WASHINGTON – One of America's largest philanthropic foundations announced Wednesday that it will award about $24 million in grants to organizations in 13 cities and one state to help fight racism.
The grants are part of a foundation program intended "to improve our ability as communities and as a country to see ourselves in each other, so that we can share a more equitable future for all children to thrive," said La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the Kellogg Foundation, founded by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg.
"This work is essential because we must bridge the divides in our country. Now more than ever, we must all act in big and small ways to help people heal from the effects of racism," she said.
The grants are going to groups in Alaska; New Orleans; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Buffalo, New York; Chicago; Dallas; Los Angeles; Richmond, Virginia; Selma, Alabama; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Battle Creek, Flint, Kalamazoo and Lansing, Michigan.
The grants will be used for on-the-ground projects, as well as creating local growth funds where Kellogg Foundation investments can combine with money from other sources to create and sustain long-term programs, said Gail C. Christopher, the foundation's senior adviser and the program's vice president.
"It's not a short-term 'let's fix one of the consequences of racism.' It's really getting rid of the belief of a hierarchy of human value," she said. "It's really squarely attacking racism as a belief system and its consequences in communities," Christopher said.
There will be future grant opportunities beyond the first 10 grants, Christopher said.