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Transformative work of librarians and being counted

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

You might think librarians sit at a desk all day stamping books upon check out and return. Instead, they are leading transformative work in more than 700 libraries across the U.S. through the American Library Association’s Great Stories Club, a program offering underserved youth with opportunities to read, reflect and share ideas and topics that resonate with them. A 2017 WKKF grant expanded this program to explore themes related to racial healing. One example in a juvenile detention center in Saginaw, Michigan, is helping young people see themselves and their world differently.

Lack of access to capital not only prevents business growth but also perpetuates cycles of intergenerational poverty and racial inequity that affect families and communities at all levels. WKKF is supporting a relationship-based, community-circle microlending program in New Mexico that is providing equitable access to capital for entrepreneurs of color. Significant opportunity exists nationally to help serve the many business owners who are shut out of the traditional financial system today, and put them and their businesses on a path to prosperity. Read more over at the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Eighty WKKF Community Leadership Network fellows are learning and deepening their skills in three key areas: leadership development, community engagement, and racial equity and racial healing. The fellows are working hard to benefit their communities and you can benefit too. Follow their journey at a newly launched WKKF CLN blog to discover ideas, improve your own leadership skills and learn how to support others.

With the 2020 Census fast approaching, Michigan faces an opportunity to boost congressional representation and economic vitality. Census data drives the allocation of billions of dollars in federal funding for transportation, education, and workforce development in Michigan. In fact, more than 40% of the state’s budget comes from federal funds that are determined using census data. But those dollars are at stake if we are not committed to ensuring every person is counted regardless of age, sex or race. The Kellogg Foundation has partnered with the Michigan Nonprofit Association to work with community organizations around the state who can reach out to hard-to-count populations. To learn more check out this video from the Mackinac Policy Conference. “For our government to be of the people, by the people, and for the people, we must count the people.”- Arturo Vargas, NALEO.

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