Stories from the Midland Area Community Foundation

We Hear You – A Statement About Racial Injustice

June 5th, 2020


The trauma in our community is palpable – COVID-19, the flood and the racial injustice and inequities in our society, laid bare by recent events. As a community foundation we want to be part of building a community that values and embraces all voices. It is more important than ever that we listen to one another and truly seek to demonstrate care of neighbor. The question was posed long ago, “Who is my neighbor?” As we broaden our definition to be inclusive of all community members, we can have the important and difficult conversations that are critical.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it this way, “The ultimate measure of a person is not where he or she stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he or she stands in times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his or her position, his or her prestige, and even his or her life for the welfare of others. In dangerous valleys and hazardous pathways, he or she will lift some bruised and beaten brother or sister to a higher and more noble life.”

Community foundations are about transformation, about enriching and improving the quality of life. We need to continue to transform to build the kind of community where we confront inequity in all its forms.

Our Cultural Awareness Coalition was founded in the 1990s when an African-American scientist at Dow brought community members together to have dialogue and confront racism and inequity. It’s clear we still have much work to do as a community and society. We value hearing your voice with suggestions for action steps. Please consider this an invitation to call me personally with your ideas at 989.839.9661 or e-mail me at Or you may wish to share your ideas with members of our Cultural Awareness Coalition at

We appreciate the statement from three of our city leaders recognizing the need for continued listening and dialogue.

Thanks again,

Sharon Mortensen, President & CEO of the Midland Area Community Foundation