a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion lens and also articulate to the community partners and agencies we serve the importance of embodying principles of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the work they perform.


All of us at SCF along with our Board of Directors hope that you will support our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts, and that you’ll join us on this journey. Together, we can and will make an impact in our community.


Until next time, happy spring!

Reneé S. Johnston, President & CEO