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Tax refunds supports and bolstering financial security

A coalition of WKKF grantees and partners in Detroit, organized by United Way for Southeastern Michigan, provide city residents with free tax preparation support to help them maximize the tax credits available to them. In 2022, the coalition helped the most vulnerable Detroiters access $260 million in Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) refunds. Before the pandemic, EITC-eligible Detroiters left an estimated $80 million in potential tax refunds unclaimed each year.  

Since February 2020, the child care sector lost nearly 80,000 jobs. For providers of early care and education services, finding skilled candidates and filling vacancies remains a challenge, and workers in the field often struggle with low wages. This is why the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is launching a new National Early Care and Education Workforce Center, alongside many WKKF partners, with a $30 million investment. The initiative will support research and technical assistance for states and communities to improve recruitment and retention of a diverse, qualified and effective workforce.  

The show must go on – and continues to go on in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, despite the current climate of insecurity due, in part, to the pervasive presence of gang violence. An immersive experience was produced with support from International Women’s Media Fund, in partnership with Woy Magazine, as part of a WKKF grant for reporting new narratives about Haiti. These Haitians are demonstrating that resistance can take many forms.  

The LIFT Fund, a WKKF partner, has announced its first investment through the Southern Workers Opportunity (SWO) Fund. This first-of-its-kind grant program is focused exclusively on directing necessary resources to meaningfully improve the lives of workers in the South. Over the next three years, $5.1 million will be distributed to support campaigns and advocacy efforts to enable workers in the South to make a better and safer living, support their families and be treated fairly and with dignity.  

Following decades of federal policies and practices that imposed major financial barriers for farmers of color, efforts are underway to increase funding and support for farmers who have faced discrimination. Discriminatory policies contributed to the reduction of Black-owned farmland by 90% over the past century and resulted in fewer than 2% of America’s farmers identifying as Black. Yet these new measures are falling short of their intended purpose, according to farmers interviewed by NPR. “The years and decades-long history of discrimination against BIPOC, and especially Black farmers, is well documented,” said B. Ray Jeffers, director of the Farmers of Color Network at Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA, which is funded by WKKF. 

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