Welcome to The Surfus Foundation

Announcement

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

We are taking this important step to make Grand Rapids the 5th city in the State of Michigan to have a 100 score on the Municipal Equality Index (MEI). Currently, Grand Rapids has a 92 out of 100.
The Surfus Foundation has identified four key focus areas for improvement in its Grand 100 campaign. First, it is essential that the City of Grand Rapids press the State of Michigan to adopt LGBTQ+ inclusive policy. Second, the City of Grand Rapids itself must adopt Transgender-Inclusive Employee Benefits. Third, the Mayor and the City Manager of Grand Rapids need to make public statements condemning Conversion Therapy and press for the State of Michigan to ban such a harmful practice. Finally, the City of Grand Rapids needs to adopt a series of services that connect the nonprofit organizations that provide similar services with the city government services for the LGBTQ+ community. These services include youth (including anti-bullying policies), homeless, transgender, older adults, and people living with HIV/AIDS.
While a combination of the above will get us to 100 on the MEI, it is also important to note that the Public Accommodations component of the MEI are worth 3 points in our journey from 92 to 100. These points can be earned by providing gender-neutral or all gender restrooms in all of the city buildings. Dr. Surfus notes that this progress has been made at City Hall, and that this is perhaps the most involved of the proposed changes. Thus, the four above key focus areas were selected as the easiest path to 100.

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:

  1. Adopt Transgender-Inclusive Healthcare Benefits for City of Grand Rapids employees.
  2. Protect youth from harmful Conversion Therapy.
    1. Issue a Proclamation condemning the practice of conversion therapy
    2. Develop policies that are against the use of conversion therapy
  3. Issue a Proclamation urging State of Michigan legislative policy changes to protect the LGBTQ+ community.
  4. 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.