Happy New Year from all of us at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF). It is with great excitement that I step into my new role as the foundation’s president and CEO and continue the work to improve outcomes for vulnerable children.
I am passionate about the role WKKF plays in communities across the countries in which we work. In so many ways, my own journey illustrates the power and impact of what we can do together. Growing up ninth in a close-knit family of ten children in Detroit, I can tell you that education was core to my parents’ beliefs. It unlocked the door to my dreams, and the love and support of my family shaped who I became. My gratitude and love for their investment in me has instilled a deep desire and commitment to do everything I can to help others.
The pressures Detroit families face on a daily basis aren’t very different from the families we at the Kellogg Foundation know in many other places. As the door leading to success narrows, the door leading to failure widens. This is both a systemic issue and one that shows the profound gaps and inequities that exist for kids in poverty, and particularly, kids of color. Everything we do at WKKF is focused on improving the lives of vulnerable children because we believe healthy, educated kids living in secure families, is a birthright.
Since 1987, I have been privileged to be part of the legacy of our founder, Will Keith Kellogg. Mr. Kellogg invested the resources of his life’s work to improve the health, happiness and well-being of children. His wishes are embedded in the foundation’s strategic framework that guides all we do: advance education and learning; promote food, health and well-being; and support family economic security to propel children out of poverty and create conditions in which they will thrive, regardless of race or income.
We also recognize the importance of promoting racial equity and healing in our work. We know that real change and sustainability will come from community and civic engagement in partnership with our grantees around the world.
Please know that the foundation’s framework and commitment remain the same. This is simply the start of a new chapter in an amazing story – deepening the foundation’s understanding, impact and partnerships in local communities. All of the WKKF staff is committed to providing great service, clarity and transparency to our grantee partners so that your efforts to improve the lives of vulnerable children and families can be realized.
One of the ways we are doing that is through a redesigned website at wkkf.org – launched in November 2013. The new site was developed with a focus on the needs of grantees and grantseekers. It is optimized for all devices, including mobile phones and tablets. Please visit it and share your feedback.
I look forward to the opportunity to work with you in the new year. In the meantime, thank you for all that you do. We have come a long way, but we are not finished – not until all children have the same opportunities to succeed and the structures in place to help them on their own journeys.
La June Montgomery Tabron