top of page

The Official Website

Dr. Ella Mary Sims Foundation

Committed to Serving God, & Strengthening Communities through Engagement

Gather together in my name-.Maya Angelou

Home: Welcome
gramma 2_edited.jpg

Dr Ella Mary Sims Foundation at a Glance

We find ourselves at a crossroads in 2021. 

Pressing social issues coupled with an ongoing pandemic have caused our communities to teeter on imbalance.

Spiritually | Mentally |  Physically


As many of DEMS descendants worked independently eradicating these societal ills, we decided to combine our concerted efforts and form a foundation in her honor so we could have a greater more positive impact on society.

"where two or more are gathered I AM in the midst"

                 Mathew 18:20


DEMS Foundation recognizes that the causes that Dr. Sims championed from 1963-2013 are still threatening communities in the new millennium. 

We want to lead the continued charge as did she, in

  • dismantling Institutional racism

  • ensuring affordable housing and healthcare

  • building equitable education

  • protecting women's reproductive rights


The DEMS Foundation plans to shape our charitable entity to respond to these pressing needs in a very unique way.

Through supporting and donating both time and monetary awards to the organizations DEMS supported by offering opportunities for community engagement & education.


As we continue to champion the work she started over 50 years ago.  Her heirs now formally dedicate themselves to continue the DEMS tradition of Faith, Community and Education.


     "I will assign it to your offspring"

             Deuteronomy 34:4

Home: Who We Are

What We Do

Making A Difference

home assistance.jpg



Education was the FOUNDATION of DEMS philanthropic path. She was the 1st African Indigenous American elected to serve as PTA President in 1963, and never looked back. This led to an appointment as the 1st Black American on the Grand Rapids School Board of Education.

 She was then chosen In January 1976 by Norbert Hubrey to assist with integrating Aquinas college in addition to serving on two boards. Ella was hired as a counselor to support the first group of 125 Afro-American students to intergrate the college.

DEMS Foundation takes Great pride in offering academic scholarships for African Americans in the states of Michigan Illinois and Georgia. 

In need of college resources & funding? Click that icon below!

Community Service

Engaging the community through board partnerships and affiliations is what DEMS did most & best.  Dr. Ella Mary Sims was on over 40 city wide boards that helped shape the charitable landscape for not only the city of Grand Rapids Michigan but statewide as well.  We continue that tradition partnering with other Non-profits that she embraced to offer professional educational coaching on assisting with racial equity within their organizations and the community at large. we also offer unique, & creative community engagement opportunities through impactful city wide charitable events. Where the funds raised are repurposed back into the nonprofits we partner with. We are available for partnerships with Schools, Fortune 500's, & Religious & private  Organizations.

Reach out to us to inquire about what we can do for YOUR organization.

Housing outreach

Ensuring Affordable Housing for All has been a passion that Dr. Ella Mary championed. Helping guide the City of Grand Rapids with funding and then breaking ground on the 1st affordable housing "Campau Commons".   We wish to further her philanthropic housing efforts by partnering with organizations dedicated to furthering the cause of housing equity for those most in need. 

Hit the button Below if your organization needs support building strong housing liaisons.

We look forward to hearing from you!


Home: What We Do

“Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do”


Support Group Session
Home: Quote