We believe that racial healing and racial equity are essential if we are going to accomplish our mission to support children, families and communities in creating and strengthening the conditions in which vulnerable children succeed. We actively support efforts to dismantle racial and structural inequities that limit opportunities and hold some children back.
Why This Work Matters
While poverty and low family income are risk factors that inhibit success for many children, racial segregation and its attendant problems compound those risks. Far too many children of color live in racially isolated neighborhoods in metropolitan areas, and in segregated rural and tribal communities across the United States. Achieving our mission requires that we actively pursue racial equity for all children by addressing structural racism and its consequences, within communities and the institutions that serve them.
Children of color experience many disadvantages, but disparities in family income, health care and access to quality education are exacerbated – and potentially extended into subsequent generations – by vast inequities in neighborhood and school environments. When coupled with higher incarceration rates, lower healthy birth outcomes, and higher rates of obesity, asthma, school failure, poverty and disability, the need for national systems-wide approaches, and place-based, community empowerment and revitalization strategies, becomes clear.
What We Support
The Kellogg Foundation promotes racial healing while addressing structural racism. We seek to inform and change hearts, minds and the deeply-held, often unconscious biases that are frequently at the core of structural racism. The inequities faced by children of color – for example, harsher juvenile sentences in the court systems, and disproportionately high risk of exposure to environmental toxins – are clear. By elevating awareness and understanding of these inequities among communities, national networks and the media, and by creating tools for working together at the local, state, tribal and national levels, we seek to fundamentally improve outcomes for children confronted by these barriers.
We make nationwide grants to address the interrelated nature of racial healing and racial equity. In 2010, we launched America Healing, an initiative designed to ensure that all children in the U.S. have an equitable and promising future.
In our priority places of Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans, we make targeted investments focused on the most severe inequities and the highest barriers to success faced by children of color in those communities.
“…administering funds for the promotion of the welfare, comfort, healthcare, education, feeding, clothing, sheltering and safeguarding of children and youth, directly or indirectly, without regard to sex, race, creed or nationality.”
- W.K. Kellogg
In 2010, we launched America Healing, an effort to put structural inequality behind us by first putting it squarely in front of us—understanding it, acknowledging it and joining together to change it.
America Healing is a strategy for racial healing toward racial equity, and is designed to raise awareness of unconscious biases and inequities and to help communities heal. Our goal is to support and empower communities in their efforts to dismantle the structures that limit opportunities for vulnerable children.
To pursue and promote racial healing and equity in the United States, we are investing in community and national organizations whose innovative and effective programs promote racial equity.
We have identified four objectives to achieve this vision. We believe that investments over the next 10 plus years will yield powerful returns if they accomplish the following:
- Growth of a strong communications and media infrastructure, toward establishing a sustainable system of accountability for progress, and track, measure, document and report progress.
- Expansion of the capacity of community-based efforts to bridge racial and ethnic divisions, address structural racism and promote racial healing.
- Increased effectiveness of both community-based organizing and policy advocacy by intensifying action-oriented research and analyses that guide racial equity work.
- Strengthened advocacy for both policy and system change by substantially widening the circle of allies who support or who are engaged in creating racial healing and equity.
America Healing has cultivated a strong national network of allies, educators, civil rights leaders, researchers and practitioners who have steadily built tremendous momentum over the course of the initiative. To continue building that momentum, WKKF hosted partners and allies at national America Healing conferences.
From 2011 to 2015, four conferences helped frame national conversations on race so that the journey toward racial equity comes with a collective understanding among participants. The conference has also worked to create open spaces for the healing community to come together and engage in meaningful dialogues, so that our past experiences, whether painful or uplifting, can be shared and true healing can begin.
Visit our conference recap pages by clicking the button below to gain insights to past conferences.