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Expanding care access and growing local artists and newsrooms

Michigan has a higher infant mortality rate than the national average, and Black mothers are nearly three times as likely to experience infant mortality as their White counterparts. Many of those Black infant deaths are due to expectant mothers not having access to quality prenatal care. This Bridge Detroit article shows how WKKF grantee Birth Detroit is working to give Black moms access to quality, affordable and culturally competent care and advocacy from people with shared life experiences.

A new artist collaborative to support art organizations, as well as artists who are historically marginalized people, has launched in Michigan with support from WKKF. The Arts and Culture Collaborative of Battle Creek is already hosting events to promote the work of local artists in partnership with local businesses and nonprofits. They are also working with WKKF grantee Battle Creek Public Schools to show students potential career paths in the arts.

In recent decades, local newsrooms have closed or their number of reporters has been drastically reduced. Residents deserve access to critical information about what’s happening in their communities and the issues they care about. Report for America, a WKKF partner, is a national service program filling the gaps. They place journalists with diverse backgrounds in local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues in communities, including schools, local government, health care, the environment, communities of color and more. Check out Report for America’s latest class of more than 60 reporters and photojournalists in new positions at local newsrooms this summer!

President Joe Biden signed an executive order to expand access to affordable, high-quality care and provide support for care workers and family caregivers. The executive order includes more than 50 directives to nearly every Cabinet-level agency. As highlighted in Reuters, Ai-jen Poo, president, and Jenn Stowe, executive director, both of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, said the order is “a major step toward modernizing” the U.S. care system. Several WKKF grantees have advocated for these changes over the years, including the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the CARE Fund, Family Values @ Work and PHI.

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