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Racial Equity:

Last week, hundreds of thousands of people participated in the 8th annual National Day of Racial Healing. More than 250 communities across the United States joined in celebration of the day to advance their own racial healing journeys. Many tuned in to the special events hosted on NBC News NOW and Noticias Telemundo, and others held conversations with families and co-workers. It was truly a remarkable and impactful day that brought people together to engage in vital discussions to foster racial healing and unity.

U.S. National:

Solar- and battery-powered “hub houses” are helping Houston residents in communities that have experienced historic disinvestment. These residents will be better-prepared for extreme climate events thanks to the nonprofit West Street Recovery, which receives funding from WKKF grantee the Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice. West Street Recovery was highlighted in a Houston Chronicle cover story for transforming homes into essential weather emergency hubs. The hubs are stocked with supplies and equipped with solar panels or batteries, leading to reduced energy costs and reduced reliance on carbon-emitting energy sources amid the rising frequency of severe weather events due to climate change.


The transition to life after prison can be incredibly difficult, and many people struggle to find work, with as many as 60% remaining unemployed in the year after release. The Center for Employment Opportunity (CEO), a WKKF grantee, offers support to people just returning from prison as they build career capital and financial stability. A recent story from The Associated Press described a new program launched by CEO to support people leaving the California prison system. In partnership with local community organizations, CEO will provide recently released people with counseling, job search assistance and support, along with $2,400. These payments to help people restart their lives after imprisonment will be provided when they reach milestones such as meeting with job coaches, creating a budget and opening a bank account.


In Kent County, more families are encountering challenges in finding early care and education for their children, as revealed in a new report, “Split by More Than the Grand River – How Uneven Access to Affordable Child Care Divides Kent County.” The report, produced by WKKF grantee IFF, indicates that there is a need for approximately 20,500 additional early childhood education slots to meet the county’s child care demand, and highlights the uneven distribution of access to existing slots. Notably, the City of Grand Rapids faces the most significant gap, with a shortage of 7,239 slots for young children from birth to age 5. The lack of affordable child care is particularly pronounced in communities of color, where historical legacies of redlining and disinvestment continue to create enduring systemic barriers.

In Battle Creek, WKKF grantee Northern Initiatives runs an educational program for up-and-coming entrepreneurs to help them understand the complexities of operating a small business. The education is offered through cohorts of 10-15 students who take in-person and online courses together for 10 weeks, learning everything they need to know to create and execute a business plan.

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