W.K. Kellogg Foundation launches $90M racial equity challenge

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La June Montgomery Tabron Courtesy W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is launching a challenge that will award $90 million over the next nine years to organizations that can build and scale actionable ideas for equitable institutional change.

The Battle Creek-based foundation said Tuesday, Oct. 13, it is launching Racial Equity 2030, a call for “bold solutions” to drive an equitable future for children, families and communities across the globe. 

In honor of the foundation’s 90th anniversary, the challenge will award $90 million to invite, build and scale actionable ideas for transformative change in the systems and institutions that uphold inequities.

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has compounded many of the inequities in health, wealth, education and opportunity, coinciding with a global outcry against decades of racial and systemic injustice. 

“Racial Equity 2030 is an invitation to build on this moment and advance equity,” said La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “At the Kellogg Foundation, we know that change happens through people and their collective action. That’s why we’re awarding $90 million to fuel creative and actionable solutions to achieve racial equity in the next decade.” 

The challenge is being managed by Lever for Change, a nonprofit that leverages its networks to find and fund solutions to the world’s greatest challenges, including racial and gender equity, economic development and climate change.

“We welcome innovative ideas from and for communities around the world,” said Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change. “It’s time to reimagine what is possible, to remove the barriers that stand in the way of social progress for all, and to make big investments that advance racial equity and economic opportunity at scale.”

Applicants for the challenge are welcome to propose early- to mid-stage ideas, as up to 10 teams will be selected as finalists, and each will receive a one-year $1 million planning grant, which includes nine months of capacity-building support to further develop their project and strengthen their application. 

At least five additional awards adding up to $80 million will be announced in the summer of 2022. At least three awardees will each receive a $20 million grant. Two additional awardees will each receive a $10 million grant. Grants will be paid out over nine years to coincide with W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s 100th anniversary in 2030.

Teams of visionaries, change agents and community leaders from every sector are encouraged to apply. Interested organizations must register to apply before Jan. 28, 2021. Complete applications are due by Feb. 25, 2021 and will be assessed by expert reviewers, as well as by peer applicants.

Racial Equity 2030 extends an invitation to communities across the globe to join in this pursuit. Applications must embrace and reflect the values of racial equity and justice. They must be led by a team that centers on lived experience and includes communities most affected by the issues as part of leadership in the project.

More details on the challenge and how to get involved are at racialequity2030.org.

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