Community Foundation of Lorain County receives Michael G. Shinn Award for Diversity Work

The Community Foundation builds upon its award-winning diversity work to better engage with the citizens of Lorain County in today’s environment.

In 2016, The Community Foundation of Lorain County was a recipient of the Michael G. Shinn Award for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Philanthropy from Philanthropy Ohio, a statewide association of philanthropic foundations. The award recognized the Foundation for its a long-term Diversity initiative as it put every facet of the Community Foundation on the table for examination through a Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (DI&E) lens.

The predominant goal guiding this organizational-wide initiative was to transform how the Community Foundation functions, both internally and externally, so that it is best equipped to help Lorain County be a richer place for all: rich in its economy, its talent, and in its inclusion. The practices learned throughout this detailed and involved DI&E training are still used by the Foundation today.

A DI&E Task Force, including members of the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation, members of its Affiliate Funds, and its staff, worked diligently through an 18-month series of retreats. The participants engaged in personal and corporate self-examination of intercultural competence with the help of two third party facilitators, Beth Zemsky and Greg Brown, experts in the field of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. Each participant completed individual Intercultural Competency assessments, follow-up coaching, worked on individual Intercultural Development Plans, and committed to six retreats over an eighteen-month period.

The foundation and its constituents believe they must evolve their individual and collective perspectives and behaviors to provide diverse and inclusive opportunities leading to more equitable outcomes for all… It is my belief that the courage demonstrated by Foundation constituents throughout the learning and skills-building process will, over time, result in a significant benefit to all members of the Lorain County community.”

Greg Brown
Executive Director, PolicyBridge

The Michael G. Shinn Award recognizes an individual(s) who have demonstrated a significant commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in his/her philanthropic practice in Ohio.  Michael G. Shinn was the founder of the Shinn Family Foundation and served as secretary of Philanthropy Ohio’s Board of Trustees until his death in March 2015. He chaired the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, taking on primary responsibility for guiding Philanthropy Ohio’s efforts in that arena. The Philanthropy Ohio Board of Trustees has created this award to honor his memory and presented it for the first time in September 2015.