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A Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Bay County

The Bay Area Community Foundation has committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within Bay County both internally and externally with its nonprofit partners.

community healing

The Bay Area Community Foundation (BACF) has committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) within Bay County both internally and externally with its nonprofit partners.

The first step of this work includes getting an inside look into the lived experiences of the community it serves through the 2023 Bay County Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Report. The intention of the report is to assess experiences with DEI in the community.

The report analyzes Bay County demographics, racial and ethnic relations, housing, socioeconomics, education and policing and criminal justice using data from sources such as the U.S. Census, federal, state and local agencies and professional/academic publications.

Data was collected through the DEI Survey, which contained 96 questions and collected personal experiences and perceptions of equity and inclusion within Bay County.

The goal of the report is to identify areas of inequity or disparities to help guide the development of sustained action.

High-level takeaways from the report in five areas such as demographics, economics, education, housing, and policing and criminal justice include:

  • Bay County has become more diverse. The Hispanic and African American populations have each doubled since 1980. BACF shared in the report that as the community diversifies, it is important to ensure that all individuals have the opportunity to thrive and have a sense of belonging.
  • By 2045, Bay County’s population is projected to decrease by 17.1% from 2019 numbers. 
  • There is a large gap in median household income for Hispanic, African American and Multiracial populations compared to the Non-Hispanic White, Asian/Asian American and Native American populations.
  • Individuals who identify as multiracial earn a significant amount less than their racial/ethnic counterparts in Bay County, they also earn 59.7% of the average income for Multiracial individuals in Michigan. 
  • The four-year high school graduation rate for African American students is substantially lower than that of their Non-Hispanic White peers.
  • Some neighborhoods within Bay City have vacancy rates that are greater than 20%.
  • In 2019, the African American population made up nearly 2% of Bay County’s population, yet they made up nearly 15% of interactions with the justice system.

According to the report, the collection and analysis of data in these five key areas is the first step in a larger effort to promote equity, justice and inclusion in the Bay County community.

BACF’s goal is to infuse equity deeply into its own organizational culture and practices. The community foundation has been on an internal equity journey and is committed to working externally with community partners to bring positive change.

BACF has taken the following internal steps:

  • All BACF staff complete the Intercultural Development Inventory assessment. Individual growth plans are developed and reviewed annually.
  • Continual evaluation and monitoring of Board of Trustees composition and committee membership. Audit policies and procedures to uncover systemic biases.
  • Incorporate inclusive practices into strategic decision-making, staff hiring and contracts with vendors.
  • Examine BACF’s development activities, grantmaking and scholarship awards in support of diverse communities and populations.
  • Share what BACF is learning about diversity and inclusive practices.

"We believe that diversity, equity and inclusion are critical components of a healthy, thriving community," Diane Mahoney, president and CEO of BACF said in a press release. "Fostering an equitable community where all feel a sense of belonging and have the opportunity to thrive is an aspiration of BACF and is the reason why this study was critical."

Want more?

Read the full report.

We encourage you to share your own organizational equity journey and how you’re advancing equitable efforts in the communities you serve with the CMF team.