Fund Spotlight: Heather & Stephen Ross and Maureen & Robert Freedland LPEF Fund for Diversity Education

January 16, 2023

By Megan Pierce, Senior Donor Services Coordinator

Designated Fund Spotlight

The Heather & Stephen Ross and Maureen & Robert Freedland La Crosse Public Education Foundation Fund for Diversity Education was established in November of 2021 for the purpose of providing diversity education opportunities for the students in the School District of La Crosse.

Diversity education promotes empathy, reduces prejudice, and enriches students’ abilities to think critically and creatively as they engage in conversations across difference. The goal of this fund is for the educational opportunities to teach students about groups who are historically excluded or underrepresented in education, and/or groups who are marginalized and oppressed.

More community impact

Robert and Maureen Freeland, who have already started multiple funds at LCF, liked the idea of joining with another family to create an even larger impact for our community. As Robert states, “we have to think about, ‘how can the world be a little better based on the fact that we were here?’” Knowing the value that the foundation’s endowments can have to serve our community’s greatest needs in perpetuity is the Freeland’s main reason for continuing to support the foundation through their various funds.

The founders of this fund, Heather and Stephen Ross and Maureen and Robert Freedland believe that different ethnic groups bring a richness to the fabric of our community and world. This fund will give all students the opportunity to feel valued and represented based on their heritage.

This fund hopes to make its first grant to the School District of La Crosse this year.

The photo above shows students at Northside Elementary learning about Native American art, music, and stories from Grammy Award winning musician, Bill Miller. More projects like this will be possible thanks to this new fund.

What is a designated fund?

When a designated fund is established, the donor selects one or more nonprofits as the perpetual recipient of the fund’s distributions. The community foundation ensures that the designated recipients receive support so long as they remain in existence. These funds are commonly established through estate plans as a way to continue providing annual support to the donor’s favorite charitable entities beyond their lifetime.

Learn more about all of our fund types here.