Leaders of organizations in Battle Creek representing people of color have launched an initiative called The Village that aims to help their groups work toward achieving racial equity by collaborating to overcome systemic barriers. Organized by the United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region through WKKF’s Catalyzing Community Giving program, The Village works to help people of color gain access to more opportunities via economic development, education, advocacy, health and wellness.
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the failings of our nation’s child care infrastructure. Drops in enrollment, forced closures, and new health and safety protocols destabilized an already fragile sector. A new report from WKKF grantee National Women’s Law Center examines policy changes that have made it possible for states to adopt and revise child care assistance policies to help families and providers weather the crisis.
A North Carolina judge recently ordered the state to transfer $1.7 billion from its multibillion-dollar budget surplus to fund the first two years of a plan to provide students with their constitutionally guaranteed right to a “sound basic” education. Talk about a long game to get that ruling! It’s been 17 years since the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled the state wasn’t meeting its educational obligations. Shout out to our partner Every Child NC coalition, which helped make this happen, as well Partnership for Equity and Education Rights and Education Law Center, two partners working to support North Carolina and other states working to advance equitable education funding.
Grantee Friends of Matènwa won an Investor Tank pitch competition. The organization will receive a $150,000 prize to support local development in Haiti and access to disaster-resistant housing and home vegetable gardens. WKKF supports Friends of Matènwa’s work to improve educational outcomes as well as enhance and expand the Matènwa Community School model. The winning shelter project is an example of that model’s strong community engagement.
In Mexico, Cuarto Poder reported on the organization of a Día de los Muertos march by grantee Melel Xojobal. The event sought to draw attention to and denounce violence against women and children, as well as the impunity that allows it to continue. WKKF supports Melel Xojobal’s efforts to strengthen protections for children and adolescents in Chiapas by raising awareness and training public officials.