At the Clinton Global Initiative 2023 gathering in New York, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation announced a $30 million, three-year commitment as part of the “Pockets of Hope” campaign. As reported in the Miami Herald and Philanthropy News Digest, this initiative aims to increase philanthropic investment in local efforts that are improving the lives of children, families and communities across Haiti. The campaign aims to bring attention back to Haiti’s ongoing needs and highlight the effective work of locally led organizations.
With the escalation of violence in Port-au-Prince, more Haitians have been leaving the capital for safer areas, creating a significant internal migration trend. The influx of newcomers to smaller cities and towns is straining public services and housing, and raising concerns about potential violence spillover, according to an article in the Christian Science Monitor. However, the piece also shows that the shift could have a positive impact on Haiti’s development, professional opportunities and politics amid ongoing political turmoil in the capital. It is one example of how many Haitians are determined to find ways to rebuild their communities and livelihoods in the face of adversity. The reporting was supported by the International Women’s Media Foundation, through a grant from WKKF.
Engineer-turned-educator Ashanti Branch struggled to understand why a group of Black teens in his high school classrooms were either underperforming academically or not performing at all. After several out-of-school meals with some of his students, he diagnosed the problem: Their lives were deeply scarred by the impacts of racism and their hopes of a better future were lost. They needed healing, not tutoring. Branch and the boys then created the Ever Forward Club, which now boasts statistics-defying graduation and college enrollment rates. Read about Branch and his students in a recent installment of Word in Black’s racial healing series supported by WKKF.
Grantee Detroit Future City is pushing the city of Detroit to invest more in Black communities than its current plan to transform the I-375 freeway into a walkable boulevard specifies. The highway decimated Black wealth and culture when it was built through what was once the city’s thriving Black Bottom and Paradise Valley neighborhoods. Detroit Future City is urging the city to engage in a restorative process that centers Black voices in the redevelopment plan.
The West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a WKKF grantee, plans a major expansion to its footprint in Grand Rapids, Mich. The chamber is purchasing and renovating a 17,000-square-foot building using a historic $5 million allocation from the state of Michigan. The organization, which works to support Latinx-owned businesses and elevate the voices of Latinx entrepreneurs, has been operating in a 2,500-square-foot space.