The following legacy essays share the history and commitment behind the work of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in the areas of education, health, family economic security, racial equity, practical application of knowledge, impact, respect, engagement and vulnerability. Read individual essays by downloading below or download a zip file containing all nine essays.
Rooted in W.K. Kellogg’s conviction that "education is the best way for truly improving one generation over another," education and learning – for children from birth, for adults, families and entire communities – have always comprised the foundation's most fundamental strategy for creating social change.
In emphasizing community and civic engagement as core strategies for creating conditions in which vulnerable children can succeed, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation has made tactics such as leadership development and adult education mainstays of its programming.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s belief in the strategic value of family economic security can be traced to decades of experience in economic workforce development. In turn, that experience stems from W.K. Kellogg’s conviction that the most effective way to benefit children is to enable their families and communities to better help themselves.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has long promoted a sweeping view of health and well-being for children and families, ranging from a focus on community health; to support for making quality, healthy food accessible to all; to training of health care auxiliaries; to education on the advantages of breastfeeding for expectant mothers and their children.
Beginning with its very first initiative, the Michigan Community Health Project, and continuing into the present, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation has expressed a consistent commitment to "community" as the arena of choice for creating social change.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has always focused on working with communities by applying existing knowledge rather than supporting pure research or direct relief. But in recent years it has widened its focus to include developing knowledge products, which facilitate the flow of information from communities to other communities.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was created with an explicitly multi-cultural perspective. But with the 1968 launch of its Historically Black Colleges and Universities initiative, the foundation began an evolutionary process which culminated with the board of directors’ 2007 commitment to making the foundation “an effective anti-racist organization that promotes racial ...
Respect – not only for the rights of individuals and communities, but for their capability and capacity to diagnose and design solutions to their own problems – is among the most fundamental values of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and has been central to its approach from its very first initiative.
While the defining criteria for a child’s “vulnerability” have evolved over the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s history, the heart of its approach has always been a view of all children as assets, not problems to be solved.