2020 President’s Letter

Dear friends,

While the pandemic, its attendant hardships and disparities crush onward, and the essential work of our grantee partners and so many others continues around the clock, I’d like to briefly mark the end of this difficult year and express heartfelt gratitude.

First, to Ashly, Heidi, Marcia, TeQuion and Vanessa – each of you a remarkable colleague whose commitment to our mission runs deep, who have all worked long hours, forged and strengthened partnerships, and contributed your talents in creative ways, while always showing compassion to our community and each other.  To the McGregor Fund Board of Trustees, who’ve brought empathy and urgency to supporting emergency relief efforts and owning our role in rectifying racial injustice.  Your wisdom and conviction have steadily guided us through unchartered times.  And finally to everyone whom we’re blessed to call partners.  Thank you from all of us for your incredibly hard work, your humbling generosity, and your bold leadership in the face of this crisis.

While we’re ready to leave 2020 behind, we can look back and see herculean effort and striking accomplishments across our community.  We applaud the Detroit and neighboring homeless-serving systems for unprecedented collaboration and ingenuity to keep people safe during COVID, and for shifting how decisions get made to include people with lived experience.  We know that these changes are key to better, more equitable housing outcomes.  We also applaud the City of Detroit for redesigning its workforce system – in the middle of a pandemic – to be more person-centered and collaborative across other safety net systems.  This painstaking groundwork will make for stronger philanthropic partnerships and unlock new resources and more equitable opportunities for people confronting multiple barriers to employment.

We applaud all of you who took on new or expanded responsibilities to relieve misfortune and build agency in the crucible of this crisis.  We are honored to be among your champions.  And we thank our advocacy and foundation peers here and across the country who’ve challenged philanthropy to address racial injustice, showing us the way.  All of this work and more guides and inspires us as we head into 2021.

Wishing all a peaceful holiday season and a healthy new year.

Kate Levin Markel

President

Read the President’s Letter from 2019