Stories from the Midland Area Community Foundation

We Hear You Task Force Unveils Results of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Assessment

December 9th, 2021

The We Hear You (WHY) Task Force of Midland County invites the community to view the results of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Assessment completed earlier this year. These results reflect the views of 2,182 Midland County residents on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our community.

The WHY Task Force convened following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police in May of 2020, prompting City of Midland Mayor Maureen Donker, City Council Member Diane Brown Wilhelm, and Chief of Police Nicole Ford to issue a public statement condemning Floyd’s killing. WHY’s goal was to formulate a plan and consider actions to advance and work toward greater equity, inclusion, and justice in our own community. This initiative received the full support of both the Midland City Council and the Midland County Board of Commissioners.

To better understand the needs of the community, the task force worked with Saginaw Valley State University to develop a study identifying six key demographics:

  • Demographics
  • Housing
  • Socioeconomics
  • Healthcare
  • Policing and Criminal Justice
  • Government Structure/Representation

The WHY Community Survey was developed and digitally distributed to Midland County residents, 18 years or older, during February and March 2021, with funding support from the Midland Area Community Foundation, a member of the WHY Task Force.

“It’s a priority of the Midland Area Community Foundation to support our community’s vision of becoming a place where everyone thrives,” said Sharon Mortensen from the Midland Area Community Foundation. “This study will lay the groundwork for our local leaders to take steps to ensure greater equity and inclusion.”

The survey contained 89 questions collecting demographic, housing, socioeconomic, healthcare, and wellbeing data from the community.

WHY shared the survey results with the community on November 18, 2021, at the Hach Student Center on the campus of Northwood University. The data-driven presentation outlines the DEI assessment, findings, and actions in all six key demographics with a look forward to the next steps. Midland Community Television (MCTV) recorded the event, which can be viewed at

“One of the things that we’re going to do after tonight will be to have community discussions to make sure we understood the data,” said City Council Member Diane Brown Wilhelm during the November 18, 2021 event. “We said, ‘we hear you.’ We want to make sure we not only hear what’s being said but also understand what’s being said.”

To view the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Report, visit the Midland County Dashboard website at