Cinnaire Recognized With DEI+B Excellence Award

Cinnaire has been named the 2024 recipient of the prestigious Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) Diversity Star award. The award honors organizations that demonstrate a solid commitment to advancing equity and creating inclusive environments, champion efforts for diversity and equitable practices in the workplace and beyond, support underserved and underrepresented employees and communities and contribute to a more just and equitable region.

“We are honored to be named the Lansing Chamber Diversity Star,” said Mark McDaniel, Cinnaire President and CEO. “At Cinnaire, our power is in our people. We are committed to maintaining a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. I am incredibly proud of our team’s dedication to fostering an equitable and inclusive environment. Receiving this award is a testament to our ongoing commitment to embracing and celebrating diversity in every facet of our organization. It reinforces our belief that diversity not only enriches our company but also fuels innovation and excellence across all endeavors.”  (Watch video to hear more about Cinnaire’s commitment to DEI+B)

Cinnaire envisions a world where all people prosper. Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEI+B) are at the foundation of the organization and embedded throughout its culture, policies, and the communities it serves. Cinnaire is committed to shattering the barriers created by systemic oppression to pursue social equity and provide all people the opportunities to live in healthy communities.

The organizations extensive DEI+B strategy is specifically focused on all phases and aspects of the employee lifecycle experience including recruiting, retaining, developing, and nurturing a culturally diverse workforce. Through intentional recruitment, staff development and succession planning, Cinnaire attracts and retains people whose life experiences and perspectives are reflective of the communities its serve and provides the training necessary to confront social inequity head on. Cinnaire team members are listening, learning, and having in-depth conversations together and with partners to better understand how to counteract implicit bias and consequently, systemic racism.

Cinnaire has been instrumental in championing initiatives that celebrate differences and promote equal opportunities for all. Over the past 5 years, Cinnaire has expanded its efforts to increase resources, development, and opportunity in all communities of color. In support of these initiatives, the organization established Cinnaire’s Ubuntu Fund, a $55 million fund designed to provide access to equity for developers that have faced systemic barriers to securing traditional funding sources. The investors in the Ubuntu Fund were united by a shared goal of expanding access to capital to emerging developers of coloring working in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) industry. In partnership with the Women’s Sustainable Development Initiative (WSDI) Cinnaire launched the Women Empowered to Build (WE Build) program in Detroit, a yearlong free training and mentoring program aimed at fostering diversity and inclusivity in the field of real estate development in Michigan. In Delaware, Cinnaire launched Jumpstart Wilmington to help residents become developers of their own neighborhoods through quality, community-focused real estate development training and financing options. Since October 2020, the program has achieved numerous milestones, conducting 11 cohorts and producing 131 graduates.

In the Lansing region, Cinnaire is a longtime supporter of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission of Mid-Michigan, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the legacy and teachings of Dr. King, supporting community agencies, and empowering youth to achieve educational outcomes. Their work – which aligns with Cinnaire’s mission – is guided by Dr. King’s teachings and philosophy of love, tolerance and nonviolence. In 2017, the MLK Commission of Mid-Michigan established the Mark McDaniel Legacy Scholarship, an honor recognizing Mark’s deep commitment to helping people from all backgrounds, especially in achieving higher education.

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