JOHNSON: Community foundation supports racial diversity efforts

The Grand Haven Area Community Foundation is committed to making living in the Tri-Cities the best that it can possibly be. We are fortunate to have many donors, over many years, support our work that enables us to respond to pressing community issues with proactive grants.
Apr 30, 2014


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.




Thank you for your column and for your efforts. Here's to a more inclusive and understanding world!


Maybe Ms. Johnson should experience living in a truly diverse urban neighborhood before she lectures us about the benefits of that life,


I'll say! LOL!!



Robinson Reader

These kind of things are really kind of insulting. I get the idea that the implication is that because Grand Haven is composed largely of people of western Europe or Canadian descent (or Caucasian) that this automatically is "bad" and we're somehow racist.

In other words, we're not "diverse" enough and therefore it must be because there's so many racists keeping out others who have descended from different areas of the world.

I can see that it's a problem if there's a constant stream of racists coming out of Grand Haven...but really is there? There's some isolated incidents of kids being other words, idiots. But the same type of thing appears in virtually every community across the world. It's a known fact that kids are immature and act!

This isn't a popular viewpoint, but I think its's true: Economics play a huge part in diversity. Poor people, black white or otherwise tend to live together because they live in places they can afford. Same goes with wealthier people. It's a fact that generally there are more wealthy whites then wealthy blacks in America...mostly because there's many more whites!

Now to make it MORE diverse we can either make the rich poorer, which is what liberalism is generally all about...taking from those who have and giving to those who do not. Or we can make EVERYONE more wealthy which would be the preferable course of action in my opinion.


can these diversity people fix a leaky fawcet, fix the brakes on a vehicle or repair a computer to earn a living, in other words get a "real" job ! ! !


Great insight on how to ruin a nice/clean/safe town. Take a look around at neighboring communities and what diversity has done for them, i don't want to live in a place like that. MASTERS in Public Administration in Nonprofit Leadership...


I think one of the first initiatives of the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance with their new found money from the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation should be to investigate . . . . . the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation.

Go to their website and look at the smiling, self-congratulatory faces - Wonder Bread has more ethnic diversity, as does the Detroit City Council, which at least has one token Caucasian. GHACF is the diversity equivalent of the Congressional Black Caucus. I also note that the GHACF's team, of which Ms. Holly Johnson is the leader (at an undisclosed salary) has NO male members - What's up with that? No qualified minorities (other than women)? No qualified men?

As is often the case, those most interested in bean counting don't include their own beans as they take it upon themselves to lecture the rest of us savages. "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." Indeed - Mirror, Look." Oh, the ironing!


Here's a link:

Oh my. Chardonnay anyone?

Barry Soetoro

Make mine a Conn Valley cab and I'll drink to our lovely, non-diverse Community Action Foundation Divas who want the rest of us to be diverse...*clink*


Still favor Buffalo Trace, but I'll bet the whitebreads at GHAFC will be in your spirits camp - sorry! (But Lanivan will likely support you too - I'm a definite Kentucky minority - I still think she is a person of interest in the theft of Pappy Van Winkle but if she brings one bottle to our soire she will be forgiven).

Barry Soetoro

Ahhhh yes, Buffalo Trace - also the fine distillers of George T. Stagg. Here's to hoping Lani will support my choice of cabernet. Her acceptance is important to me. *clink*


And yours mine. Or I you. Your taste in spirits, t-shirts, and sports is impeccable. Politics?......well, we can't all be perfect!


"Pappy Van Winkle but if she brings one bottle to our soire she will be "forgiven"". Hmmmm, be still my heart. Perhaps you meant to say "perennially lauded"? If I can afford to gift you with a stolen bottle of PVW, you will visiting me down in the BVI. What you might get if you're good is a Barry Goldwater photo art book.

I would be most grateful for anything red that has "AOC France" on it, thank you so very much.


I know you probably won't understand how painful it is to admit this because I still think you're a lunatic AND a nitwit, but boy did you nail this one! "Wonder Bread has more ethnic diversity" about made me bust a gut laughing....and you're spot on here.

