Equitable Communities

Our Priorities

Equitable Communities

We want all communities to be vibrant, engaged and equitable.

At WKKF we see advancing racial healing and racial equity, developing community leaders, and authentically engaging people in solving their own local challenges as fundamental to our mission and ensuring all children have opportunities to thrive.

Racial Healing and Racial Equity

For decades, there have been social, economic and public policies and practices that – intentionally and unintentionally – limit opportunities for children and families of color in the United States. People experience the effects of these – positively or negatively – when they take their children to school, apply for jobs, visit a doctor, try to rent or buy a home, shop for food, interact with the police and more. Now more than ever, we must act, in big and small ways, to address structural inequities and help people heal from the effects of racism.

At WKKF, we are leveraging pioneering research on topics like implicit and unconscious bias; supporting a national network of civil rights organizations in working together on behalf of children; and helping change narratives in entertainment, the media, school curriculums and other places that shape people’s perceptions and behaviors toward one another.

We are also expanding our community-based racial healing efforts, which are essential to building bridges of commonality and creating unity. As a complement to our racial healing and racial equity investments, WKKF launched the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) enterprise in 2016. It is a community-by-community endeavor to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism and bring about transformational, sustainable change. This effort was designed by more than 130 partners in 2016, and implementation in communities begins in 2017.

Increasing awareness of the structural inequalities and social ideologies that have a negative impact on a child’s development is also a vital component of our work in Mexico and Haiti. There we are working to address the historical and contemporary effects of the legacies of slavery, colonialism, racism and forced assimilation that inhibit children’s well-being. Similarly, open dialogue about race and racism is taboo, and we seek to support innovative solutions to address racial and ethnic inequities and build a public agenda that promotes equity.

Leadership Development

To champion equity for children, families and communities, we need compassionate and capable leaders in and from our communities. These leaders must understand how to navigate differences and facilitate conversations that bring people together toward solutions. WKKF supports the development of leaders among our grantee organizations in the United States, Haiti and Mexico, as well as through our WKKF Community Leadership Network (WKKF CLN). This program builds on WKKF’s leadership development programs spanning eight decades. Class One of the three-year WKKF CLN fellowship launched in 2014, has 120 fellows throughout the United States with cohorts in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, New Orleans and a national cohort of Racial Equity and Healing fellows.

Community Engagement

Working alongside local communities is central to our work because we believe that change happens best locally. Like our founder Will Keith Kellogg, we believe in people – and that they are the best source of ideas, wisdom and solutions to create real change for children. That’s why we are investing in authentic community engagement efforts in the United States, Mexico and Haiti that bring people of different backgrounds together so they can listen and learn from each other, prioritize what’s important and create a shared vision and plans for action.

  • 2016 Grant Highlights
  • Battle Creek Community Foundation

    Battle Creek, Michigan | $2,250,000
    Improve the quality of life for residents in Battle Creek by promoting community decision-making around projects and programs that meet the emerging needs of the community.

  • Center for Community Change

    Washington, D.C. | $3,000,000
    Enable the organization to achieve its mission to build the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to change their communities and public policies for the better by providing general operating support.

  • City of New Orleans

    New Orleans, Louisiana | $600,000
    Improve healthy living opportunities for children by creating a racial equity and inclusion plan for New Orleans in collaboration with and supported by cross sector partners.

  • Divided Films, LLC

    New York, New York | $966,730
    Elevate the national conversation about inequality’s causes, consequences and solutions by creating and conducting a robust community engagement campaign to leverage the powerful narratives in the “America Divided” television series.

  • Fondation Pour Le Leadership et I’Excellence

    Petition-ville Quest, Haiti | $75,000
    Enable Haitian leaders and local organizations to become more effective, collaborative, self-reliant and transformative agents of social change in their communities by creating new and expanding existing leadership development programs.

  • Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice

    Detroit, Michigan | $600,000
    Build a diverse coalition of community organizations to strengthen Detroit through community engagement and create sustainable “win-win” economic development strategies and public policy for residents using community benefits tools to create jobs, decrease poverty and promote equitable growth.

  • Memoria y Tolerancia, Asociación Civil

    Mexico City, Mexico | $500,000
    Foster community engagement through an online platform that post volunteer opportunities and organizations in need of tools or donations.

  • Mississippi State University Foundation, Inc.

    Mississippi State, Mississippi | $300,000
    Advance racial equity via racial healing and dismantling racist structures through storytelling, dialogue, community development, disseminating resources and advocating for equitable policies and practices.

  • National Economic and Social Rights Initiative

    New York, New York | $600,000
    Promote positive school climates and racial equity by addressing racial bias in discipline, building resource equity and culturally-responsive schools, and ending school pushout.

  • New Detroit, Inc.

    Detroit, Michigan | $1,249,637
    Address the effects of racism in New Orleans, Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, Mississippi and District of Columbia through a training course with organizational and community leaders to destroy old and create new resilient narratives about people of color for policy and systems change in their communities.

  • Nexus Community Partners

    St. Paul, Minnesota | $500,000
    Address systemic barriers to opportunities and resources by developing a national center for community engagement, leadership and community wealth-building that supports the active participation of communities of color, cross-sector leaders and organizations.

  • Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco

    Mexico City, Mexico | $150,000
    Strengthen community and civic engagement in the Highlands of Chiapas and Yucatán Peninsula, by systematizing a recent visioning experience and returning the analysis to local leaders and organizations for implementation and management of the process.


    Battle Creek, Michigan | $475,000
    Promote equitable access for marginalized Latino families in Battle Creek, Michigan, by increasing visibility through services leading to authentic partnership between cultures and uplifting a diverse generation of leaders.

  • Wayne State University

    Detroit, Michigan | $200,000
    Establish the Detroit Equity Action Lab to bring organizations together through facilitated discussions, workshops and projects to learn about and test methods of addressing racial equity.