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"“America Healing”:  W.K. Kellogg Foundation Announces $75 Million Effort"

July/August 2010 issue of Poverty & Race

PRRAC is honored to be one of the “national anchor groups” selected in the first phase of this innovative new foundation effort to tackle structural racism and expand opportunities for vulnerable children. The Kellogg Foundation’s new “America Healing” program is motivated by the knowledge that children of color are over-represented among the 29 million low-income children and families in this country, particularly among families living in concentrated poverty.

“The Kellogg Foundation’s vision is for a nation to marshal its resources to ensure that all children in America have an equitable and promising future,” said Sterling K. Speirn, president and CEO of the Foundation. “That is simply not the case in many communities across the country today. The goal of the America Healing initiative is to help make that vision a reality by engaging communities and supporting them in the hard work of racial healing and addressing the effects of historic and contemporary structural issues, such as residential segregation and concentrated poverty.”

During the first phase of America Healing, 119 organizations will receive grants totaling $14,613,709 specifically to support community-based organizations’ healing efforts among racial and ethnic groups that address historic burdens, disparities and barriers to opportunity. Their efforts will focus within local communities to increase opportunities for children in education, health and economic areas. Grantees represent 29 states and the District of Columbia.

“The mission of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is to help communities create conditions that propel vulnerable children to succeed as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society,” said Dr. Gail Christopher, Vice President of Programs. “Because children of color are so disproportionately represented in low-income families and impoverished communities, realizing our mission requires addressing historic and current structural barriers to opportunity, such as exposure to environmental toxins and under-resourced schools, which are a direct result of past policies and practices of racialization and privilege.”

At a recent launch of the initiative in D.C., U.S. Representative John Lewis (D-GA) commended the Foundation for its commitment:  “At a time when our nation shows disturbing signs of becoming more polarized, this courageous effort by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to promote healing within local communities is sorely needed. It reminds us of our true democratic ideals as a nation and of the inalienable right guaranteed by our founding documents to the free and unfettered opportunity that every human being deserves.”  
To learn more about America Healing, please visit http://www.americahealing.org.
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