Children are at the heart of everything we do at the Kellogg Foundation. Our goal is lasting, transformational change for children. As a grantmaker, we recognize that children live in families and families live in communities. Therefore, our three areas of focused work – Thriving Children, Working Families and Equitable Communities – are dynamic and always interconnected.
Achieving strong outcomes for children happens by connecting what families need – at home, in child care settings, at school, at work and in their communities. As a foundation, we use a variety of change-making tools – grantmaking, impact investing, networking and convening. With our support, grantees and partners work together to make measurable improvements in children’s lives.
Our Interconnected Priorities:
- Thriving Children: We support a healthy start and quality learning experiences for all children.
- Working Families: We invest in efforts to help families obtain stable, high-quality jobs.
- Equitable Communities: We want all communities to be vibrant, engaged and equitable.
Embedded within all we do are commitments to advancing racial equity and racial healing, to developing leaders and to engaging communities in solving their own problems. We call these three approaches our DNA and believe they are essential to creating the conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success.
Children are more likely to thrive when they have a healthy start and quality learning experiences.
To ensure children thrive, we focus on improving access to high quality, early childhood education and education systems, where families are engaged in schools and practices are rooted in a community’s cultures and languages.
To support families in giving their children a healthy start, we advance models that are proven to support healthy birth outcomes, quality maternal and infant health care and children’s early development. We invest in efforts that increase breastfeeding rates, especially in communities of color; that expand access to oral health care through providers called dental therapists; and that increase access to fresh, local healthy food and improve nutrition for children and families in early child care settings, in schools and across communities.
To promote greater health equity, we promote community voices and leverage strategic partnerships and policy and systems changes to help families and civic leaders play an active role in making children’s development and well-being central to their decision-making.
Children are more likely to thrive when their families are economically secure.
In the United States, we work alongside grantees and employers to widen pathways to stable, high-quality jobs and more equitable employment opportunities. We seek to expand support for tribal-, minority- and women-owned business enterprises and to accelerate small business growth. Some families may need short-term assistance or other supports to move from poverty to financial stability, so we support efforts that inform policies and change systems to create greater economic stability for families and communities.
In Mexico and Haiti, agriculture offers the strongest opportunities for families to generate and sustain income. We support local efforts that develop, improve and strengthen agricultural production, product development, value chains and microenterprise. Grantee efforts also honor and preserve each region’s cultures as part of improving their community’s economic well-being.
Children are more likely to thrive in vibrant and equitable communities.
Equitable communities are places of opportunity where all children and families can develop, grow and contribute – where people recognize that community well-being depends on the participation of every person.
Making communities more equitable requires all of us to confront how racism and bias affects our history and present day experiences, to heal from the resulting fractures to our relationships, and to begin reshaping the systems that hold back so many among us.
By first acknowledging and understanding the root causes of inequity, communities can then come together to envision and chart a course for the transformation.
Advancing racial equity and racial healing, engaging communities in solving their own problems and developing leaders capable of guiding change on this scale is essential to creating vibrant, equitable communities. These three approaches, known as our DNA, are embedded in all we do.
We continue to work nationally throughout the U.S. and with sovereign tribes. We also concentrate up to two-thirds of our grantmaking in what we call priority places: Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans, Chiapas and the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, and in Central and South Haiti. We are committed to working in each of these priority places for at least a generation.