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Improving access, skills and equity

Working with WKKF grantee DigDeep Navajo Water Project, a cyclist from California rode more than 1,000 miles raising funds and awareness for water scarcity for at least 30% of the homes that don’t have running water on Navajo Nation. Dig Deep is one of 20 organizations working under the Navajo Nation COVID-19 Water Access Coordination Group, building safe water access points across the Navajo Nation and installing water storage tanks in Navajo homes. 

Accessing a COVID-19 vaccine can be a challenge for those who lack transportation to vaccine distribution sites. That’s where WKKF grantee Wayne State University in Detroit comes in, with partners like Henry Ford Health System that operate a mobile health corps. The program uses data, authentic relationships with community members and the combined resources of four health care providers to strategically deploy mobile health units to Detroit neighborhoods to administer vaccinations.

In Brazil, Exame.com reported that several organizations, including WKKF grantee Baobá Fund for Racial Equity, launched a program offering a new methodology for companies to implement workplace racial equity measures and assess the results of those measures. The initiative, seeking to reduce racial inequality in companies, is the first of its kind in Brazil. Others involved in its creation include representatives of J.P. Morgan, Google and Oxfam Brazil.

Some critical grantee collaborations in New Mexico are focused on early child care centers. Through Central New Mexico Community College’s Ingenuity program and other community partners like Partnership for Community Action, many family-owned child care centers are being reimagined and rebuilt after the pandemic. For most, this is a dream come true that started within a family home and is now being realized thanks to the additional resources from expanded child care benefits.

Looking to learn more about the need for investing in early childhood programs? WKKF’s partner, the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, released a report examining the evolution of early childhood education in the state. It also studied governance models and financial mechanisms, advocating for a stronger way forward.

During the transformation of WKKF grantee Battle Creek Public Schools, new enrichment opportunities have been offered to students through partnerships with other local organizations. One such partnership is with WKKF grantee The Gilmore, offering a free program called Piano Labs to any student in grades 3 through 5 in the district. The weekly program teaches music appreciation and helps students gain confidence by learning how to play the piano and develop creative thinking skills.

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