The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce's monthly diversity, equity, and inclusion newsletter provides updates, programming, resources, and professional development to empower the business community to contribute to an equitable and inclusive region.
JULY 2023 Edition
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Photo: MSUFCU’s CU Veterans Affinity Group leadership accept a certificate of appreciation for their candy drive benefiting deployed soldiers. The CU Veterans Affinity Group collected over 6 pounds donated from MSUFCU employees.
Michigan State University Federal Credit Union Affinity Groups
In 2018, MSU Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU) formed its first employee resource group, referred to now as an affinity group. Since then, MSUFCU has established 11 total affinity groups supporting a range of experiences and/or identities shared by employees. Affinity groups (AGs) are networks of employees drawn together by characteristics, affinities, or professional interests. Characteristics include, but are not limited to, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, working parents, or generation. AGs serve as a resource for both group members and the Credit Union by offering valuable insights into their community’s unique needs.

Through each affinity group, MSUFCU lives its core value to Cultivate Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. Each AG helps foster a sense of belonging and connection to all employees across the Credit Union. At the beginning of 2023, nearly half of MSUFCU’s workforce belonged to one or more affinity group(s).

The affinity groups were created not only to foster a sense of belonging amongst employees, but also to provide opportunities for professional development, education, and volunteerism. Each AG is allocated an internal Spotlight Month used for companywide communication featuring educational articles, helpful resources, and social engagements. AGs regularly host guest speakers who share about a topic important to the group’s membership. In 2022, 11 guest speakers presented to AG members, including Pidgeon Pagonis, an intersex activist, writer, artist, and consultant who was honored as a LGBT Champion of Change in 2015 by the Obama White House.

Another core value of MSUFCU is Giving Back to the Community. Each AG is given an annual donations budget to support local charitable organizations and make a positive impact in the communities we serve. In 2022, the Affinity Groups donated over $11,000 to 19 local non-profit organizations.

Learn more about MSUFCU at https://www.msufcu.org/ourstory.
Important July Observations & Celebrations
  • French-American Heritage Month
  • July 1: Canada Day (Canada)
  • July 4: Independence Day (USA)
  • July 9: Martyrdom of the Bab (Baha’i)
  • July 11: World Populace Day
  • July 14: Bastille Day
  • July 18: International Nelson Mandela Day
  • July 19: Muharram Islamic New Year
  • July 24: Pioneer Day (Mormon)
  • July 26: National Disability Independence Day (commemorates the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act)
  • July 30: International Day of Friendship
Five Generations in the Workplace
At a recent ATHENA WIN Professional Growth & Development program, Central Michigan University Business and Community Engagement Associate Director, Alyse Munishamaiah, provided an overview as well as helpful resources for supporting an intergenerational workforce. A PowerPoint presentation from the program is available below.
Upcoming Events & Programming
ATHENA WIN Girls' Night Out: Kayaking Down the Grand River

Date & Time: Wednesday, Aug. 9, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Location: Dimondale Canoe & Kayak, 9995 Billwood Highway, Dimondale

Tickets: $25 for ATHENA WIN members and $35 for future members.
Overview: Come take a kayak trip down the Grand River with the ATHENA WIN Girls' Night Out Committee! The trip down the river takes approximately 1.5 hours. Dimondale Canoe & Kayak will transport you to Danford Island Park launch site, which includes several lagoons to paddle around in, as you head down the river. A pit stop about a 1/3 of the way into the trip will include a bonfire, snacks and drinks.
Pave the Way Project
“They Even Took the Dirt” a one-hour documentary compiled from more than 75 oral histories of survivors and their children which tells the crushing story of the destruction of a thriving African American neighborhood on Lansing’s westside in the 1960s.

The title “They Even Took the Dirt” was derived from an oral history given by James “Jet” Davis and refers to the massive amount of dirt that was excavated to build I-496 which stretches across Lansing and was constructed from 1965 to 1970 resulting in the loss of nearly 700 homes and scores of businesses. The oral histories were completed by a team of volunteers led by community members Kenneth Turner (videographer) and Adolph Burton (interviewer).

Bill Castanier, president of the Historical Society of Greater Lansing, said the Pave the Way Project involved hundreds of community volunteers who were committed to telling the story of the impact of the expressway construction on Lansing’s African American neighborhood. View the documentary below.

Celebrating and Supporting Equity and Inclusion Year-Round
In 1975, AT&T made a seemingly small but very important choice.
That was the year AT&T formally added “sexual orientation” to its nondiscrimination clause. And as one of the very first major corporations to make that change, it was a seminal moment for the company.

There’s no question that AT&T has been a strong and committed ally ever since. And considering our company’s history, it should be no surprise that pride month has long been an important opportunity for us to highlight and support everything we do year-round to support the LGBTQ+ community.

During Pride Month, AT&T transformed its support into a celebration, featuring an array of initiatives designed to amplify love, equality, and visibility. One of these key initiatives is AT&T's longstanding partnership with The Trevor Project.

Since 2008, AT&T has supported the Trevor Project — the leading suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization devote to serving LGBTQ+ youth in crisis. This year, our company has reaffirmed that commitment by pledging to donate up to $500,000 dollars to the non-profit, supporting their efforts to provide 24/7 free crisis services, public education and peer support to LGBTQ+ youth in need.

Learn more about how you can help us support the Trevor Project here. And as we officially wrap up another successful Pride Month, let's remember that the spirit of equality should not be confined to a single month but celebrated year-round. AT&T's dedication to the LGBTQ+ community is more than just an initiative; it's a testament to the company's deeply rooted belief in equality for all.
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