November 15, 2023 Update: Grand Rapids earns 100 score on Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index
February 17, 2023 Update: The Surfus Foundation releases updated LGBT Population of the United States estimate.
December 16, 2022- Grand Rapids Municipal Equality Index Score Upgraded
This past summer, The Surfus Foundation launched its Grand 100 Campaign in an effort to make Grand Rapids the 5th city in Michigan to have a perfect 100 score on the Municipal Equality Index. We have since been working with the city in partnership to advance key policy priority areas for the LGBTQ+ community. We are focused on work for 2023 to:
- Ban Conversion Therapy at the local and state level
- Implement Transgender-Inclusive Healthcare Benefits for city workers.
- Advocate for a City Contractor Nondiscrimination Policy update to protect the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination from city partners.
These areas will continue the work of the Grand 100 Campaign to bring us to our goals. We are pleased to celebrate the first increase in the Grand Rapids MEI score in over 3 years. Grand Rapids increased from 92 to 94. Transgender-Inclusive Healthcare Benefits could bring us to our 100 score goal. Still, the 100 score is largely a floor or base level of where we want to be on LGBTQ+ inclusivity. We want to work to make Grand Rapidians thrive at every level of economic development and human rights.
July 21, 2022- Grand Rapids City Manager’s Office Update
Dr. Surfus received a call at The Surfus Foundation from the City Manager’s office of the City of Grand Rapids. We will be working with the department that focuses on Diversity and Inclusion for the City of Grand Rapids implement the goals of The Surfus Foundation’s Grand 100 campaign.
July 12, 2022- Surfus Foundation President Dr. Chris Surfus addresses Grand Rapids City Commission.
July 6, 2022 Update
Pride Month Update
Grand Rapids, today we celebrate Pride. Tomorrow, we get to work.
The Surfus Foundation will be asking the City of Grand Rapids to adopt LGBTQ+ protections that will make Grand Rapids the 5th Michigan city (after Ann Arbor, Detroit, East Lansing, and Ferndale) to achieve a perfect 100 score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.
The Surfus Foundation will specifically ask the City of Grand Rapids to adopt the following changes to policy:
- Adopt Transgender-Inclusive Healthcare Benefits for City of Grand Rapids employees.
- Protect youth from harmful Conversion Therapy.
- -Issue a Proclamation condemning the practice of conversion therapy.
- -Develop policies that are against the use of conversion therapy.
- Issue a Proclamation urging State of Michigan legislative policy changes to protect the LGBTQ+ community.
- Create a network of LGBTQ+ services for youth, those experiencing homelessness, older adults, those living with HIV/AIDS, and the transgender community that links government resources with nonprofit sector resources.
The Surfus Foundation will be asking Kent County, MI Board of Commissioners to adopt a county-wide Nondiscrimination Policy to protect the LGBTQ+ community in housing, employment, and public accommodations. This includes amending the Human Resources policies of Kent County to protect the LGBTQ+ community.