As we enter a new year, we enjoy the opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been, where we’re going, and how we can bring light and love to the world around us.
The year of 2017 brought exciting changes for Grand Rapids Community Foundation. We spent significant time working on our strategic direction and, with the input of community members, created our North Star to stand alongside our mission and vision:
For West Michigan to grow and prosper, we must make sure that everyone can apply their talents and creativity to fuel our future. It is only by connecting across perspectives and overcoming inequities that we can build and sustain an inclusive economy and thriving community.
It is our honor to help carry out this important work. We know we cannot do this alone – we are most effective when we listen to and reflect the wisdom offered by individuals from varying paths and unique perspectives across Kent County.
Looking ahead to 2018, we interviewed a few individuals about their hopes and dreams for our community. Here’s what they had to say:
“In 2018 I hope we can find ways to get more people involved in decision-making, and that people in every neighborhood can know how to have a say in decisions that impact their lives.
We live in one community with several parts. Though we may know a lot about our own part of the community, we don’t necessarily understand what’s happening in other parts. This is why it’s important to find ways to get everyone involved at all levels of decision-making.”
- DeUnique Dorris, Grand Rapids Community Foundation Youth Grant Committee Member
“It is my hope that we can all help people in our community in ordinary and extraordinary ways. This begins with putting aside our own agenda, looking at those around us and thinking, ‘If I were in their shoes, what would brighten my day?’
In 2018, I hope that as a community we can look at our neighbors as people who deserve the same respect, love and concern as we’d like for ourselves. Out of this spirit, we can then demonstrate community to one another through our words and actions.”
- Gina Huizingh, Wellness Coach and Personal Trainer
“I hope for a world in which people can live without fear in their places of worship and in their individual homes, that people who are incarcerated have equal opportunities for justice and equality, and that immigration policy is shaped and applied justly, without consideration of race, color, nationality, prejudice or religion.
It is my utmost preference that love, peace, honesty and rule of justice prevail in all quarters of humankind. This world will be a heavenly habitat to some extent if rulers of all kinds at all levels behave with honesty and justice, as shepherds of their herds, and if individuals spread love and peace evenly beyond their means.”
- Dr. Sharif Sahibzada, Director/Imam, Islamic Center and Masjid of Grand Rapids
We look forward to continue learning from your wishes for our community and invite you to share your perspectives with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the #GRGoals18.