Our grant to the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance to support the Diversity Initiative of Northwest Ottawa County (DINOC) is important to this community.
As a city, state and nation, we are becoming more multi-ethnic and multi-cultural than ever before. This is not to be feared, but rather seen as a valuable opportunity.
The diversity alliance is an organization committed to helping reduce racial barriers, advancing communitywide appreciation for racial diversity and helping us be an inclusive region. We are grateful for their leadership and expertise.
When I read Denny Chan’s insightful words (“Diversity in Grand Haven: There’s still work to do,” Opinion page, April 29), I feel sadness over some of his experiences in the Tri-Cities. I believe that these experiences are a result of people not always understanding how to navigate situations with people perceived to be different.
What I have learned through the diversity alliance’s Racial Equity Training is current evidence suggests humans are naturally inclined to create in-groups (same family, same race) and out-groups — and people are also capable of changing this behavior.
With our nation becoming more diverse, possessing knowledge and confidence to embrace people of all demographics will position Northwest Ottawa County to benefit from the positive forces diversity and inclusion bring to a community.
DINOC is working to educate our community on the unintentional biases that we all possess. We are investing in helping our community understand this, and to equip people with tools and experiences that will help navigate this emotional topic.
We all can win if we can build better acceptance and appreciation for people of all ethnic backgrounds.
Thank you, Denny, for your honest words.
We, at the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, want everyone to be proud of their home — and we are committed to making our home, the Tri-Cities, the best place that it can possibly be for everyone.
— By Holly Johnson, president of the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation. She earned her undergraduate degree at Hillsdale College and her Master of Public Administration in Nonprofit Leadership at Grand Valley State University.