How the Community Foundation of Greater Flint is helping to support racial healing

FLINT, Michigan — In June 2017, the Community Foundation of Greater Flint (CFGF) launched its 'Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation' initiative to support organizations that address the need for racial healing in the greater Flint community. 

The project began with an allocation of $525,000 from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, with funds distributed through the Council of Michigan Foundations. 

Community Foundation designated $300,000 for endowment and 1:1 gift matching funds effort. To date, the CFGF has received 279 matching gifts from private foundations, corporations, and individuals. Funds were also donated to Communication Foundations in Michigan, including Battle Creek, Lansing, and Kalamazoo. 

In total, more than 14 communities nationwide collaborated with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to continue the arduous work of replacing the belief system that promotes racism with a system that values every person.

Lyn Williams, Community Engagement Officer at CFGF, says the community can think of the 'Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation' initiative as a toolkit for change. “[TRHT introduces] narrative change that jettisons the belief in a hierarchy of human value. It is a journey together, not forced. A pathway for our community to transform belief and systems that perpetuate structural racism.” 

Community Foundation President and CEO Isaiah Oliver said the project is an opportunity to promote change through love. “Healing conversations [are] the start of loving one another,” said Oliver. “Then a whole of change can come from that starting point.” 

CFGF has granted funds to support training for local healing practitioners, a racial healing day, community-wide visioning sessions, the RACE Exhibit at the Sloan Museum, and healing conversations among the city’s Choice Neighborhoods residents. So far, CFGF has distributed $200,000+ to local TRHT efforts. 

Grantee organizations include the following:
$52,625 to support RACE: Are We So Different? Exhibit at Sloan Museum.
$3,350 – City of Flint – Choice Neighborhood Program
$1,000 – International Center of Greater Flint – Support a Welcome Reception at Greater Flint Arts Council
$1,053.64 – Arab Community Center for Economic & Social Services – classroom visits to AANM during the 2019-2020 school year, for cultural competency workshops. High School student focus.
$2,500 – Foundation for Mott Community College – Guest speaker fees for Dr. MLK, Jr. Tribute Dinner 2020.
$1,590 – Flint Cultural Center Corp. – Bus transportation for Day of Racial Healing at Ziibiwing Center
$4,297.60 – CBOP for Flint Public Health Youth Academy.
$8,000 – United Way – Courageous Conversations on Race
$5,000 – Flint Institute of Arts – Posing Beauty in African American Culture – Black History Month program
$1,500 – Riverside Tabernacle – Racial reconciliation among people of faith in Genesee County
$10,000 – Flint Cultural Center Corp – Collaboration to record stories and present an accurate inclusive narrative of Greater Flint’s history – centered on race and racism.
$2,000 – Communities First – African American Film Series
$14,300 – City of Flint – Flint Police Dept. Racial Healing Circle
$5,000 – CBOP – Coronavirus Task Force – Racism as a Public Health Crisis in Genesee County
$3,000 – Legal Services of Eastern Michigan – Education on April Fair Housing Month.
$4,528 – Prince of Peace Baptist Church – Juneteenth Festival
$4,500 – CBOP – Flint Public Health Youth Academy
$7,500 – Communities First – Health and Racial Inequalities in Flint area housing.
$2,405   - MOASH – Michigan Youth Racial Equity Council
$50,000 – YWCA of Greater Flint – Challenging Racism Initiative.
$2,000 – Communities First – African American Film Series
$1,250 – CBOP – youth courageous conversations
$1,250 – North Flint Neighborhood Action Council – youth courageous conversations
$1,600 – Court Street Village – Build Display for Sculpted Busts of 6 inspirational women – located in City Hall.
$1,000 – Arab Community Center – Arab American National Museum Grand Gala
$1,000 – Arab American Heritage Council – Celebrating Arab Americans in the Arts
$2,500 – Flint Inst. Of Science & History – Flint Neighborhood Oral History Project
$5,000 – Black Lives Matter – Flint – Juneteenth
$1,500 – Prince of Peace Baptist Church – Juneteenth
$1,000 – Chosen Few Arts Council – Berston Field House 99th Year Community Celebration
$1,500 – Without Walls Outreach- Unity March and Resource Fair
$450 - Neighborhood Engagement Hub – General operations.
$2,000 – McCree Theatre – McCree Theatre Summer Soiree
$301 – CBOP – Flint Public Health Youth Academy support to present at American Public Health Association.
To make a donation to the fund, visit the Community Foundation of Greater Flint’s donation site here

Also, watch W.K. Kellogg’s #howweheal series here to learn more about how cities across the nation participate in narrative change. 
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Read more articles by Qiana Towns.