Interconnections: What Children Need to Thrive

2018 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Annual Report

Our Priorities

Children are at the heart of everything we do at the Kellogg Foundation. Our goal is lasting, transformational change for children. But we recognize that children live in families and families live in communities. The well-being of children is interconnected with their families and communities. For that reason, our three program priorities — Thriving Children, Working Families and Equitable Communities — are broad areas of interdependent and dynamic work.

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 are continually adapting to become more focused and intentional on behalf of children. Our programs use a variety of change-making tools — grantmaking, impact investing, networking and convening — to make measurable improvements in children’s lives.

Thriving Children

We support a healthy start and quality learning experiences for all children.

Thriving Children

We support a healthy start and quality learning experiences for all children.
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Working Families

We invest in efforts to help families obtain stable, high-quality jobs.

Working Families

We invest in efforts to help families obtain stable, high-quality jobs.
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Equitable Communities

We want all communities to be vibrant, engaged and equitable. 

Equitable Communities

We want all communities to be vibrant, engaged and equitable. 
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Advancing racial equity and racial healing • Developing leaders • Engaging communities in solving their own problems

Our Priority Places

Michigan • Mississippi • New Mexico • New Orleans • Central and South Haiti • Chiapas and the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico

Our Grantees

Stories that Connect What Matters for Children

Our grantees across the United States, Haiti and Mexico understand interconnections — how a child’s experiences, family circumstances and community conditions are woven together. Children’s lives are inextricably linked to the stability and resources of their families. Yet families live in communities, where access to opportunities can determine whether a child’s path to well-being is broad or narrow. Our grantees understand these critical interconnections and how to create conditions where children will thrive. In the following stories, you’ll read how grantees are working at local, state, tribal and national levels to address inequities and upend expectations — creating new models and new narratives that cultivate opportunities for all children.

Our Year in Review


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Better Together Commission
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, the Jackson Public School District and WKKF launch the Better Together Commission to work alongside the community to co-create a plan to ensure all students’ academic success.
Hope Starts Here
With support from WKKF and The Kresge Foundation, more than 18,000 community members in Detroit contribute to Hope Starts Here, a framework for commitment to early childhood education for Detroit’s children.
Step-by-Step Evaluation Guide
WKKF releases updated Step-by-Step Evaluation Guide.
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November 2017

2nd Annual National Day of Racial Healing
Forty-four proclamations in 20 states recognize the 2nd annual National Day of Racial Healing, along with dozens of events across the United States bringing people together.

January 2018

Business Case for Racial Equity Release
WKKF partners with Altarum to release the Business Case for Racial Equity, which demonstrates how advancing racial equity can translate into meaningful increases in economic output in consumer spending and federal, state and local tax revenues. In addition to the national report, WKKF releases a Business Case for Racial Equity for priority places including Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans. To date the reports have been downloaded more than 27,000 times.
Sustainable Village and Learning Community at GEO Conference
WKKF introduces the Sustainable Village and Learning Community, based in Akayè, Haiti, at the Grantmakers for Effective Organizations funder’s conference.
Remarks at Hispanics in Philanthropy Conference
La June Montgomery Tabron delivers closing remarks at the Hispanics in Philanthropy conference, asserting that children’s success requires solidarity across interest groups so that all children can thrive.
Baobá Fund for Racial Equity
WKKF announces expansion of its philanthropic match to the Baobá Fund for Racial Equity in Brazil.
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April 2018

Battle Creek Small Business Loan Fund
WKKF’s Joel Wittenberg, vice president and chief investment officer, announces $10 million commitment to the new Battle Creek Small Business Loan Fund. Seeded with $1 million from WKKF and contributions from local partners including the Kellogg Company, The Miller Foundation, Battle Creek Unlimited and Consumers Energy Foundation. The Fund has $6.6 million available for local businesses and entrepreneurs.

June 2018

The Last Mile
La June Montgomery Tabron joins Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, along with celebrities like John Legend, for an all-staff Slack session to celebrate the technology company’s Next Chapter apprenticeship program, in partnership with The Last Mile and WKKF. Designed for formerly incarcerated individuals, the program teaches participants how to code and assists them to transition into apprenticeship programs in the technology industry, starting with opportunities at Slack.
Seeding Alliances
WKKF hosts the Seeding Alliances convening in Mexico City for grantees, partners and community leaders from Chiapas and the Yucatán Peninsula to continue to build alliances to strengthen communities for children.
Dental Therapy Resource Center
WKKF launches a new educational hub offering tools, videos, reports, knowledge and data to support communities and organizations considering the ways dental therapists can address oral health care needs for tribes and communities across the U.S.
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August 2018

December 2017

Richard M. Tsoumas Elected as WKKF Board Chair
Rick Tsoumas
Grand Opening of Two Unified, Historical Museums in Jackson, Mississippi
La June Montgomery Tabron delivers speech during celebratory event, announcing additional $1 million matching grant for museums’ endowment.
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February 2018

NBA All-Star Pre-Game Show Features Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation
NBA All-Star pre-game telecast features WKKF’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation efforts.

May 2018

Global Philanthropy Forum
La June Montgomery Tabron suggests that all investment opportunities should be viewed with a racial equity lens at the Global Philanthropy Forum.
Mackinac Policy Conference
La June Montgomery Tabron hosts conversation at The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference on Michigan’s economic outlook, featuring the Michigan Business Case for Racial Equity.
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July 2018

Milton Chen Named a New Trustee
Milton Chen elected to WKKF board of trustees.
New Mexico Ruling
In the historic Yazzie/Martinez v. State of New Mexico lawsuit, the judge rules in favor of New Mexico’s children, finding that the state’s education system fails to provide sufficient public education as mandated by the state constitution. Plaintiffs are represented by WKKF grantees, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty.
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Financials + Grantmaking

To best support what children need to thrive, we must be responsible stewards of the financial resources with which we have been entrusted.

About Us

Our Board from left to right: Richard M. Tsoumas, Cynthia H. Milligan, Khan Nedd, La June Montgomery Tabron,
Roderick D. Gillum, Cathann Kress, Ramón Murguía, Celeste A. Clark

*Not pictured: Milton Chen’s term as WKKF trustee began in Sept. 2018.

“Use the money as you please so long as it promotes the health, happiness and well-being of children.” – W.K. Kellogg

This continues to be our guide, with equity as our measure. Together, we’re working to support thriving children, working families and equitable communities.

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