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Building trust, advancing racial equity and healing

WKKF hosted a panel at the Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference in May. The panel focused on bridging political divides through inclusive policymaking, engagement and community empowerment for transparency, trust and sustainable policy outcomes. Introduced by WKKF’s Michigan Director Faye Alexander Nelson and moderated by Kat Stafford from The Associated Press, the panel featured Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, Celina Barrios-Millner from the Urban Institute and Isabel Medellin from Steelcase, a participant in WKKF’s Expanding Equity program.

Grantee Battle Creek Public Schools (BCPS) announced a $10,000 raise for teachers in the district, following the introduction of the Bearcat Advantage scholarship. District Superintendent Kim Carter stated that both initiatives aim to enhance BCPS’ ability to attract and retain teachers and students while sustaining the improvements made during the district’s five-year transformation focused on racial equity.

One year after the horror in Uvalde, Texas, Solidarity Council on Racial Equity member and journalist Maria Hinojosa examined the police response, Uvalde’s history of struggle and its efforts to heal in a recent PBS FRONTLINE special. This documentary shared the impact on the local community in the aftermath and how the families are desperate to make sure this kind of gun violence does not happen to any other community.

There are many opportunities for advancing racial equity, diversity and inclusion (REDI) in the financial services and investment management industries. Chief Investment Officer recently elevated the newest publication from WKKF’s Expanding Equity program, which includes how-to REDI case studies from four organizations: Värde Partners, BlackRock, KKR and Vista Equity Partners.

It’s been 60 years since Mississippi Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers was shot and killed by a White supremacist outside his home. His legacy has been carried on by his wife Myrlie Evers, who was interviewed by CBS recently. We sat down for an intimate conversation with Myrlie in December 2017, at the opening of the Two Mississippi Museums, to talk about taking up her husband’s mantle.

As we remember the legacy of Civil Rights activists, we’re reminded that the fight for equal rights is not over. It’s been about a year since WKKF grantee JULIAN filed a federal lawsuit alleging repeated Civil Rights violations by police in Lexington, Mississippi. In the months since, others have alleged complaints of police abuse and just this month, JULIAN’s founder Jill Colleen Jefferson was stopped and arrested by Lexington police after recording a police stop.

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