America Healing!

Healing is so powerful because it has the possibility to turn everything around.

America Healing is an initiative by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation that seeks to do just that – heal racial inequity in America for the next generation. Over 5 years, the Kellogg Foundation will invest $75 million dollars in healing. The focus of the initiative is breaking down the barriers of poverty and structural racism by building up programs that support healing and recovery – moving on.

The Kellogg foundation is known for its foresight and commitment to fostering lasting change. In a time of such economic and political strife today, the Kellogg Foundation is once again pushing the bounds of building a better America. These days, everyone could use a little healing.

The America Healing Initiative reflects the spirit of healing abound, and today, when the Gulf oil spill represents what appears to be insurmountable and irreparable harm, the efforts on behalf and by Native Americans to repair difficult histories and painful experiences are hope manifest.

It’s no wonder several of the major 119 projects sponsored in the first healing round include vital Native American initiatives.

A grant to the National Indian Child Welfare Association will help Native American families and children heal the wounds from the trauma of the policy that removed children from their tribal people over decades.

The First Alaskans Institute received a grant from Kellogg’s Foundation for a two-year project ‘Alaska Native Dialogues on Racial Equity,’ that seeks to spark valuable dialogue about eliminating racism in Alaska in the lead up to the 2012 elections. The project will be run through the Alaska Native Policy Center, a think tank on Native issues. The dialogue will consider whether the important issue of race requires a state-wide response through a Constitutional amendment.

The America Healing initiative is hitting on the pulse of what people are seeking, healing in our country. Over 1,000 applications were received in the open call grant process.

The commitment to racial healing is so strong, the Kellogg’s Foundation is going one step further by setting up an online catalog of submitted projects, both funded and unfunded, so that these organizations can connect with funders wanting to invest in healing. To visit the catalog, go to http://www.wkkf.org/racial-equity/racial-equity-catalog.aspx.

In the Bay Area, several organizations received grants, including The People’s Grocery which organizes and empowers low-income people from all racial background build local food systems to improve health and access to healthy foods, and, Santa Cruz’s Barrios Unidos received a grant to enable youth of color to decrease violent behavior and heal individually.

America Healing is inspiring on many levels, not least of which how Dr. Gail Christopher, vice president of programs for the Kellogg’s Foundation, lays the vision for the America Healing initiative – “We have an opportunity to make dramatic progress in healing our nation,” Christopher said on the Kellogg’s website announcing America Healing. “As a country, just as we as we have done in previous periods in our nation’s history, we must shine a light on racism so that we can put its effects on children and communities behind us.”

Witness the Healing seeks to bring forth a topic that is often difficult for Native and non-native people to discuss – the history of California and early Indian policies – so that our community can work through the trauma, and to document the healing process already underway in the Ohlone community. Already, the short film Witness the Healing had an impact, which encouraged me to present this story to a larger audience, and be a part of the Healing Process sweeping America. Please Join In Today!

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