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These organizations have formed an alliance to create a Community of Practice and made a commitment to develop and implement strategies that will address the perceived shortage of leaders in communities of color, by equipping potential leaders with the necessary leadership skills to actively participate in the future governance and management of nonprofit organizations in greater Grand Rapids.

Baxter Community Center:  At Baxter Community Center, we help ensure that the burdens of today do not become the barriers of tomorrow. Through our four main pillars of programming-our Wholistic Health Clinic, Mizizi Maji Mentoring Program, Marketplace, and Child Development Center–we help individuals and families meet their emotional, physical, and spiritual needs so they can create a future rooted in hope and reflective of their own potential. From our beginning in 1969, Baxter has been led by the Spirit and shaped by the forces of radical community change. Today we are building on that rich history by reaching more people and expanding our work with new ideas and partners. Whether addressing food security in an innovative way through our urban agriculture initiatives or encouraging our students with trips across the nation to learn about their heritage, Baxter remains committed to an approach that embodies our belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to build a better life. Our partnership with the Urban Core Collective is one critical facet of that approach, and we invite you to learn more about our work at

Family Outreach Center:  Formed in August of 1979 to provide services aimed at stopping the deterioration of family life within neighborhoods of Grand Rapids in which people of color, the underserved and other low income residents reside. Programs include quality outpatient mental health and substance abuse disorder services and a host of community based prevention and educational services for families.

Grand Rapids African American Health Institute:  An independent, not for profit 501(c) (3) organization that is funded by numerous entities that are equally committed to its mission. By promoting health care parity or equality, GRAAHI will have an impact on the health disparities that currently exist for the African Americans who live in this community.

Grand Rapids Urban League:  Founded in 1943, the Grand Rapids Urban League is the city’s oldest civil rights organization devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream. Its mission is accomplished by its steadfast commitment to deliver quality services, create changes which eliminate racism and improve life chances for African Americans, thereby raising the quality of life for everyone.

Hispanic Center of West Michigan: Created in 1978, the Center has a long history of providing much needed services to the community as a whole and to the Hispanic community in particular. Its offering of educationally based programs to the Hispanic and broader community focuses on building a stronger community by investing in families, adults and children.

United Methodist Community House (UMCH): Since it opened its doors in 1902, UMCH has been satisfying the needs of and offering opportunities for children, youth, families and seniors. UMCH offers a variety of programs that span a lifetime through the Child, Youth, Family and Senior Development Departments.