An attendee writes part of his vision at the Young Males of Color Convening event in Mississippi, produced by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Photo via wkkf.org
A foundation in the region is awarding about $24 million total in grants to organizations in Michigan and across the country to help fight racism.
The grants announced today are part of a foundation program intended "to improve our ability as communities and as a country to see ourselves in each other, so that we can share a more equitable future for all children to thrive," said La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the Battle Creek-based W.K. Kellogg Foundation, founded by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg.
"This work is essential, because we must bridge the divides in our country. Now more than ever, we must all act in big and small ways to help people heal from the effects of racism," Montgomery Tabron said.
The grants are going to groups across the country: in Battle Creek, Flint, Kalamazoo and Lansing; Alaska; New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Buffalo, New York; Chicago; Dallas; Los Angeles; Richmond, Virginia; Selma, Alabama; and St. Paul, Minnesota.
The grants will be used for on-the-ground projects, as well as creating local growth funds where Kellogg Foundation investments can combine with money from other sources to create and sustain long-term programs, said Gail Christopher, the foundation's senior advisor and the program's vice president.
"It's not a short-term 'let's go fix one of the consequences of racism.' It's really getting rid of the belief of a hierarchy of human value," Christopher said. "It's really squarely attacking racism as a belief system and its consequences in communities.”
There will be future grant opportunities beyond the first 10 grants, Christopher said.