Grand Rapids organizations launch collaborative campaign to support sustainable innovation

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., September 18, 2018– Five local organizations are strategically joining together to form the Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation (GRCCT) and expand its vital community center. To celebrate the tremendous community effort, the organizations are hosting a kickoff experiential fundraising event on Thursday, September 20 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the new location at 1530 Madison Ave. SE in Grand Rapids.

Together, NAACP GR, Grand Rapids Nehemiah Project, Building Bridges Professional Services, Rising Grinds Café, Bethany Christian Services’ Youth Services Department are partnering to form the Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation as they begin building out a multi-use space that will be a hub for the community to ignite social innovation and entrepreneurship conducted with an economic and equity lens in the urban core of Grand Rapids. The final build-outs are planned for completion by February 2020.

The fundraising event will feature music, live art, self-guided tours, hors d’oeuvres, drinks and free valet parking. All money raised will go toward the building purchase, which is part of a larger $3.65 Million Collective Vision campaign, which focuses on purchasing, renovating, and growing funds for future programmatic expansion within the space. The center will eventually have a roof top deck, commercial kitchen and indoor/outdoor space for events, computer labs, professional and innovative workspaces. In total the space will maintain over 60 jobs in the community, with the creation of six to eight new positions in by campaign completion.

“This truly an amazing effort in which nonprofits and social enterprises are coming together to collectively raise money. We are thrilled to have created an authentic partnership with such influential organizations,” said Dr. Justin Beene, visionary behind the Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation. “This event will help raise funds and awareness for the needed opportunities that this space will provide to the area. We hope that the growth of this center and its collaborative model will spark an increase in innovation and community involvement in 49507 while continuing to unite those working in Grand Rapids’ urban core.”

Annually, over 500 youth—ages 14-24, as well as thousands of community members will be impacted by this collaboration, through GED completion, leadership development, vocational training and credentialing in construction, landscaping, hospitality/customer service, housing support and mentorship. The event space will hold up to 300 people and become a sustainable model through the rental of the space for community meetings, weddings, local entrepreneurs, advocacy meetings and trainings, business pitches, and racial conciliation trainings.

GRCCT partners exist with a single mission, to create opportunities for transformation by addressing the lack of structured and consistent approaches to providing inter-agency and cross-sectoral opportunities for the community in a sustainable way.

For more information on Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation, visit