DETROIT – Leaders of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) will engage Friday with NBC News correspondents, the region’s top thought leaders and education and community stakeholders in discussions around improving educational opportunities and outcomes for children at NBC News’ Education Nation – Detroit. The Detroit Summit is part of Education Nation’s national road tour, and will begin on Friday, March 22, at 9 a.m. at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. A portion of the programming will be aired on NBC News’ Detroit affiliate, WDIV Local 4, and the entire program will be live-streamed on educationnation.com.
WKKF President and CEO Sterling K. Speirn will participate in the opening ceremony and will highlight some of the innovative work, including that of WKKF grantees, happening in Detroit and across the state.
The grantmaking foundation, created in 1930 by breakfast cereal pioneer W.K. Kellogg, is based in Battle Creek, Mich. and has had a historical and ongoing commitment to Michigan’s children. In Michigan, WKKF invests more than $100 million each year in its priority places of Battle Creek, Detroit and Grand Rapids, as well as in the work of organizations throughout the state. “Events such as Education Nation – Detroit provide an opportunity for us to engage directly with local leaders and community-based organizations and give voice to the most promising solutions for ending generational poverty and eliminating barriers for vulnerable children to succeed,” said Speirn. “Children who have access to high quality early care and education are much more likely to be successful in school and in life, and are more likely to contribute to their communities as adults. It’s a matter of making the right investments, at scale, for the future.”
Carla Thompson, the Kellogg Foundation’s vice president for program strategy who oversees the foundation’s grant investments in education and learning, will also share her insights at the Summit. Thompson will introduce the first panel on early childhood education, a topic at the heart of the foundation’s focus on partnering with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children to thrive. “Finding innovative solutions to the educational and economic challenges we face requires us to share knowledge and develop ongoing, meaningful partnerships across sectors,” said Thompson. “Education Nation is our opportunity to continue that dialogue and confront our community’s toughest issues, including the need for high quality early education that can carry students into a 21st century career and beyond.”
NBC News’ Special Correspondent Chelsea Clinton, Chief Education Correspondent Rehema Ellis, and WDIV Anchor Rhonda Walker will moderate the panels on Friday. Other panel topics include school choice, the knowledge and skills required for the 21st Century workforce and preparing the future workforce to compete in a global economy.
About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.
The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.
About “Education Nation”
“Education Nation” seeks to create a thoughtful, well-informed dialogue with policymakers, thought-leaders, educators, parents and the public, in pursuit of the shared goal of providing every American with an opportunity to achieve the best education in the world. These discussions cover the challenges, potential solutions and innovations spanning the education landscape. By providing quality information to the public, NBC News hopes to educate Americans so they can make decisions about how best to improve our education system both in the near and long terms, and to shine a spotlight on one of the most urgent national issues of our time.