Today, Battle Creek Public Schools (BCPS) announced the Bearcat Advantage, a new scholarship that covers up to 100% of college tuition and fees for all eligible graduates, beginning with the graduating class of 2023. In partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, this historic investment builds off of all the progress of the school district’s transformation work that began over six years ago and ensures that the next generation of BCPS students can continue on the path to career, college and community success after they graduate.
The Detroit Free Press named Nicole Avery Nichols as its new top editor, making her the first Black woman to hold the position. Nichols has more than 25 years of experience reporting and editing news in Detroit. She returns to the Free Press after two years as editor-in-chief of Chalkbeat, a national nonprofit focused on education, whose Detroit bureau is a longtime WKKF grantee. In her new role, Nichols aims to continue the Free Press’ emphasis on community-level reporting and news that’s relevant to people’s daily lives.
Community journalism is critical to ensuring that our children and families thrive. We’re excited to celebrate WKKF-funded Mississippi Today’s Pulitzer Prize for reporter Anna Wolfe’s investigation into the state’s $77 million welfare scandal. We also applaud the Mississippi Free Press’ Izzy Award for outstanding achievement in independent media, including for its coverage of the Jackson water crisis.
The New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department recently announced proposed regulations reflecting its steadfast commitment to universal, high-quality early child care and education for all children. The new regulations allow New Mexico families and children to continue receiving free child care through its assistance program and increase rates for child care providers. Vicki Sampler, a single mother of four said: “I can go to work with peace of mind knowing that my children are safe and receiving quality care and education from trusted professionals.”
A recent New York Times story explores how racism impacts health and the way Black mothers giving birth experience the health care system. Data show that Black mothers and infants face significantly worse outcomes, including higher mortality rates, than White mothers, regardless of income or education. The story mentions WKKF grantee Birthing Cultural Rigor’s survey to measure racism during childbirth. “We can’t change what we don’t name, what we don’t measure and monitor,” said Dr. Karen A. Scott, obstetrician and founder of the organization.
Black farmers, agricultural businesses and food entrepreneurs are expanding their enterprises and working to improve their local food systems through a pilot run by the Black Farmer Fund. Featured recently by Civil Eats, the WKKF grantee is providing grants and low-interest loans. These loans recognize that Black farmers and producers have long faced systemic barriers and discrimination when trying to access capital and resources through traditional channels. The $1.1 million pilot funding program brings Black farmers and members of the food industry into the decision-making process and puts resources directly into operations, making racial equity a priority.
A story in Food Technology Magazine featured grantee Acceso’s effective work helping ensure safety in Haiti’s peanut supply chain. The magazine is published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), which granted Acceso and four other organizations awards for their work transforming food systems. Acceso received the IFT Grand Prize for its innovative approach to ridding Haitian peanuts of aflatoxin, a cancer-causing, fungus-borne toxin that grows on certain foods in hot, humid climates. Acceso CEO Rob Johnson said the organization plans to use the prize “to scale this model in Haiti to impact thousands more farmers as well as extend it to farmers of other crops in other countries.”