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Recognizing the importance of caring for communities

Southwest Economic Solutions, a Detroit-based WKKF grantee working to increase access to career pathways for Detroit residents, launched a spin-off nonprofit microlender organization called ProsperUS Detroit in Sept. 2020. Now certified as a Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI), it’s the first CDFI in Detroit and one of the first in Michigan to be led by people of color. This designation recognizes and supports its mission to provide greater access to capital for low- to moderate-income entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color in the city.

Donna Ladd, a WKKF Class One Community Leadership Network fellow and founding editor of Jackson Free Press, leaves nothing on the table in her op-ed condemning racism for Jackson, Mississippi’s, water crisis. The entire community is without safe drinking water three weeks after winter storms exposed the city’s crumbling infrastructure.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed several cracks in our systems and structures – none so obvious as our system of care, both for patients and caregivers. WKKF grantee Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap, working with Caring Across Generations, believes that, “America’s recovery…hinges on building a robust care system where everyone who needs care can easily and affordably access it, and where all care providers receive the respect and compensation they deserve.”

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been more than 3,000 recorded hate incidents against the Asian American community. The Racial Equity Anchor Collaborative, supported by WKKF, recently condemned the increase in documented bullying, harassment, hate crimes and violence being perpetuated against Asian Americans, adding that comprehensive action is needed nationwide to reverse the trend of racist hate crimes.

The Belmont Journal produced a video about a partnership between the Belmont Soccer Association and the girls’ soccer club of WKKF grantee Haiti Projects, in Fond des Blancs, Haiti. The Belmont Soccer Association recently stepped up its support for the Haiti Projects club, which consists of several hundred girls and women on five teams who develop leadership and life skills by playing games, attending health education sessions and volunteering in their community.

The Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico , a WKKF grantee, is being recognized for their commitment to communities as the Nonprofit of the Year honoree through Albuquerque Business First’s Philanthropy Award. This award acknowledges the critical resources and support provided to nonprofits in southern New Mexico during this difficult time.

The recently published 2020 New Mexico Kids Count Data Book by WKKF grantee New Mexico Voices for Children, paints a clear picture of how kids and families are faring in New Mexico. Although the report indicates the severe impacts of COVID-19, prior and continued commitments and investments from the state provide hope for recovery after the pandemic.

There is a burgeoning movement to include doulas in Medicaid coverage, and WKKF grantee HealthConnect One in Chicago is leading the grassroots movement. Research shows that women who have continuous labor support, such as provided by a doula, are less likely to report negative feelings about childbirth, experience a C-section or use pain-relieving drugs. In addition, women who delivered babies with doula support had lower preterm birth rates than those who did not. This is especially important for women of color who continually face higher rates of maternal and infant mortality.

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