Springfield Foundation to focus on diversity, equity and inclusion in grant reform

The Springfield Foundation is making changes to its grant process in order to place more emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Diversity, equity and inclusion have been designated a, “key priority for the Springfield Foundation,” by its Executive Director Ted Vander Roest, according to the statement from the foundation.

According to the statement, the Springfield Foundation Board of Directors has begun a “thoughtful and deliberate process to make certain decisions which involve the Foundation are rooted in fairness and equity.”

The Springfield Foundation’s mission is to, “improve quality of life for all residents of Clark County,” according to their website. The foundation awards grants and donations to a number of organizations in the county. It also distributes millions in scholarships annually to students.

READ MORE ON THE SPRINGFIELD FOUNDATION: Springfield Foundation awarding more than $500K in scholarships

“Through our proven core of responsibility and commitment, it became clear that our grantmaking lacked an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion,” the statement said. “The first step is to develop a Diversity Policy Statement which strategically guides the actives of our organization.”

In addition to that, the foundation will also move, “towards requiring organizations seeking grant funding in 2021 to have a diversity, equity and inclusion policy in place.”

“The Foundation intends to evaluate grantees on their commitment to uphold said policies,” the statement said.

The move comes after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, who died when a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for almost 9 minutes. Floyd’s death sparked public outrage, protests and discussion nationwide about racial injustice.

Protests in Springfield for Floyd took place on May 31. As a result, local Springfield clergy, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Springfield Police Division created a ‘Community Law Enforcement Advisory Team.’

The team’s purpose is to, “develop specific measurable action steps to ensure that minorities in Springfield and Clark County enjoy equal protection under the law, and that measures are in place to make sure that racial profiling, unfair treatment and the use of unnecessary force does not occur in our community,” a statement from the team said.

READ MORE: Clergy, Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Springfield Police form law enforcement advisory team

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