Bob Woodrick, W. MI leader in addressing racism, dies

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Bob Woodrick, a leader in addressing racism and supporting education in West Michigan, died Friday at 88.

Grand Rapids Community College’s Diversity Learning Center was renamed in 2006 after Woodrick and his wife, Aleicia, after they supported the program’s improvement.

“Bob Woodrick understood West Michigan cannot truly be successful until everyone has an opportunity to thrive,” GRCC President Bill Pink said in a statement. “For decades, he opened eyes, changed minds and challenged people to take a look at themselves and their communities. The world we are living in today shows us we have more work to do. Bob’s leadership helped ensure GRCC is a place where that work can and will continue.”

Woodrick’s advocacy led to the Institutes for Healing Racism, which is a partnership between GRCC’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Grand Rapids chamber.

The Woodricks also collaborated with Aquinas College to establish the Woodrick Institute for the Study of Racism and Diversity, according to a news release from GRCC.

Woodrick worked at D&W Food Centers in Grand Rapids, the family business, for his entire life except for college and the military.