$24M in grants aim to heal effects of racism


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The W.K. Kellogg Foundation says it’s spending $24 million to heal the effects of racism across the country. Some of that money will be spent in Michigan: Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Lansing and Flint will receive a share of $4.2 million.

The Council of Michigan Foundations will provide the Kalamazoo Community Foundation with $865,000 over five years to implement the nationwide Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation framework.

“These places have been working with us for over a year now in a planning process, and each place has the ability to create their implementation plan,” said La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation wants to end what it calls the deeply held and often unconscious beliefs of racism.

The Kalamazoo Community Foundation is partnering with more than a dozen nonprofits and other organizations to implement a plan to tackle the issue.

“A real big driver of why we chose to do this work with Kellogg is because we’re already embarking on this journey of racial equity and equity in general,” said Sholanna Lewis, the community investment officer with the Kalamazoo Community Foundation. “Hopefully, this will be a platform to offer more support, more connectivity to all the work that’s already happening in addition to setting some new strategies.”

Those strategies will be created with the partners the Kalamazoo Community Foundation has identified.

“We are going to work towards identifying some specific things we will want to address, so I’m excited about that,” Lewis said.