January 21, 2019

Monday, January 21, 2019

National Day of Racial Healing

On Tuesday, communities across the state and the U.S. will come together for events and programming for the third annual National Day of Racial Healing (NDORH).

The annual day of recognition is part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s (WKKF) Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) effort, a national, community-based process of transformative, sustainable change, addressing the historic and contemporary effects of racism.

“This year, our goal remains the same: to issue a national call for racial healing, gather together people from across our communities to celebrate our shared humanity and inspire action,” La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO, WKKF said.

Michigan is home to four of the 14 TRHT collaborations in the country.

The sites in Battle Creek, Flint, Kalamazoo and Lansing have been working deeply in TRHT efforts, supported by CMF with funding from  WKKF.

There are 18 events scheduled to take place around the state. Highlights from the Michigan TRHT sites and Detroit include:

Battle Creek, January 22:

Detroit, January 22:

  • “America to Me” screening: CMF invites our members and partners to join us for lunch and a screening of the documentary series, “America to Me,” which examines racial, economic and class issues in contemporary education at a Chicago area high school. Following the screening, attendees will participate in a reflective discussion on the film. Learn more and register.

Flint, January 21:

  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration: Today, the Flint Public Library and the Flint Institute of Arts are commemorating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a full day of free activities that emphasize identity, unity and community engagement. The afternoon program begins with the architect of the TRHT process, Dr. Gail C. Christopher, former senior advisor and vice president of WKKF. Learn more.

Kalamazoo, January 22:

  • Celebrating How We Heal: Hosted by the Kalamazoo TRHT collaboration, this event will be a community party sharing stories, poetry, music and more. Learn more.

Lansing, January 22:

  • Call to Action and Healing: This event will feature the Lansing TRHT collaboration team, as they will share their action plans for the pillars of TRHT which include narrative change, racial healing, relationship building, beyond separation, law and economy. Learn more.

WKKF shared that Ava DuVernay, a member of the Solidarity Council on Racial Equity, has curated an experience to inspire and amplify conversations and action across the country. You can be part of the experience by joining the live stream on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

If you can’t make it to one of the in-person events happening in Michigan tomorrow, you can still be involved via social media by using the hashtag #HowWeHeal and join the live stream hosted by WKKF.

After the NDORH, TRHT work continues around the state.

Next week CMF is supporting Michigan TRHT healing practitioners who will lead racial healing circles with the police academy in Kalamazoo.

Want more?

Check out all of the NDORH Michigan events.

Learn more about TRHT.







Census 2020: Court Rules on Citizenship Question  

New developments at the state and federal level may prohibit the addition of the citizenship question to the Census 2020 form.

Last week a judge in New York ruled against the addition of the question because of the way the specific process and procedures were handled by the commerce secretary in working to include it.

In the 277-page legal brief the judge noted: “The court finds that the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census will harm the quality of the resulting census data.”

In addition to that decision, Reuters reported last week that there may be more support in the new Congress for the Census IDEA Act which was introduced but did not move forward last year, it is expected to be re-introduced for consideration soon.

If re-introduced and passed, the legislation would prohibit the Department of Commerce from “implementing any major operational design that has not been researched, studied and tested for at least three years before the date” of the census, including changes to the questionnaire.

As CMF has reported, during Foundations on the Hill in Washington, D.C. last year CMF joined philanthropy serving organizations throughout the country in requesting that the federal government not add the citizenship question to the Census 2020 form because it had not been field tested. All questions on the census form to-date have been tested.

In the summer, CMF members were invited to sign a grantmaker letter for foundations being circulated by the Funders Census Initiative under the leadership of the Bauman Foundation, urging the Commerce Department to remove the citizenship question. Individuals were also encouraged to submit public comments via the Federal Register.

In November, the U.S. Census Bureau released the findings of its own study citing that “the citizenship question may be a major barrier” to participation, based on the research.

Donna Murray-Brown, president and CEO of the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA) and Hassan Jaber, executive director and CEO of ACCESS, shared this statement with CMF in response to the ruling:

"On behalf of Michigan’s Nonprofit Complete Count Committee, a coalition of more than 40 diverse state organizations to ensure Michigan gets a complete and accurate count in the 2020 census, we applaud the ruling to strike down the decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. Asking every person about their citizenship status when there is no legal basis or need for doing so will give many people pause about participating in the census and will have a chilling effect on populations who may be hesitant to respond. With more than 600,000 immigrants in the state of Michigan, an undercount poses significant political and economic ramifications for the state. Immigrant communities, along with people who live in poverty, communities of color, people experiencing homelessness and young children are the targets of our Nonprofit Complete Count campaign. The stakes of a fair and accurate census are high and this is an important first step toward restoring the integrity of the 2020 census."

