W.K. Kellogg Foundation Commits $1 Million to William Winter Institute

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Commits $1 Million to Fund the William Winter Institute’s Racial Reconciliation Programs.

[JACKSON, Miss.] On the heels of its move to Mississippi’s capital city, the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation received a $1 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to foster community dialogue, encourage youth leadership and stimulate smart policy discussions across the state of Mississippi.

The overall goal of the William Winter Institute’s programming is to further racial reconciliation and end discrimination based on difference.

“Today, more than ever, it’s important that communities have the tools they need to help end division and discrimination,” said Portia Ballard Espy, executive director of the William Winter Institute. “By building relationships and engaging in our communities, we have the power to positively transform this state—and nation.”

The Winter Institute promotes a number of programs and tools aimed at fostering change:

  • The Welcome Table™ process helps communities build the relationships necessary to heal systemic challenges, solve civic problems and to bridge long-standing divides.
  • The Summer Youth Institute™ is a nine-day experiential program for youth to discover the value of diversity and build both leadership and advocacy skills; Summer Youth Institute 2.0 is a reconvening of SYI alumni to maintain their network and strengthen the SYI curriculum.
  • Rethink Mississippi™ is a policy and civic engagement platform for focusing leaders and their constituents on the need for a future based on equity.

“It is our goal to continue to serve Mississippi with this nationally recognized programming, while also developing best practices for forward-looking communities everywhere,” Espy said. “New funding from the Kellogg Foundation helps make that possible.”

Now headquartered in downtown Jackson, the William Winter Institute has also recently been recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

Espy said that she, the staff and the board of directors continue to align with the original vision of the organization’s namesake, Governor William Winter, whose actions built on the idea that an informed citizenry would connect to the greater community, thus making smart choices for a future that benefits us all.

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About the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation: The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation is a nonprofit organization originally formed in 1999 to work in communities, organizations, and classrooms, in Mississippi and beyond, to support a movement of equity and wholeness as a pathway to ending and transcending all division and discrimination based on difference. For more information, visit winterinstitute.org/wp2020.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation: The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life. The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.

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