Community Foundation Awards $150,000 To Organizations Across the Region to Benefit Youth

In In The News

DETROIT—The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan announced the distribution of $150,000 in grants to fund 18 projects through its YOUth Voice Social Justice grant program.

Earlier in 2014, the Metropolitan Youth Policy Fellows, a diverse group of youth working together for a better metro Detroit region, surveyed more than 1,100 young people to share their ideas on issues facing their communities and the region. Survey results led them to six recommendations, including strengthening opportunities to promote youth voice and youth decision making in communities, creating youth-driven programs to promote health and safety in communities, including community gardens and accessible parks and playgrounds, and funding and promoting programs that bring different racial and ethnic groups together.

As a result of the survey, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan issued a request for proposals (RFP) from youth-serving organizations at a Youth Summit in September. Young people were encouraged to create programs that address the recommendations the Metropolitan Policy Youth Fellows had identified.

The following 18 organizations were awarded grants based on proposals submitted by the youth:

  • Affirmations Lesbian and Gay Community Center Inc. (Ferndale), $10,000 in support of an LGBT youth group that promotes healthy decision making skills in the community and strengthens youth voice in the organization.
  • Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (Dearborn), $10,000 for support of the Dearborn Youth Empowerment Initiative to promote race and ethnicity dialogue
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Oakland and Macomb Counties (Ferndale, Royal Oak, Southfield, Washington Township), $5,600, to support a teen leadership summit and community service action plan for youth from four Boys & Girls Clubs
  • City of Port Huron (Port Huron), $5,000 for support of the reconstruction of two city basketball courts
  • Community Social Services for Wayne County (Detroit), $10,000, for “Potluck Discussions” to build life skills for homeless teen mothers and their children
  • Corner Health Center (Ypsilanti), $9,400 to support Ypsilanti youth in sharing concerns and solutions with community leaders
  • Dearborn Public Schools (Dearborn), $8,500, to support a social justice course for juniors and seniors at Edsel Ford High School
  • East Michigan Environment Action Council (Detroit), $5,000, for workshops to raise awareness of environmental and climate justice issues for youth in Detroit
  • Farmington Public Schools (Farmington), $6,300, to support Farmington Central High School students to build communication skills to address diversity issues
  • Farmington Public Schools (Farmington), $10,000 for diversity-focused activities in Farmington High School, Harrison High School and North Farmington High School
  • Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion (Detroit), $5,000, to support the expansion of its annual youth leadership and justice exhibition to include more skill building workshops
  • River Raisin National Battlefield Park Foundation (Monroe County), $5,000 to support incoporating Wyandotte Nation’s history into youth-led outdoor kayak program
  • SER Metro-Detroit Jobs for Progress Inc. (Detroit), $10,000, to support a one-day conference to build relationships between youth and adults across metro Detroit
  • Southwest Detroit Business Association (Detroit), $9,700, to support for the Congress of Communities Youth Council to build youth voice in Detroit’s education system
  • Student Conservation Association Inc. (Detroit), $10,000 for the establishment of a Youth Alumni Council to help launch a year-round leadership program
  • Student Leadership Services Inc. (Waterford Township), $10,000, to support a project to promote justice and acceptance among students
  • The James and Grace Lee Boggs School (Detroit), $10,000, to support an intergenerational mentoring program
  • University Prep Math & Science High School (Detroit), $10,000, to support a student exchange program with other schools in region to build cultural awareness and to host a Cultural Festival.

 “We are impressed by all of the projects proposed in response to the largest youth-driven survey of young people in our region,” said Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan President Mariam Noland. “We are committed to support the leadership skills of youth as they work to improve their communities and make a difference.”

The University of Michigan School of Social Work’s Youth Dialogues on Race and Ethnicity in Metropolitan Detroit– Michigan Youth and Community Program is a consultant to the project and served as a key facilitator for the summit. Support for the project came from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan takes a regional approach to community investment. It was founded in 1984 to promote and facilitate community philanthropy across all seven counties of southeast Michigan. Although it is among the nation’s younger community foundations, it is one of the fastest growing, ranked 23rd nationally with assets of more than $797 million.

For more information about the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, its grant making, special projects and initiatives, visit

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a full-service philanthropic organization leading the way to positive change in our region. The Community Foundation is a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations committed to the future of southeast Michigan. It supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development and civic affairs. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed nearly $670 million through more than 50,000 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair and Livingston counties. For more information, please visit