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Supporting families and expanding services

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

WKKF grantee Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) has long engaged in home visits to build a sense of connection between families and local schools. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, DPSCD has expanded this tactic to follow up with students who have frequently missed class and assignments and provide additional supports to families. In the last school year, DPSCD has engaged in 24,071 parent engagement intervention visits and 3,030 parent-teacher home visits. WKKF grantee Chalkbeat also reports that the visits have been used to provide technology support to families, learn more about whether they prefer in-person or remote learning for their children and witness first-hand the challenges they face.

About a dozen Healthcare Anchor Network (HAN) member health systems collectively committed to increasing spending with businesses owned by women and people of color by at least $1 billion by 2025. The members signed the Impact Purchasing Commitment (IPC) to build healthy, equitable and climate-resilient local economies through the way they spend their dollars. The commitment, designed by WKKF grantee HAN in partnership with Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth, also includes increasing purchasing from local and employee-owned, cooperatively owned and/or nonprofit-owned enterprises. 

As a result of the Vax 2 the Max sweepstakes, New Mexico reached its vaccination goal of 60% of New Mexicans (16 and older) being fully vaccinated. The New Mexico Department of Health, a WKKF partner, attributed meeting the goal to the data collection on vaccine hesitancy and messaging research from a partnership with the University of New Mexico Center for Social Policy. The research highlighted individual monetary incentives as a significant motivator to increase vaccination rates. As a result, the state retired most COVID-19 restrictions and reopened on July 1. 

Fritz Raoul Lafontant, an Episcopal minister and founding director of WKKF grantee Zanmi Lasante, passed away on June 28 at the age of 96, according to Le Nouvelliste. The article describes the Port-au-Prince native as “a symbol of charity, solidarity, well-being, an exceptional humanist, a wonderful father to his family, a pastor who never failed in his mission.” Zanmi Lasante is the Haitian sister organization of Boston-based Partners in Health, which operates in several countries. Founded in rural Haiti in 1983, it is now the largest health care provider in the country. The cause of Lafontant’s death was COVID-19.

Centro Sávila recently received the Hopkins Award for Excellence in Ethical Practice by a Non-Profit Organization. The South Valley, New Mexico-based behavioral health center provides access to immigrants, refugees and unsheltered and low-income families that need socio-emotional support. During the pandemic, Centro Sávila provided mental health services to unsheltered families quarantined in hotels throughout the city of Albuquerque, decentralized their operations to serve more communities across the city and expanded telehealth services to remove barriers to care.

According to FDIC and U.S. Census data, Black and Latinx communities make up 32% of the U.S. population but represent 64% of the unbanked, or people without bank accounts. Community Development Financial Institutions like WKKF investee Southern Bancorp have been longstanding sources of affordable financial services in communities where traditional banks are often inaccessible and alternatives like predatory lending are abundant. Southern Bancorp’s CEO, Darrin Williams, joined CNBC’s Squawk Box to discuss the growing trend of corporate investments in mission-focused banks that are addressing the racial wealth gap.


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