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‘Regeneration’ report highlights eight stories of equitable, community-led renewal

American Cities, Arts & Culture, Detroit, Education, Environment, Health, Human Services, Social Investment Practice

Rebecca Chamberlain-Creanga

Krista A. Jahnke

Kresge’s 2021 Annual report emphasizes how the nonprofit sector is best positioned to ensure recovery centers the needs of communities

The Kresge Foundation’s newly released annual report, “Regeneration: Repair and Restoration in America’s Cities,” out now, highlights how 2021 was a pivotal year for repair and renewal and how its partners led the way toward an equitable recovery in cities across the country. It’s when Kresge’s long-standing practice of investing in community-led civic renewal in cities met a once-in-a-lifetime injection of cash from the federal government – creating the conditions for an equity-led recovery to take root.

The digital report, available at now, is illustrated by the artwork of Favianna Rodriguez, who also helms the Center for Cultural Power, a Kresge partner. Rodriguez’s art draws on her social justice background with images of migration, gender justice, climate change and racial equity – themes interwoven throughout the report.

Through eight video stories, the report showcases the many ways that Kresge’s grantees and investees are rebounding and rebuilding their communities with equity at the center – demonstrating why they’re well positioned to help ensure recovery efforts center the real needs and desires of people where they live and work. Featured organizations include the AmbitioUS initiative, St. Paul’s People’s Prosperity Pilot, Yuma County’s Public Health team, Water Wise Gulf South, Greenprint Partners, Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, California State Long Beach, and the St. Rest Food to Share Hub. The stories will take viewers to eight places, including Kresge’s focus cities of Detroit, Memphis, and New Orleans, as well as Fresno, St. Louis and more.

Complementing these video stories, the report includes a message from Kresge Board Chair Cecilia Muñoz, who in March 2022 became the 10th person in Kresge’s 98-year history to assume the role. Muñoz reflects on what it means to take up the helm of an organization to meet a moment it was made for. She is optimistic that the foundation and its partners on the ground are well placed to help ensure that public dollars reach where they are needed most.

For communities to bounce back with equity, Kresge President and CEO Rip Rapson makes the case in his letter for the need to rethink how decisions are made about where public funds go and how they are implemented. Kresge’s experience in fostering multi-sector partnerships and in elevating people-centered solutions from Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) provides hope for how to bring about equitable civic renewal – as do the stories in this report.

Follow the conversation about how cities bounce back with equity at the center using #Regeneration on social media channels. And to view Regeneration, head to: