Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Part of our mission is to provide leadership that supports a vibrant community through our role as a community funder. We provide grants to nonprofits to help them address community needs and opportunities; and are committed to grantmaking that allows us to support complex topics of broad community importance – all of which involve diversity, equity and inclusion. We recognize that not all demographic groups have had the opportunity to fully participate in our community. We are committed to doing our part to ensure that everyone in our community can thrive regardless of race, age, culture, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, class or ability. Together, we must foster equitable and healthy communities that welcome all people in Linn County.

Here are some of the ways our community leadership grantmaking has demonstrated our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion:

 

MICRO

Our work with the MICRO loan program has helped provide a path of economic well-being to residents of core neighborhoods in Cedar Rapids.

Regional Planning

The regional planning vision is to achieve a sustainable and equitable prosperity in East Central Iowa by adopting strategies in business development, workforce development and community development. The Action Team has intentionally sought strategies that will enhance inclusion for diverse populations, improve community resilience, promote educational success and address mobility constraints.

Educational Success

A thriving educational system is key to the future of our community. The Community Foundation has joined with other community partners to find ways to address the educational needs of all of the children in our community. Initiatives such as Reading into Success, Kids on Course University and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library follow research-based strategies. Particular attention is paid toward helping underperforming readers learn the skills they need to succeed in school and beyond, which includes addressing some of the barriers that leads children to fall behind in school.

Disaster Preparedness and Response

Community resilience efforts such as the Linn Area Partners Active in Disaster have given special attention to addressing the needs of socially vulnerable populations.

 

Youth Violence Prevention

When community members came together in 2015 to address youth gun violence, the goal was to address systemic causes of youth violence in Linn County to move toward safer, more equitable and thriving communities. This included improving economic opportunity, educational success, safe and affordable housing, supportive law enforcement practices and improved access to youth programming and other health and human services. Our work with the Creating Safe, Equitable and Thriving Communities Fund, helps facilitate a grantmaking process focused on these efforts.