A recent grant from the Stryker Johnston Foundation is helping Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Kalamazoo grow critical funding to sustain work in the community for years to come. The grant will provide tools to strengthen community, increase staffing capacity and expand programming support for the long-term.

With funding from the Stryker Johnston Foundation, in addition to support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Kalamazoo Community Foundation (KZCF), the TRHT Kalamazoo Endowment fund has now been established with a $1 million investment.

"The endowment fund provides sustainability and this is only the beginning," said Carrie Pickett-Erway, president/CEO of the KZCF. "We know systemic racism can only be addressed effectively through long-term efforts. We will continue gathering monetary gifts as well as gifts of time and talent to support this critical work for generations to come."

The TRHT Endowment fund will be held at the KZCF, which currently serves as the host for TRHT in Kalamazoo. Funds from the endowment will support long-term and multi-faceted efforts to address racial inequity, discrimination, racial bias and institutional and systemic racism while also supporting racial healing work in Kalamazoo County.

"Starting an endowment fund will firmly plant the seeds of transformation in Kalamazoo now and into the future," said Andrew Chaponda, TRHT Kalamazoo Separation Design Team Lead. Separation examines and finds ways to address segregation, colonization and concentrated poverty in neighborhoods to ultimately ensure equitable access to housing, education and jobs. "Our work, like removing impediments to equitable housing in Kalamazoo, will take years to address fully. We couldn’t be more excited to keep this work going."

According to Thomas Beech, president emeritus of the Fetzer Institute, "The comprehensive design of TRHT in Kalamazoo creates an opportunity for the entire community to work together to address the roots of historic and systemic racism here and over the long term, to build and sustain the will to move toward racial healing." Beech is also an advisory member of the TRHT Kalamazoo Leadership Team.

"Building the TRHT Endowment Fund was truly a team effort," Pickett-Erway said. "Every member of the staff at KZCF, as well as each member on the board of trustees, made a contribution to seed the fund."

TRHT Kalamazoo, hosted by KZCF, is a community-based movement to bring about transformational and sustainable change to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism. Kalamazoo is one of 14 TRHT locations nationwide, and one in four in Michigan (the others include Flint, Lansing, and Battle Creek). Learn more at trhtkzoo.org.