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Fishing poles and
learning to count

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

Counting isn’t always as easy as 1, 2, 3, unfortunately. Children under age five are the most undercounted population, and in Michigan, where nearly 40% of the state’s budget comes from federal funds based on census data, each person not counted means a loss of $1,800 per year for medical care, nutrition assistance, infrastructure and education funding. The Michigan Nonprofit Association received a $600,000 grant from the Kellogg Foundation in 2017 to kick-start its census count efforts; since then over 40 foundations and Michigan state government have contributed an additional $5.4 million to the campaign. When everyone counts, everyone thrives.

The Center for Equity, Justice and the Human Spirit is coming to Louisiana at Xavier University, a historically black university. Grant money from WKKF will support the critical strategic planning and fund work to build out its future direction. This center seeks to advance equity, achieve justice, elevate the human spirit and improve the quality of life for future generations. Our hope is that it will serve as an intellectual and physical convening place for research, teaching, community engagement and debate on issues related to racial barriers.

Racial equity is a journey, not a destination. The Kellogg Foundation takes a systemic approach to racial equity and one strategy is to drive more capital to communities of color with mission investments. By 2050, people of color will represent half the total population in the U.S. – and by 2050 eliminating racial equity barriers means creating almost $8 trillion in additional gross domestic product. By driving more capital to communities of color, we can help dismantle systemic inequities and create opportunities for communities to thrive. Who will join us?

“Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime is the oft-quoted path to self-sufficiency. But what if there wasn’t an opportunity to buy a boat or even a fishing pole? How could a person fish for a lifetime? Especially if racial or social inequity prevented ownership of the lake or land?” Make sure to check out this piece by Kellogg Fellow, Eric Foster, and follow along as he launches the first racial equity-oriented financial institution. Giving someone the knowledge to fish is one thing. Giving them the opportunity and tools needed to fish is another. We’re cheering you on, Eric!

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