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An Associated Press story highlights WKKF grantee the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s work encouraging more states to invest in child care funding as a workforce shortage solution. The story describes how many state legislatures are making historic investments in child care to become more business-friendly. As federal funds allocated during the pandemic sunset, many states are stepping in because, as one Republican lawmaker said, “Child care is a critical infrastructure, just like roads and bridges and ports and trains. Businesses have been saying, ‘What are you doing about child care?’ So I’m trying to be part of the solution.” However, despite these historic state investments, many child care advocates are pushing for increased federal funding to stay in place to better meet the needs of families.


WKKF grantee First Steps Kent is advocating for Kent County, Michigan, to renew and expand its countywide Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage. The organization’s advocacy is based on a report created by WKKF grantee IFF. The report shows that under the current funding model, the county has a shortage of 20,500 early childhood education seats.

The Michigan Good Food Fund is supported by many organizations, including WKKF grantee partners Fair Food Network, ProsperUs Detroit, Michigan Women Forward and Detroit Development Fund. The fund works to strengthen and diversify the food system in Michigan, providing access to capital and business support services for food-based entrepreneurs across the state.

A coalition of community development organizations led by and serving people in Detroit – many of them WKKF grantees – have secured $23.7 million in funding from Enterprise Community Partners. This will help them continue expanding the services they provide to the local community. These grants aim to empower local nonprofits, facilitating crucial roles in economic development, social services and community advocacy for Detroit’s renewal.


Mississippi Today’s collaborative investigations with ProPublica and The New York Times, “Committed to Jail” and “Unfettered Power,” were recognized as semifinalists for the esteemed Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting. These projects shed light on systemic issues within Mississippi’s criminal justice system. This includes the unjust detention of individuals in jails without charges solely because they need mental health treatment and the unchecked power and abuses committed by sheriffs in the state. Through in-depth research and impactful storytelling, Mississippi Today and ProPublica, both WKKF grantees, demonstrate a commitment to national-level investigative journalism and accountability in local communities.


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