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Forever Washtenaw Blog

The latest news and commentary about what’s happening at AAACF and around Washtenaw County. This year, we are actively updating our website blog with stories from staff members every two weeks. Topics will be wide-ranging and will reflect the diverse perspectives and roles of staff members!



Blog for Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation

By AAACF / August 24, 2022
When the foundation started its impact investing journey a few years ago, our hope was that we would be able to catalyze growth and opportunities across Washtenaw County. Over the past two years, we have made a number of investments into community-oriented financial institutions with a track record of providing both monetary and impact returns. In turn, those institutions invest directly into businesses in our area – providing value through job creation and retention, and services and resources to the community. We are excited to share with you how a recent investment has brought a dream to reality, and how dozens of our community members are benefitting.

By Amina Iqbal / May 11, 2022
Many of us are trying to return to pre-pandemic normalcy. But for some this is nothing short of a monumental task, as COVID not only upended “normal” but also amplified challenges. There are many who lost jobs during the pandemic and are struggling to find a new one. Some who did not have easy access to virtual schooling are at serious risk of being left behind. Access to food is still a problem in food deserts, especially for those without a car or access to public transport. Rent prices have gone through the roof and many are struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments.

By Dorcas Patterson / April 5, 2022
I remember the countless times my mother would say to me and my siblings as we ate around the dining room table, “what you practice inside, you will practice outside!” While it may not have been my mother’s original intent — since she was mainly seeking better manners at the dining table — my mother recognized the importance of aligning your practices inside the home with whatever you do outside. By aligning my practices internally and externally, I have learned the value of authenticity.

By AAACF / March 16, 2022
Sometimes it’s what you know. Sometimes it’s who you know. Sometimes it’s both. While we can all agree that our community needs impactful programs and efficient & informed networks/systems, investing in those outcomes can be complicated.

By AAACF / February 18, 2022
What are you going to do about it? That common challenge is thrown down by parents, siblings, friends, co-workers, teachers, and mentors. I certainly have heard it enough in my life. So, I am pretty jazzed about how the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF) is stepping up to answer that question.

By AAACF / January 26, 2022
I am really excited to be engaging with you through my first blog as Impact Investing Manager at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation! I have always considered the Ann Arbor area my home, coming here first as a bright-eyed teenager enrolled at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. I then spent over a decade in philanthropy and capital markets, pursuing ways to utilize dollars to make systems, structures, and communities more equitable and just.

By Zac Smith / January 14, 2022
As we approach the third Monday in January, a day remembering the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his monumental leadership through the civil rights movement, it can come with bittersweet emotions to see how far we have come and how far we have yet to go. The reverberations of centuries of injustice are still felt as inequity today and amidst the tragedies across this nation in the past decade, that inequity has been publicly amplified.

By Katelyn Videto / December 23, 2021
During a season of celebration and holidays, it’s easy for me to forget the intentions behind this time of year, when I’m checking off my shopping list and baking holiday cookies. But when I take a step back, I remember what I love about December: the true spirit of generosity.

By Jillian Rosen / November 2, 2021
Since I don’t have a crystal ball, I can help to create a shared line of sight for our community regarding grantmaking by sharing where AAACF is looking in 2022 with our organizational priorities and resource allocations. In 2021 our Board approved, as part of an ongoing strategic planning process (to conclude in 2022), a strategic imperative that will guide the foundation’s grantmaking and community initiatives: Leveraging AAACF’s unique strengths to aggressively reduce inequity and increase opportunity in areas where we are well-positioned to lead and collaborate.

By AAACF / October 7, 2021
I joined the AAACF Youth Council in my freshman year of high school and now, at the University of Michigan, I’ve realized how much the Youth Council was an instrumental part of my life and taught me things that will help me far into my future. One thing that I especially valued about the Youth Council was the amount of learning that happened. Every year, in order to delve deeper into our funding priorities, we listened to and participated in different activities centered around these priorities.

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