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Enterprise awards $122K to eight Michigan nonprofits advancing social and racial equity

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The funding is part of the Enterprise Holdings' ROAD Forward initiative, working to drive change in three key areas: early childhood development, youth health and wellness, and career and college preparation.

This month Enterprise awarded $122,000 to eight equity-based nonprofits across Michigan. The grants are part of its Enterprise Holdings' ROAD Forward initiative pushing for social and racial equity.

Affinity Mentoring in Grand Rapids was among the eight groups selected for funding. The nonprofit was chosen out of hundreds of applicants and awarded $20,000.

“I have a sincere tie to the work Affinity is doing and it felt good that Enterprise agreed with that,” Sharalle Ankrah, Executive Director of Affinity Mentoring, said.

Affinity Mentoring has been working as a nonprofit with students and families in West Michigan for about five years, with a mission to facilitate equitable growth in academics, social emotional skills and self-esteem.

“We serve mostly Black and Brown children, and in a transparent moment, especially in West Michigan, a lot of our Black and Brown children are being served by people who can’t relate to their different circumstances,” Ankrah said. “…I think because most of our staff can relate to the societal issues, we’re able to serve them better with an equitable lens.”

Ankrah told WGVU the awarded funds will be used to bring in additional mentoring sites and staffing to local schools.

“I personally started getting mentored in sixth and seventh grade, and to this very day I still meet with my mentor, or text them or call them, so it has a lasting effect,” she said.

This is the second year the company has provided grants to all eight of the organizations in the region as part of its five-year $55 million commitment, announced last year, to drive change in communities. 

A full list of Enterprise Holdings’ benefitting organizations is listed below:

  • Midnight Golf Program, $7,000 
  • 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit, $20,000 
  • Detroit Urban League, $20,000 
  • New Detroit, $20,000 
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Michigan, $5,000 

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