Our dedication to excellent educational experiences is the cornerstone of the Lakeshore Excellence Foundation. We are also committing to a greater focus on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in order to meet our goal of ensuring that all people are treated fairly so that everyone can achieve their full potential.
Announcing our commitment to DEI is about showing active support for diversity, equity and inclusion. It has been a belief of ours from the beginning days of our Foundation, that everyone in the Lakeshore School District should receive an excellent education. We understand that in order to do that, each individual must feel safe and believe they have the same opportunities to succeed. We want each individual to thrive in our schools and believe that diversity is the key to ensure that happens.
The Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Michigan, Robert Sellers, characterizes DEI in a simple yet meaningful way: “Diversity is where everyone is invited to the party. Equity means that everyone gets to contribute to the playlist. Inclusion means that everyone has the opportunity to dance.” This is, hopefully, a simplified, yet meaningful, way to think about DEI.
We commit to increasing diversity and looking for opportunities to represent the makeup of our community. Supporting diversity is inclusive of race, ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, language, culture, national origin, religious commitments, age, (dis)ability status and political perspective.
We commit to equity through the fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups.
We commit to pursuing inclusion by creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate. An inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people. We believe it is the bedrock of true teamwork, creativity and ultimately excellence.
Through our commitment to DEI, our foundation will ensure the projects and grants advance our capabilities and represent diverse perspectives so that every individual is positively impacted by our collective support. One of the first action steps we’ve taken was to nominate Jim Roberts as our Vice Chair of DEI. Jim is passionate about DEI and we feel very fortunate to have Jim on our LEF Board. It is a part of who he is and what he does in his business.
Our foundation’s DEI activities will support and complement the actions adopted by the Lakeshore School Board. Together we will foster an environment where everyone has the opportunity for excellence in their educational pursuits.