Community Foundation Holland/Zeeland



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News & Event

Racial Equity Grants

In Holland/Zeeland, racial equity has long been identified as a priority issue by public units of government, our business community, and local nonprofits; but progress has been too slow. Data from the Ottawa County Community Assessment and Ottawa County Youth Assessment Survey, alongside anecdotal evidence from local health and education leaders, has shown that Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) experience worse economic, health, and educational outcomes than their white counterparts in our area when all other factors are held constant. This means we have a lot of work to do as a community.

This year provided a moment of opportunity to make progress towards racial equity as many in our community grappled with how to move from conversations about racism towards action that could provide positive, substantial progress for BIPOC. We here at CFHZ don’t presume to have the answers to the difficult and complex problem of racism, but we believe it is of utmost importance to stand alongside our community in searching for those answers and to do our part to support this process with financial resources.

In June 2020, CFHZ deployed $105,000 from the Community’s Endowment to five local organizations and initiatives working to address racial equity and implicit bias in our community, and to support our community members of color.

Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance (LEDA)

Funding of $20,000 was used to increase the capacity and frequency of existing programs including Diversity Education Workshops, Calling All Colors and Talking to Kids about Race, as well as transition to offering virtual formats. It also helped continue a series of Facebook Live Community Conversations and convert them into podcasts to be available as a permanent educational tool. Engaging with LEDA’s programming is a constructive way for people to grow their understanding of racism and implicit bias and how they can be allies to build a more just community. Learn more here.

Women of Color Give (WOCG)

Funding of $20,000 was used to increase Women of Color Give’s grant distribution to organizations that support the advancement, development, and promotion of BIPOC on the Lakeshore. Women of Color Give is a local philanthropy circle which provides a space for women of color to connect and leverage resources while supporting each other and causes that matter to them. Women of color are underrepresented in major philanthropic circles, yet their lived experiences with racism position them to have acute knowledge of what programs and initiatives could make the biggest difference in our community. Learn more here.

Ottawa County Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Office

Funding of $20,000 was used to complete The Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) Racial Equity Toolkit (RET), which helps significantly reduce and/or remove implicit bias from programs, policies, procedures and decision making. Funds will also bring the national initiative, Gateways for Growth, to Ottawa County. This program helps communities to develop multi-sector plans to better integrate immigrants and refugees into the local community, as these populations often experience implicit and explicit racism. The DEI Office leads the development of an equity plan for Ottawa County by identifying implicit bias in internal policies, procedures, practices, and in external service delivery. Learn more here.


Funding of $20,000 was used to launch a new organization named I AM. Henry Cherry, minister at Christ Memorial Church, and Lindsay Cherry, teacher at Holland Public Schools, are two prominent black leaders in our community, and the founders of I AM. The organization seeks to empower the black community to achieve their full potential through education and career possibilities. It will elevate the voices, perspectives, and lived experiences of our black community members to help shape our community’s future.

Youth-Focused Racial Equity Efforts

Funding of $25,000 will be used to support youth-focused racial equity efforts. The Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is a group of students from our local high schools who are responsible for reviewing funding requests and recommending grants for programs which benefit area youth. YAC will approve awards for youth-focused racial equity efforts in early December 2020.


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