Emily Hazel graduated from high school just eight years ago, but she has been thinking about her legacy for a long time. She’s our youngest donor to the new ISAAC Endowment Fund! If you can, please join Emily in building an endowment that will generate funds for ISAAC way into the future. We have raised $19,000 in the past year, but we need to raise $31,000 more in the next two years! Your gift or your charitable distribution needs to be written to Kalamazoo Community Foundation with “ISAAC Endowment Fund” in the memo space. Please send it to:
ISAAC Endowment Fund
Kalamazoo Community Foundation
402 E. Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Here are Emily’s words:[su_pullquote align=”right”]What a wonderful resource the endowment fund could be if it became a sustainable source of income to use to uplift people, to change policies to better serve people and to give community members a voice.[/su_pullquote]My identity as a Kalamazoo resident is strongly rooted in my high school ideology of leveling the playing field, and later believing that here where I grew up, more than anywhere else, is where I can make the largest impact. This deep-seated belief that has driven my educational pursuits since graduating from Kalamazoo Central in 2010 started with the simple notion that, “life is not fair.” Since then, I have interrogated that notion time and time again to attempt to understand where I can contribute and how an equitable society could be reached in our community.
I used the Kalamazoo Promise at Michigan State University and I continued my education at Saint Louis University, hoping that eventually I could contribute to creating a more accessible food system in Kalamazoo. While rumblings of this, and energy behind this notion, is in existence two years later, I am still unsure of what I can do to contribute to Kalamazoo—this social justice issue just seems to be outside my control.
Though, this is outside of my control on a personal level. When I take a step back, and think of the collective Kalamazoo, my vision shifts to the organizations that work for and with Kalamazoo residents. Specifically, ISAAC comes to mind, because it not only determines salient issues in the community every two years, it also creates a space of collaboration for all people. ISAAC is unique in the sense that it brings people together from a wide variety of places, spanning faiths, races, generations and income levels in a capacity that few other organizations have yet to achieve.
This is one of the many reasons that I donated to the ISAAC endowment fund. I believe in the work that ISAAC has done in the past and the work that ISAAC is currently pursuing in the community. I began my social justice journey believing that I could make a difference in the world, and while that is not untrue, I cannot make a lasting impact alone. ISAAC is a catalyst for change that works for people, raising voices of the people and will continue to represent all people within Kalamazoo. What a wonderful resource the endowment fund could be if it became a sustainable source of income to use to uplift people, to change policies to better serve people and to give community members a voice. Please consider donating to the Endowment Fund and helping to build a sustainable source of income to fund ISAAC’s work on uplifting the community.
– Emily Hazel, Westwood United Methodist Church member, Executive Committee Member-at-Large, and Affordable Housing Task Force member