The W.K. Kellogg Foundation recently awarded a $3.1 million grant to the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi.
The institute was awarded the three-year grant to spur civil equity and community engagement and to help restore and build communities locally and across the globe.
Through grants, the Kellogg Foundation supports hundreds of organizations committed to bettering the lives of women, children and communities by facing problems in education, health and economy. The foundation has a large focus on Mississippi, where women earn an average of 26 percent less than men, and educational and economic disparities are common.
"We are excited to be a part of the Kellogg Foundation's commitment to the state of Mississippi and the improvement of children's lives here," said Susan Glisson, executive director of the Winter Institute, in a press release. "This grant will permit us to significantly expand our ongoing community work, as well as pursue appropriate regional, national and international partnerships that would benefit our work in Mississippi."
Plans for the funds include hiring a director of community outreach and an academic director to create a minor in civic communications for the Ole Miss College of Liberal Arts. The funds will also go toward making the position of youth director, currently a temporary position, full-time.
The Kellogg Foundation has funded William Winter Institute projects before, but this grant will help expand the institute's permanent outreach.
"Kellogg has funded our Summer Youth Institute and Welcome Table events since 2007," Glisson said. "During the course of conversations with their board of directors, the Winter Institute was encouraged to consider increasing the amount of funding requested to expand our operational capacity.
"The expiration of all our initial funding and the need to revisit our strategic plan simultaneously coincided with the application for and approval of this proposal."
The William Winter Institute, founded in 1999, works to lead civil rights and community engagement by promoting diversity and citizenship.
"This grant allows the institute to expand their proven strategy for racial healing and reconciliation," Gail Christopher, Kellogg Foundation vice president for program strategy said in a press release. "We see their work as integral to our continued efforts to help uproot the myth of racial hierarchies."