I suspect what we have here, based on the name Johnson popping up (JSJ Corporation?) is a bunch of wealthy older ladies who've gotten bored with their weekly coffee clutches and want to do something "meaningful" with all that free time their successful suitors have blessed them what better to do than go out and right the wrongs in the world. I highly doubt that any of those "team members" have ever had much, if any, social interaction with anyone of color unless their husbands brought them home via a business deal of some sort for cocktail hour.

This group has about as much validity with their chosen cause as the Dining Diva's do with theirs and in fact I'd be willing to bet that the two groups know and socialize with each other as their all cut from the same cloth. Rich, bored and looking for something to do to kill time. I'd also be willing to bet that I've had more experience with diversity in my life than all those ladies put together and I don't go around with an agenda, just deal with one person at a time.

What does this even mean??

"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"

That's a bunch of words squished together that say nothing whatsoever.

Alright, that's all out of me for this month, back to the hole in the ground to check on my supply of Wonder Bread and peanut butter.


Nooooo - don't go! We need your particular insight and philosophical scrutiny!!


Omg yes diversity is so good!! We need more blacks!! It will be good for teh economy and stuff. Just look at Detroit and Flint!! A true "liberal paradise".


you either need to increase or decrease your meds. did your mama drop you on your head when you were 2? I believe so.


Detroit, MI. The Most dangerous large city in America. 82.7% African American population

Irvine, CA. The safest large city in America. 1.8% African America population

Now stop me if I'm incorrect, but i think I'm starting to see a connection.

Please explain this liberals? I thought diversity was supposed to be good for cities?


The connection is very clear. Almost 40% of the Irvine population is Asian, while only about 1% of the Detroit population is. Clearly the difference between worst and best is having a whole bunch of Asian people.


I think that the elephant in the room that the, "Grand Haven Area Community Foundation" is trying to work its way around by paying money to the, "Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance to support the Diversity Initiative of Northwest Ottawa County (DINOC)",and make into a racial issue is something we might be better off labeling "Economic Diversity".

However, as the very astute commentators here have already pointed out it is often hard to see the forest fore the trees while pretending that the answers are all outside of ourselves. But anyway enjoy your grant and we look forward to the results which I'm sure will astound all of us. :o)


Your ignorance is showing jenkem. Crime is an outcome of poverty not skin color. Shame on you.


yes, blame it on income. Or blame it on the supreme court for upholding affirmative action. Or blame it on drug addict parents...whatever else liberals want to blame. Shame on you for not seeing the facts and the big picture, which is the true sign of ignorance (ignoring what is right in front of you).


I thought crime was the outcome of yours and mine,I got it and you want it for whatever reason.


I thought crime was the outcome of yours and mine,I got it and you want it for whatever reason.


Maybe Ms. Johnson should go and live in Muskegon a few weeks and then tell us how well cultural diversity works. Ms. Johnson go live in the Marquette/Jackson Hill neighborhood or better yet; Muskegon Heights. I lived in Muskegon most of my life and I'm here to tell you that cultural diversity simply does not work and the BIGGEST reason I left Muskegon to live in GH which is a much more safer community than Muskegon could ever hope to be. If Ms. Johnson lived in the two areas I mentioned here she would be going at the speed of light to live in a town like Grand Haven. Perceive my comments here any way you want or like, but cultural diversity is the last thing that the Tri-Cities needs now.


Lol! I keep saying this place is like Pleasantville crossed with The Twilight creeps me out how resistant many people here are to diversity. Back to ignorance being bliss ;)


Well Indigo WE like it that GH is Pleasantville crossed with The Twilight Zone. It's worked for decades and WE don't want the boat rocked. It's great to be able to walk the streets in the heat of the summer at 3:00 A.M. and not be confronted by your wonderful cultural diversity types. You want to live in cultural diversity? Than move to Muskegon or Flint or better yet Detroit.
You unlock this door with the key of imagination
Beyond it is another dimension
A dimension of sound
A dimension of sight
A dimension of mind
You're moving into a land
of both shadow and substance
Of things and ideas
You've just crossed over into....
The Tri-City Zone.


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