As for the ruling in the New York court, the judge acknowledged it would likely not be the final word on this issue and expects it may be challenged and taken to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Washington Post reports another similar case is currently underway in California and another case is expected to begin this week in Maryland.

If an injunction is issued, the New York judge provided a specific process that would need to be met by the secretary of commerce before a citizenship question could be added.

The brief states that when it comes to a final decision on the citizenship question “time is of the essence” because the Census Bureau must finalize the questionnaire for the 2020 census by June 2019.

Want more?

Learn about CMF’s Census 2020 work and resources.







Educational Opportunity for All

Michigan needs transformative education reform, for our economy and for an equitable future for our kids. That was the message shared by business leaders, educators and researchers at last week’s Opportunity for All: 2019 State of Michigan Education Conference hosted in Detroit by The Education Trust-Midwest.

David Meador, vice chairman and chief administrative officer at DTE Energy, a CMF member, served on a panel sharing the urgent call for action from the business community and as a parent.

 “How are we going to grow as a state and economy and be a top ten state to raise a family?” Meador said. “The business community is coming together to say this is fundamental and essential.”

Meador raised the issue of our shrinking workforce, saying that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) projects there will be more jobs available than people to hire by 2028.

As a parent, Meador has experienced first-hand the challenges parents face in advocating to get appropriate resources for their children.

“It was stunning to me the things they wouldn’t do so it forced us as parents to learn everything we could about special education,” he said.

It led Meador to help create the Autism Alliance of Michigan, an organization that works to expand opportunities for people who have autism.

Michigan’s 2015 Teacher of the Year Melody Arabo said the gaps get bigger for differently abled learners as classrooms have outdated curriculum materials that don’t meet students’ needs.

“We need to really look at what’s happening in the classroom so the biggest factors for student success are the teacher, the student and the instructional materials. We have instructional materials that are not aligned to our standards,”Arabo, an outreach specialist for EdReports.org, said. “Teachers spend an average of 12 hours a week going online and looking for resources, or I was somebody who created them myself. There’s no consistency in that, there’s no coherence from grade to grade.”

What’s working

The improvements and early success at Stocking Elementary School in Grand Rapids was shared at the conference.

Stocking is one of the elementary schools working with the Center for Excellence, Teaching and Learning (CETL), launched by Ed Trust-Midwest in partnership with the Steelcase Foundation. CETL works with educators to better support instructional practice, collaboration and professional development.

Ed Trust-Midwest has shared that in math, Stocking is among top-improving schools in the state. The school’s Latinx students are performing above statewide proficiency levels for fifth-grade math compared to all students statewide.

CETL was modeled after strategies underway in leading education states, such as Tennessee and Massachusetts.

"They show us the way," Amber Arellano, Executive Director, Ed-Trust Midwest, said. "They show us that it's possible to change things, even in five to 10 years, even in states that don't have significant dollars in education."

“My belief is what we do in business often is we benchmark. We figure out who the best is and try to really understand that and emulate it,” Meador said. “I think we should look to the turnaround states and understand how they did what they did and put a comprehensive plan together and stick with it.”

The Steelcase Foundation is involved in Launch Michigan, a diverse, statewide coalition of stakeholders, including CMF, committed to boosting educational excellence for every student and every school throughout our state. Launch Michigan workgroups have been convening and plan to share their findings and work in the coming months.

Want more?

Connect with your peers who are working in this space by joining us for the P-20 Education Affinity Group Convening on February 12.

Learn more about Launch Michigan.







DeRoy Testamentary Foundation and McGregor Fund support expansion of treatment center for survivors of human trafficking

Content excerpted from The Detroit News. Read the full article.

Vista Maria, a care and treatment center for survivors of human trafficking, recently announced plans to expand to meet the demand of increasing cases in Southeast Michigan.

So far, the facility has raised $2.4 million of the $4.6 million needed to build the new center, in part through the support of CMF members, DeRoy Testamentary Foundation and the McGregor Fund.

"The McGregor Fund board and staff is honored to support the facility that's first-of-its-kind to give a safe secure centralized facility for victim care and restoration," Kate Levin Markel, president, McGregor Fund said.

“The DeRoy Testamentary Foundation is so pleased to be able to work with Vista Maria in their honorable journey to tackle this important issue,” Julie Rodecker, president, DeRoy Testamentary Foundation said. “We are confident that the profound impact that Vista Maria has made in the recovery of human trafficking victims will continue with this expansion.”

Vista Maria estimates 200,000 children are victims of sex trafficking nationally — 1,200 girls in southeast Michigan alone. In 2018, Vista Maria aided 60 girls younger than 16 years old. In 2017, it aided 50 girls.

The new center is expected to open in 2020, providing residential treatment and housing for 16 girls and host an emergency intake wing for up to three female children. 

News type: