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Expanding opportunities to change the world

More children will have access to dental care when and where they need it in Washington state starting in January 2024. Recently, Gov. Inslee signed a new law to expand where dental therapists can provide services in addition to tribal communities, to include hundreds more community health clinics across the state. Momentum for dental therapy has been growing across the U.S. Washington is the 14th state to pass legislation for dental therapists as a new mid-level provider to fill much-needed dental-care gaps. The Alaska Native tribal communities first brought the concept of dental therapists to the U.S. in the mid-2000s, modeled on an established program from New Zealand.

The Detroit Regional Partnership (DRP) is celebrating the best annual results of its existence. This comes after securing 33 economic development projects that have brought 5,200 jobs and $2.4 billion in investment to the 11-county metro Detroit region. As a WKKF grantee, DPR creates opportunities that put Detroiters on pathways to careers and meaningful employment by supporting business growth and inclusive economic development efforts in the city of Detroit and across southeast Michigan.

WKKF Grand Rapids grantee, The Diatribe, is launching the third installation of the 49507 Project. The anti-racist project features large-scale murals created by artists of color on prominent buildings in the city’s 49507 zip code. This summer’s installation will focus on the themes of reclamation and liberation and will celebrate Black, Brown and LGBTQ+ people living in the community.

WKKF President and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron was featured as a college commencement speaker in the Boston Globe this month. On May 20, she delivered a speech to the graduates of Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts, and emphasized the significance of leadership, particularly in the context of being a trailblazer herself as the first woman and person of color to lead WKKF. She also highlighted the achievements of the graduates, many of whom were the first in their families to attain a higher degree, as well as discussing pockets of hope – like graduates gearing up to change the world, and the Elms College program for teachers of nursing in Haiti, which WKKF has supported from the start. Notably, on May 18, the foundation launched the Pockets of Hope campaign for Haiti.

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