Local Leaders Commit to Promoting Equity for Children and Families in Their Communities
In 2018, the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) received an $8.7 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) to lead a program that develops and connects leaders who want to create a more equitable society for all. The grant supports implementation of the WKKF Community Leadership Network, an 18-month fellowship program for developing local leaders who can unite people to create sustainable change. The fellowship program offers hands-on training, personalized coaching, community-based support, and a place-based, culminating project experience.
Each class of the WKKF Community Leadership Network brings together approximately 80 dynamic and diverse leaders from a pool of hundreds of applications representing the United States and sovereign tribes. The WKKF Community Leadership Network includes participants from Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans—the Kellogg Foundation’s priority places—as well as nationally.
Transformational change is well underway, as shown in this video:
“We are very impressed with the high caliber of these fellows, and we are excited to work with this talented new class to explore what’s possible for creating equity at the local, state, tribal, regional and national levels,” said CCL President and CEO John R. Ryan. CCL was asked to lead the program based on its more than 5 decades of experience developing cutting-edge leadership research, practice, and training for the benefit of society.
Fellows come from all walks of life – tribal leaders, elected officials, health practitioners, youth advocates, educators, businesspeople, attorneys, civil rights activists, conservationists, and faith leaders.
Over the course of the program, fellows participate in multiple-day all-class sessions, convene with a smaller community cohort, and connect one-on-one with an executive coach, preparing them to rise to the unique challenges of our time. The program offers opportunities to understand the embedded racism in our systems and learn practical approaches to heal and unite communities around solutions.
WKKF Community Leadership Network alumna and New Orleans’ first Vietnamese-American City Council Member, Cyndi Nguyen said, “I don’t have the words to express how valuable this fellowship has been in my life. I was able to do things that were more important to the community because I felt better about myself and I was able to branch out and do things that people don’t normally do.”
“The Kellogg Foundation’s legacy in developing courageous, visionary leaders dates from its very beginning,” said La June Montgomery Tabron, the foundation’s president and CEO. “Our founder recognized that leadership is central to changing communities on behalf of children. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network brings knowledge from decades of leadership experience to bear on a primary challenge of our time — how to create equitable communities where all children can thrive. We know that as Community Leadership Network leaders are transformed, their communities will benefit.”
Fellows go on to lead meaningful change in their communities. Several have run for elected office, including the mayor of Albuquerque and a city council woman in New Orleans, to create more equitable policies and foster economic growth that benefits the whole community. Alumni are also engaging Latino families to improve early childhood education in Michigan and advancing racial justice for African Americans in Mississippi.
In addition, fellows become part of a vast network of 1,700+ alumni through the Kellogg Fellowship Leadership Alliance, who collectively are working to effect systemic change.
For more about the WKKF Community Leadership Network with the Center for Creative Leadership and a complete list of fellows, visit wkkfcln.org.
About W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Founded by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg in 1930, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) is dedicated to supporting thriving children, working families and equitable communities. Embedded within all the foundation does are commitments to advancing racial equity and racial healing, developing leaders and engaging communities in solving their own problems. WKKF supports work throughout the United States and with sovereign tribes, and in Mexico and Haiti, concentrating up to two-thirds of grantmaking in priority places: Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans in the U.S., Chiapas and the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, and in Central and South Haiti.
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