The theme of Springmatter is to “Start Something Meaningful.” Fittingly, we established the Springmatter Fund to be intentional about our philanthropy as well. Especially meaningful to us is support for educational programming (for example, STEAM) and employment opportunities to assist marginalized populations — particularly efforts promoting equity and equality for diverse and disadvantaged populations.
The unifying concept for these areas of focus is to provide hope for young people that companies will welcome them, despite inequalities in some segments of our society. Most companies value diversity because they know it is the source of inspiration for breakthrough inventions, revolutionary change, and quantum leaps in thinking.
This diversity is the very spectrum of life. It comes in so many forms: gender identity, sexual orientation, autism, race, color, national origin, religion and beliefs; those who rise up from poverty, physical, learning, or mental illness challenges; and all those who do not allow society’s labels to define them.
All children, all people will benefit by valuing and embracing differences. Because we are all different – and yet the same.
Our VISION is to fulfill the dream, in which every human being has the unalienable right to live authentically and have equal and equitable opportunities in education, employment, housing and healthcare.
Our MISSION is to unite businesses, schools, community and national organizations in empowering marginalized youth through training, mentorship, leadership and job opportunities.
We will know we have succeeded when, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., our children “live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” – and we make this dream a reality for all marginalized and disadvantaged people.
NEWS & EVENTS
Take a look at the companies that joined the Supreme Court brief supporting Gavin Grimm and transgender rights. The Human Rights Campaign has done a great job in highlighting supportive companies.
We started our Springmatter Fund to make it easier for companies to connect with marginalized communities and to show our kids they are welcomed by companies, in spite of the negative messages from our government and other institutions.
This is a big deal — we need to connect marginalized kids with the MILLIONS of companies in our country that are inclusive, especially making it easier for small and mid-size companies to establish internships, training, mentoring, and ultimately jobs.
We can start with our youth by going to schools and community organizations and speaking to them directly about opportunities our companies provide. But we won’t stop there.
We will support company-school programs that promote learning (e.g., STEAM) and reinforce the inclusive messages from companies. We will bridge the gaps between employers, people in need of jobs, and organizations that assist our most disadvantaged populations. And you can help!
If you haven't seen the video, it may be the most concise, yet illuminating explanation of Title IX and how it affects our kids -- as well as the critical role of guidance in our educational systems.
Jay Kaplan, ACLU Michigan, brilliantly distilled the essence of Title IX, the possible outcomes of the upcoming Gavin Grimm case -- and why schools ALWAYS have the ability to do the right thing when it comes to providing a safe learning environment for all kids.
The champion of LGBTQ guidance for our schools, John Austin, who sacrificed to make a stand for our families when we needed it most, explained how desperately educators needed the information and why it is even more critical today.
Current Sec. of the Michigan State Board of Education, Michelle Fecteau, who along with her colleagues on the board give us so much hope that our kids and educators will be given the best chance to succeed.
Michigan Dept of Ed's Kim Phillips-Knope gave an overview of the LGBTQ training and Silent Crisis workshops, as well as the work being done by MOASH and MY-Voice. There is tremendous demand for training from educators across the state.
Katie Lamb of GLSEN-Southeast Michigan explained the mission of GLSEN, which includes anti-bullying work in K-12 schools, supporting GSA's and other organizations.
I am truly humbled to be part of such a great informational meeting -- which of course turned out to be much more than that. We cannot speak about Title IX without feeling the suffering that so many of our kids must endure.
We cannot speak about the struggle for equality without remembering our nation's history and how states used Jim Crow laws to subvert equality and institutionalize segregation and discrimination. Separate bathrooms, schools, restaurants, even drinking fountains, and of course, 2nd class treatment on buses. Over a century of systematical dehumanization of African Americans.
But to kids and marginalized people everywhere, we give our commitment that we won't stop fighting until we have equality for all. We will show that the overwhelming majority of companies in the United States already support LGBTQ and all marginalized communities with powerful, inclusive policies.
We won't stop sharing our stories and educating so that people one day realize their worldviews have been compromised by inherent biases and irrational fears pervading our culture.
We won't stop until people realize their worldviews can and must change to reflect the truths we have learned -- the truths of gender identity and sexual orientation being on a spectrum. The value of diversity. The self-evident truth that all men are created equal.
Finally, we must remember the words of Dr. King, "Religion and education must play a great role in changing the heart. But we must go on to say that while it may be true that morality cannot be legislated, behavior can be regulated. It may be true that the law cannot change the heart but it can restrain the heartless. It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me but it can keep him from lynching me and I think that is pretty important, also. So there is a need for executive orders. There is a need for judicial decrees. There is a need for civil rights legislation on the local scale within states and on the national scale from the federal government."
Thank you to all the people who have given our kids and families not only hope, but the tools to take action. The transgender and gender expansive kids who face daily struggles and become the most powerful advocates. The kids and families working behind the scenes, because the backlash they face in their communities is too great. The LGBTQ organizations and allies fighting along side us and in many cases leading the way. The many companies in the United States that already recognize the value of diversity and provide equal opportunities for all people. We owe you a debt of gratitude.