DTE Energy Foundation awards more than $1 million in grants focused on enhancing equity and opportunity

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

The DTE Energy Foundation today announced it has awarded more than $1 million in grants to eight Michigan-based organizations focused on encouraging equity. Grant recipients include the Council of Michigan Foundations, Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation, Dutton Farm, GreenLight Fund, Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development (LaSED), Neighborhood Defender Service of Detroit, New Detroit and NEW (Nonprofit Enterprise at Work, Inc.).

“The Foundation will continue to ensure its grantmaking process supports social justice, leading us to partner with nonprofits that share similar goals, such as racial justice. It's an honor to award these incredible organizations that continue to make a positive impact in our neighborhoods,” said Lynette Dowler, president, DTE Foundation. “The strength, support and passion of our community partners are vital in helping us carry out our mission of service.”

The DTE Foundation’s support will be used by the following grant recipients to develop programs, seed current projects and create partnerships that support social justice and racial equity efforts.

• Council of Michigan Foundations – $250,000

o The Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF) leads, strengthens and supports Michigan’s community of philanthropy by emboldening and equipping CMF members in the relentless pursuit of equitable systems and inclusive diversity, fortifying the field through public policy action, fostering the growth of current and future philanthropy leaders and advancing exemplary philanthropic practices and field expertise. The grant will advance the Statewide Equity Fund Strategic Support program that provides funding for technical expertise and overall guidance for municipalities and nonprofits in developing equity-centered approaches for stimulus funding. CMF brings together people and ideas, sharing knowledge and leveraging a collective voice to increase the impact of Michigan’s philanthropic community, which grants more than $1.9 billion annually to improve outcomes for Michigan.

• Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation – $100,000

o The Detroit Regional Chamber grant will be used to support the organization’s focus on racial justice and economic equity, making education more equitable for Detroiters, empowering neighborhoods and entrepreneurs, advocating for fair and equal legislation, and embracing critical conversations with national thought leaders and local business, government, and civic leaders.

• Dutton Farm – $30,000

o Dutton Farm empowers and supports adults with disabilities to live a life of purpose, inclusion and dignity. The organization offers an environment where individuals find dignified inclusion in schools, workplaces, government, communities, churches and beyond. The grant will support the Dutton Farm Workforce Development Program, which provides skill-building, career development and customized employment supports to adults with developmental disabilities.

• GreenLight Fund – $225,000

o GreenLight Fund is a coalition of Detroit residents and leaders that lifts opportunities for children, youth, and families experiencing poverty. Each year they run a community-centered process to elevate critical priorities for residents facing barriers to social and economic mobility. This grant will fund the organization’s innovative approach to filling critical service gaps for families in need and stimulating local support to maximize social impact and long-term sustainability.

• Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development (LaSED) – $10,000

o Serving residents of Southwest Detroit since 1969, LaSED promotes social and economic development by addressing the issues that affect the diverse ethnic groups living in the community. This support will be used to assist people of all ages with a variety of bilingual services including citizenship classes, English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, summer youth programs, and a senior center.

• Neighborhood Defender Service of Detroit (NDS) – $20,000

o NDS is known for its innovative, community-based, holistic public defense practice. This support helps Wayne County residents retain their housing through the Eviction Defense Practice, providing legal representation and related social work to individuals and their families who are facing eviction as the result of an arrest or COVID-related hardships.

• New Detroit – $100,000

o New Detroit is a coalition of leaders working to achieve racial understanding and equity in Metropolitan Detroit. The organization provides thought leadership, advocates for policy change, and offers direct services including facilitated conversations on race and customized training on racial diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. The grant will support trainings, education, research, advocacy, and partnerships to fight racism at the personal, institutional, and systemic levels.

• NEW (Nonprofit Enterprise at Work, Inc.) – $270,000

o NEW connects leaders and organizations with essential tools and services enabling them to focus on mission-related work. This grant will support the Advancing Racial and Social Justice program, which equips Michigan’s nonprofit leaders to steward their missions while advancing racial justice. After six months, participants will emerge with the tools to manage their nonprofit’s systems while building a culture of inclusion.

The DTE Foundation is dedicated to cultivating diverse, inclusive, and equitable communities and supports initiatives focused on arts and culture, community transformation, economic progress, education and employment, environment and human needs.

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