Attendees at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Michigan grantee convening in August were moved emotionally and physically into a standing ovation as Kirk Latimer and Gabriel Giron of Kinetic Affect debuted their Michigan poem. The ode captures the tenacity, humor and preserving spirit of Michiganders as they proudly embrace their home state.
While all Michigan citizens are struggling through tough economic times, the Kellogg Foundation, its 300+ Michigan grantees and Kinetic Affect are acutely aware of how disproportionately Michigan's vulnerable children and families are impacted, and are working to alleviate that pain. As the poem says, _"we produce children with piston-powered minds and give them Red Wings, so one day they can teach their own children to fly." Kinetic Affect shares the full text of the Michigan Poem here.
Throughout the conference, the Kellogg Foundation challenged grantees to consider how they might complete the aspirational statement, “I believe in a Michigan where...,” a sentiment that inspired Kinetic Affect’s Michigan poem and invigorated grantees throughout the two-day convening. This video sums up the response of several Michigan grantees, but Matt Lynn’s answer echoes the collaborative theme of the conference.
“If we really want to create change in our community, it has to start with trust,” said Matt, director of community impact at the United Way of Greater Battle Creek. “I believe in a Michigan where people take care of each other – it’s not about me first, everybody else second.”
Throughout the next several months, the Kellogg Foundation will be sharing more Michigan grantee profiles and insight videos to showcase the important and compelling work taking place across the state, as the foundation, its grantees and partners work to ensure Michigan children are born healthy, are well educated and come from economically secure families.