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Kresge joins with Kellogg Foundation to launch Detroit partnership for early childhood, Hope Starts Here


Today, the Kresge Foundation, alongside the Battle Creek-based W. K. Kellogg Foundation, announced Hope Starts Here: Detroit’s Early Childhood Partnership, a first-of-its-kind citywide engagement process that will result in a plan for coordinated, high-quality early childhood systems for Detroit children.

Kresge Foundation President and CEO Rip Rapson will serve as a Hope Starts Here co-chair alongside W.K. Kellogg President and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron.

“Detroit’s children cannot be left behind as the city rebounds,” Rapson said. “We’ve seen tremendous public/private partnerships over the last decade to support Detroit’s cultural revitalization. Without building systems that support and prepare our young citizens, Detroit cannot reap a full return on all that has been invested. The more than we can do, collectively, to prioritize children, the more Detroit will see our various efforts create the kind of hope that lasts for generations.”

The Partnership launched with an event at the Michigan Science Center for more than 100 stakeholders including parents and leaders from health systems, early childhood providers, government agencies, and community organizations. These stakeholders will work in the coming months on the effort through working groups focused on talent, financing, whole-child well-being, philanthropy, facilities and quality.

A Stewardship Board of leaders from diverse sectors will guide the process and includes representatives from Mayor Duggan’s office, Governor Snyder’s office, parents and business leaders. See a full list here.

The process will also include robust community engagement activities, with a goal of reaching tens of thousands of Detroiters, to gather input from parents and caregivers from across the city and to incorporate their voices into all phases of the process.

Ultimately, in 2017, Hope Starts Here will fold all of its findings and recommendations into a citywide plan.

‘Detroit has hundreds of dedicated professionals working on early childhood issues and providing direct support to children and families” said Kresge Detroit Program co-Managing Director Wendy Lewis Jackson. “We have these fantastic resources and people and the best intent; but our outcomes for young children are not what we want for our city. We believe through this process, we can create a shared vision for how to support each young child in Detroit and to come together to make systems that lead to better outcomes.”

The Kresge Foundation launched its comprehensive early childhood initiative Kresge Early Years for Success: Detroit in January and will support Hope Starts Here through that platform. KEYS: Detroit is a five-year, $20 million commitment to work on early childhood reforms and includes efforts to build new comprehensive childcare centers, to renovate existing centers, to support neighborhood collaborations and to support this civic leadership alliance.

Residents, parents and caregivers will have a variety of ways to participate, including attending public information sessions, participating through community organizations, and sharing ideas and stories at and via Facebook at Follow the conversation via #HopeBuilds.

Sign up to received updates from Kresge on KEYS:Detroit at