May 11, 2010; Source: National Public Radio | The W.K. Kellogg Foundation just announced a $75 million, 5-year program called “America Healing,” aimed at reducing disparities affecting children of color. The first phase of almost $15 million in grants will go to 119 nonprofits in 29 states and the District of Columbia. Kellogg VP Gail Christopher confirmed to NPR’s Michel Martin that the program will take on undoing structural racism as well as changing people’s racial beliefs and biases: “We can legislate and we can mandate changes, and our country has done that. But if you look at the school segregation reality today or residential segregation reality today, it’s like it was before Brown vs. the Board of Education. So to really bring about a sustained change, people have to have a change of heart. Once they reach that understanding, we’ll all be collectively engaged in producing better outcomes.” The Foundation has created a website on the program and a Twitter account (@America_Healing). The St. Paul Foundation appears the recipient of the largest of the Kellogg America Healing awards with a $1.8 million, 3-year grant aimed at reducing institutional racism and increasing cultural competence. We were especially pleased to see among the other grantees the Foundation for the Mid South (whose CEO sits on the NPQ board) with a $900,000 grant to reduce health disparity outcomes in small communities in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas and Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, which we have written about admiringly concerning its black farmers advocacy receiving $384,000 for racial dialogues. The Kellogg Foundation has done something unusual in posting descriptions of 118 of the grant winning groups and briefs on 807 other applicants so that other foundations might be able to find projects worth their support.—Rick Cohen
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