LeadershipRacial Equity

Introducing the new class of WKKF Community Leadership Network fellows


We live in a time of both great peril and great opportunity. A deepening awareness of racial inequities and their impacts has fueled a growing desire for authentic change in our communities and beyond. We need compassionate, capable leaders who will listen and bring communities together on a path toward greater equity.

That’s why we at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation with the Center for Creative Leadership are thrilled to announce the new class of WKKF Community Leadership Network fellows.

The 18-month fellowship unites 80 dynamic and diverse leaders from the WKKF’s priority places in the U.S.: Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, and New Orleans. It is a unique opportunity for local leaders to gain critical knowledge and skills to navigate today’s challenges and advance racial equity and racial healing in their communities.

This year’s class, the third in program history, features a broad array of leaders – from educators, youth mentors and health practitioners, to businesspeople and social entrepreneurs, to tribal leaders and elected officials. It includes an urban farmer, a consumer protection lawyer, a breastfeeding medicine specialist, a music theory professor, a rural technology consultant, and an Indigenous rights activist, among others.

The fellows are all passionate about improving opportunities for children, families and communities – and about creating transformational change in areas that shape all our lives, including early childhood education, health food systems, workforce development, family economic security and more.

Over the next year and a half, the fellows will learn about themselves and each other; sharpen their leadership skills; and build a strong network for increasing equity at the local, tribal, state and national levels.

The fellowship offers hands-on development, personalized coaching, peer networking and practical experience to expand the fellows’ leadership knowledge and skills. The program curriculum emphasizes racial equity and racial healing, community engagement and collective leadership – what the foundation calls its “DNA.”

Fellows go on to serve their communities in many important ways. Alumni lead diversity, equity and inclusion work within institutions, connect students who are undocumented with legal representation, and author books on economic opportunities for people after incarceration. Others have run for office, becoming state legislators and tribal council members so that they can advance equitable policies that benefit their communities.

WKKF founder Will Keith Kellogg believed that local leaders are the best source of ideas, energy and wisdom for creating long-lasting solutions that support thriving children and families. The foundation carries his legacy forward by investing in leadership development. Embedded in all we do is our commitment to racial equity, developing local leaders and engaging communities to solve their own problems.

Since 2018, the Center for Creative Leadership has led and managed the fellowship, bringing with it more than 50 years of experience in integrating proven, cutting-edge leadership research into programs that elevate participants’ priorities and goals. After completing the program, alumni stay connected through the Global Fellows Network, which has more than 1,100 leaders who have completed WKKF’s various fellowship programs over the years. The network offers ongoing opportunities for connection, collaborative learning and collective action.

The new class of the WKKF Community Leadership Network will kick off with a virtual session in September and an in-person gathering in October, where the fellows will have a chance to meet each other and begin their journey of self-discovery and transformation. Upon completing the CLN fellowship, each member of Class Three will join WKKF’s Global Leadership Network. 

Congratulations to the new class of the WKKF Community Leadership Network!

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