W.K. Kellogg Racial Healing Grant Information

CHE logo 2012The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness has been awarded a $400,000.00 Racial Healing grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Under the leadership of the Center for Health Equity, the initiative will be carried out in partnership with the Ann Braden Institute, the Office of International Diversity and Outreach of the University of Louisville College of Arts and Sciences and Race, Community and Child Welfare Initiative of Kentucky (RCCW). The Metro Human Relations Commission is also a valued collaborator.

Part of the funds will be used to create a multi-generational curriculum on how to overcome structural racism and to train facilitators who will lead discussions at businesses, schools and other community institutions. This project is being headed up in collaboration with the Race, Community and Child Welfare Initiative of Kentucky (RCCW).

Another project will be a two-year leadership and team building effort among young people. Youth will come together to examine the history of Louisville’s civil and human rights movements. This examination will inform discussion of the movements’ unfinished agenda and their impact on issues of today’s youth. This project is being led by the Office of International Diversity and Outreach of the University of Louisville College of Arts and Sciences.

Yet another project will be the Healing History Academy. A group of 25 adults from of diverse ages and backgrounds from across the community will study the history of the national and local civil rights movements and their impact on Louisville today. The project is being developed and coordinated by the Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice at the University of Louisville.

Examining health and policy data, the Center for Health Equity will also create a “Health Equity Report Card” for the city. An advisory group comprised both of young people and adults will guide the project.

“The Kellogg grant will give us more tools to address structural inequities that lead to health disparities among people of color and lower socio-economic groups,” said acting Public Health and Wellness Director Dr. Matt Zahn. “The goal of these efforts is to build leadership capacity and to affect policy change. T his is an investment to make our city a more equal, healthier, safer and more livable place.”

The Center for Healthy Equity was one of only 119 grant recipients from the nearly 1,000 who applied. In an unprecedented effort to address the impact of racial inequities on communities across the country, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation recently launched a five-year, $75 million initiative – America Healing – that aims to improve life outcomes for vulnerable children and their families by promoting racial healing and eliminating barriers to opportunities.

The goal of the America Healing initiative is to engage communities and support them in the hard work of racial healing and addressing the effects of historic and contemporary structural issues, such as residential segregation and concentrated poverty.

During the first phase of America Healing, 119 organizations will receive grants totaling $14,613,709 specifically to support community-based organizations’ healing efforts among racial and ethnic groups that address historic burdens, disparities and barriers to opportunity. Their efforts will focus within local communities to increase opportunities for children in education, health and economic areas. Grantees represent 29 states and the District of Columbia and all racial and ethnic population groups.

To highlight the desire of communities to work together on racial healing, the foundation created a signature video, capturing the spirit of the initiative. The video can be viewed at www.AmericaHealing.org.