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Meet civic investor Diana Sieger: Investing in inclusion

Having caught the contagious energy of community at an early age, civic investor Diana Sieger continued her career with one mission in mind: include everyone.
Diana Sieger

Diana Sieger /Eric Tank

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Coursing through the veins of every individual is some sort of passion, something that makes getting up everyday just a little more inspiring. Civic investor Diana Seiger found that passion as a young girl while volunteering at an inner city Detroit elemantary school.

"I was volunteering as a tutor at Scripps Elementary in Detroit right before the riots broke out,"says Sieger. "We were working with these kids and, more than anything, giving them a voice." Giving another person a voice was just the match to light the way for Sieger's engagement in community. She took this passion for engagement to the Grand Rapids community by sitting as President of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

"My passion for wanting to invest in the greater Grand Rapids area has a lot to do with how can we, the Foundation and I, be a partner to ensure affordable and safe housing, to make sure kids have the access to great education, to bring groups of people together to plan the next steps," says Sieger. What does look like? Sieger says it's getting out of our chairs, walking outside and simply having a conversation.

"It's important for members of the community to know we are actual people who care and are invested in our community," says Sieger. Even if we're giving our best efforts in making sure others know we are engaged and invested, issues can still arise.

"I can’t believe in 2014 we’re still trying to work out the issue of inclusion," says Sieger. "My vision is to turn around the perspective of Grand Rapids and help people feel more than just welcomed, but have a real sense of belonging."

As a daily reader of The Rapidian, Sieger believes this hyperlocal news source is doing an important part of building inclusion and belonging.

"I see interviews with people I would not have otherwise met. I’m seeing issues being talked about that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about," says Sieger. "What The Rapidian does is it enriches me. It’s a must-read to get a different perspective on what’s going on. It opens up my line of vision."

The Rapidian was established five years ago and today is "a very valuable source of news and information," says Sieger. Ever growing its reach, The Rapidian is now able to reach more community members than ever.

"The Rapidian is the way to communicate the current view of the greater Grand Rapids area, but also a wonderful tool to take a look at what’s to come," says Sieger. "To invest is to make sure that happens."

It's because of civic investors like Diana Sieger and their investment in inclusion that The Rapidian has become, as Sieger says, "the news of the future."

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