Respect Equality

Kellogg foundation commits $80 million to fight racial inequities

“The bold work proposed by each of the awardees fills me with hope that together we can attack the roots of inequity in our communities and build a future in which all children can thrive.”
W.K. Kellogg foundation
Courtesy of the W.K. Kellogg foundation.

Story at a glance

  • The money will be donated to five different organizations over the course of the next eight years.

  • Recipients include initiatives aimed at combating inequality in Africa, the United States, and South and Central America. 

  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation launched the initiative in 2020 to celebrate its 90th anniversary. 

Correction: This story was updated on Oct. 21 to clarify the relationship between the company and foundation.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation announced it will donate $80 million to five awardees over the next eight years as part of the company’s Racial Equity 2030 challenge

The foundation described the move as an open call for solutions to drive an equitable future for communities around the world. 

Awardees include The SETA Project in Brazil, which will work to eradicate systemic racism in the country’s education system; and a project aimed at community healing in Chicago.

Other recipients include initiatives in Mexico and Central and South America to secure land-ownership rights of Indigenous communities and a project working to overcome environmental racism in Kenya, Sierra Leone and the United States. 

The final awardee is an organization working to end Indigenous youth incarceration in Hawaii.

“The bold work proposed by each of the awardees fills me with hope that together we can attack the roots of inequity in our communities and build a future in which all children can thrive,” said WKKF president and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron in a release

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“But this change won’t happen unless we act, and I believe we must act now. I am excited to partner with these teams to address racism in their communities and support systemic change across the globe.” 

The Kellogg Company is known for its popular food brands including Eggo and Kashi. The nonprofit W.K. Kellogg Foundation operates independently from the company, is endowed with around $7 billion, and was established in 1930.

A total of 1,453 organizations from 72 countries submitted proposals in 2020, while in 2021 the company announced the top 10 finalists, each of whom received a grant of $1 million. Finalists also received nine months of support to strengthen their applications. 

The Challenge was carried out in partnership with Lever for Change, an affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. 

“We invite others across the philanthropic, public and private sectors to join forces in funding the awardees and other outstanding organizations that participated in Racial Equity 2030, in order to challenge the systems and institutions that uphold inequity around the world,” said Lever for Change CEO Cecilia Conrad. 

“We have an opportunity now to create ripples of impact throughout our global community to be felt for years to come.”  

Lever for Change was established in 2017. As of October, the organization had reached $1 billion in pledged donations. 

The announcement comes as companies and brands step up their philanthropic efforts in the wake of natural disasters, the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 national racial reckoning sparked by the murder of George Floyd. 

Recent polls have also shown young workers are gravitating more toward employers who demonstrate values that align with their personal ethics. 

In addition, donating to charities can help boost companies’ standings in consumers’ eyes, as studies have shown customers favor those that give a larger proportion of their profits to charity.

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