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Pictures of hope and more flexibility

At A Glance is a bi-weekly news recap highlighting WKKF grantees, investments, communities and partnerships.

If someone handed you a camera and challenged you to take photos of your hopes and dreams, what kinds of photos would we see? I’m guessing our 10-year-old selves would take wildly different photos than at age 30,40, or 50+. With photography as a tool, Pictures of Hope is changing the lens for disadvantaged and homeless New Mexican children and youth by building their self-esteem and helping them express their dreams. With more than 2.5 million homeless children in the U.S.(highest number in history), we love how this program provides cameras and mentors while inspiring kids to dream big and set aspirational goals.

Grand Rapids, Michigan may have been listed as one of Forbes fastest-growing U.S.cities to getting their workforce back on the job in 2017, but they won’t let themselves settle for the status quo. The Grand Rapids Racial Equity Initiative, co-led by Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss and Grand Rapids Community College President Bill Pink, is working to create more jobs for residents in neighborhoods in 17 census tracts that have 48% of residents living in poverty and the highest racial and ethnic diversity. As an organization, their goal is to create racially equitable and sustainable community-level conditions and they’re on the right track!

Across all measures of household financial security, families of color are faring worse than white households in Atlanta. 41.1% of families are “liquid asset poor” meaning they don’t have enough saved to cover three months of expenses at the poverty level. Almost 70% of black families are liquid asset poor compared to 22% of white families. Given that African Americans make up 52% of Atlanta’s population, it is imperative that the city address the harsh economic realities facing black Atlantans. A new grant to the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative aims to address wealth disparities and provide pathways to business ownership for African Americans in metropolitan Atlanta with a focus on improving owner outcomes and financial security for employees. This is a step in the right direction!

At the Kellogg Foundation, we know that children thrive when both families and communities are thriving. To that end, we’re thrilled to highlight WKKF grantee, Family Friendly New Mexico. They are working to provide for the economic well-being of low-income families and their children by incentivizing and supporting New Mexico businesses to adopt family-friendly policies and procedures. Active parental involvement in a child’s life and education can occur only when workplace schedules afford working parents the time to be with their children. Family Friendly New Mexico is working to ensure flexible work scheduling, employer subsidized training/education assistance, higher than average wages and personal leave that ultimately benefits children and families. We’re thrilled to see this work in action and the benefit it will bring to New Mexico communities. 

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