Delivered on Sept. 23 at the Rail~Volution annual conference in Minneapolis. Good morning. It’s a pleasure to be here. I’d like to talk about the city of Detroit’s grand adventure in creating a light-rail system. I propose to not only celebrate Detroit’s wisdom in joining the parade of transit-embracing cities, but also to explore issues that may provide a glimpse into some of challenges and opportunities facing municipal transit.
In an effort to ensure more low-income students earn college degrees, 11 major public research institutions have formed an alliance that will test and share proven innovations. The founding members of the University Innovation Alliance have raised – and will match – $5.7 million from a group of foundations and charitable organizations. That funding will support the development of a national “playbook” to improve the retention and graduate rates for low-income and first-generation college students.
Kresge and The Surdna Foundation are jointly inviting proposals from community development financial institutions working in disinvested communities. The philanthropies will provide support to CDFIs with promising programs for supporting community-based activities that fully integrate arts, culture and creativity as part of a comprehensive revitalization strategy.
The public television four-part miniseries “Designing Healthy Communities” is being rebroadcast this fall in five major cities across the United States. In conjunction with the rebroadcasts, sponsoring Public Broadcasting Service stations will engage viewers, community residents and local leaders in events and programs focused on addressing the environmental factors that affect health.
Detroit Head Start providers will receive nearly $2 million a year for two years through grants announced by the Detroit Head Start Early Childhood Innovation Fund. The grants are part of an initiative by eight foundations that are part of the Southeast Michigan Early Childhood Funders Collaborative: the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the Skillman Foundation, the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, the McGregor Fund, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, the Jewish Fund, PNC Foundation and Kresge.
Kresge’s Health Program provided funding for the 2012 public television miniseries “Designing Healthy Communities,” hosted by Dr. Richard Jackson, a public health advocate who in recent years has focused on the man-made environment. This year, Kresge reprised that effort with support for community-outreach activities designed around rebroadcasts in five metropolitan areas.
Detroit’s east side can be a rough place. Teenagers pass empty houses and see signs of illicit activity on their way to school. But one Edwin Denby High School teacher wouldn’t let the neighborhood’s problems rob the 200-member senior class of its hopes for a better future. Jonathan Hui, a recent University of Michigan graduate, believed something could be done.
More than one-quarter of American households don’t have a mainstream banking relationship, exposing individuals and families to predatory lenders and making it difficult to save for emergencies or build a nest egg. The odds of being unbanked or underbanked are greater for people living in what the leader of one human services agency in St. Louis, calls “financial institution deserts.”
Kresge’s Environment Program team received more than 230 responses to a call for statements of qualification from organizations interested in a new climate resilience initiative. This is the first step in a process that will result in the award of up to 20 grants this year. The Climate Resilience and Urban Opportunity initiative will assist community-based nonprofits positioned to help influence local and regional climate-resilience planning, and related policy development and implementation.
For more than three decades, CLUES, a human services organization based in the Twin Cities, has helped Latinos and others overcome conditions that can derail lives – mental illness, substance abuse, unemployment, foreclosure and other challenges. Now it is broadening the scope of its work to help immigrants become American citizens and help clients understand the political process and how they can participate.
Hard hit by the loss of manufacturing jobs and by property foreclosures that left many buildings vacant, the racially and ethnically diverse Collinwood neighborhood of Cleveland is rebuilding. “Folks are moving in. We’re seeing a change of attitude, a new vitality,” says Michael Polensek, a city councilman.
A disruption in electrical service has affected operations at The Kresge Foundation headquarters. The office is closed again today, Wednesday, Aug. 6. The problem began Monday. Many staff members are working from other locations. Normal activities are expected to resume Thursday.
Some 200 community activities unfolded in Detroit for the eighth annual Neighborhoods Day Aug. 2. Events ranged from cleanup projects to food and entertainment. The day is organized by the group Arise Detroit! with support from Kresge's Detroit Program.
The Kresge Foundation has developed a new initiative to help equip local public health officers with knowledge and skills to lead in today’s changing health care environment. The 16-month program, Emerging Leaders in Public Health, will give teams from eight local government health departments the opportunity to undertake projects designed to enhance organizational and leadership competencies in business, planning and public health systems development.
In its report “Preparing for Climate Impacts: Lessons from the Front Lines,” the Georgetown Climate Center concludes that most communities are not prepared for the threats they face under existing climate conditions, let alone a radically different future. The nonpartisan organization based at Georgetown University Law Center works with state and local policymakers, resource managers and the public on legislation, model policies and strategies to help communities adapt to hotter summers, rising sea levels, flooding and extreme weather.
American philanthropy is undergoing a turbulent transformation, writes Kresge Foundation President Rip Rapson in the foreword to a new book "Leverage for Good, An Introduction to the New Frontiers of Philanthropy and Social Investment."
Kresge invests $4.5M in effort to capture and share health innovations that shift focus upstream from care to health
The Kresge Foundation has awarded a pair of three-year, $2.25 million grants to Nemours and the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families & Communities to fund a national initiative to accelerate innovations that improve health at a community level. Dubbed “Moving Health Care Upstream,” the newmultipart initiative will:
Kresge’s Environment Program is launching an initiative to assist community-based nonprofits positioned to help influence local and regional climate-resilience planning, and related policy development and implementation.
More than two dozen South African educators participated in a recent Kresge Foundation webinar explaining Siyaphumelela (“We Succeed”), a grant opportunity for South African public universities interested in improving their capacity to analyze data related to student success.
Seventeen metropolitan Detroit artists and one collective have been awarded Kresge Artist Fellowships for 2014. Each of the 18 fellowships, for artists working in dance/music and a new theater/film category, includes an unrestricted prize of $25,000 to reward an artist’s creative vision and commitment to excellence.