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Focus Area

Memphis & New Orleans

We steward the foundation’s city-focused grantmaking in Memphis and New Orleans, including community development grantmaking, inspired by our work in Detroit. This broad array of grants – from investments in planning and community capacity to neighborhood revitalization – is at the forefront of Kresge’s national place-based community development work.

In Memphis and New Orleans, Kresge supports efforts to create neighborhoods of opportunity for residents living with low incomes. This means funding projects and programs that result in sustainable change, such as supporting inclusive planning, building robust community capacity, strengthening key human development systems and bolstering physical revitalization efforts. Our grantmaking balances investments in citywide systems and neighborhood-level capacity to help residents advocate for and sustain inclusive, equitable growth.

Why Memphis & New Orleans?

Memphis and New Orleans are home to both tremendous assets and high levels of need.

Our hometown of Detroit and New Orleans share stories of community resilience – the capacity of communities to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and disinvestment. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina proved a galvanizing moment for our work in New Orleans. We increased our support for the city and its people and responded strategically to bolster the city’s recovery. The result was over $12 million dedicated to recovery across an array of disciplines. We’ve remained engaged ever since.

In Memphis, we have mirrored our Detroit efforts to spur equitable growth by investing in four areas: planning and collaboration; community development systems; neighborhood revitalization; and leadership and organizational development. Our work reflects the belief that investments in systems must happen alongside direct investments in community capacity to ensure the scope and scale of development is shaped by residents.

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