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Racial Equity Roundtable Announces Grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to Support Racial Healing Work


Buffalo, NY – The Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable through the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo announces a $2 million grant over 5 years from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) in support of a local Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) effort in Buffalo.

The grant will be used to support the work of the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable, a group of more than 30 community leaders from public, private, nonprofit and faith institutions that was convened by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. The Roundtable members are working together to bridge racial equity gaps in our community to ensure everyone has the opportunity to fulfill their highest potential, and at the same time, eliminate the belief system that supports racism.

The Roundtable’s engagement with TRHT will advance a shared agenda that seeks to achieve racial equity in our region. This will be accomplished through data-driven systemic change that results in community transformation with a focus on civic, faith, government, education and business sectors. The Roundtable understands that many of the barriers to achieving fair opportunity for all are embedded in past decisions and public policies. To move forward together, we must identify how these policies continue to shape reality today and how they can be corrected to transform to a new, equitable reality.

The WKKF grant has been awarded in two parts. The first $1 million will create the “Greater Buffalo-Niagara Region Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Endowment” at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.  This funding requires a 1:1 match from our community and will allow this work to be sustainable in the future using the annual returns on the endowment. The balance of $1 million will support the work of the Roundtable over the next five years.

“Our region is experiencing unprecedented growth and we believe all our residents should have the opportunity to participate in this growth and fulfill their highest potential,” said Alphonso O’Neil-White, Chair of the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable. “The Roundtable is already working with more than 70 local partners to advance racial equity in our community.  The TRHT grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will be used to accelerate our work and enable us to integrate existing and new communities in the practice of healing, to create one unified trusting community which moves toward transformational and sustainable change and to eliminate the belief in racial hierarchy.”

“The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has been supporting racial equity work in our community through the Community Foundation for many years and we are grateful for the continued support from this world renowned national foundation focused on creating equitable change in communities like ours,” said Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, President/CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. “The ultimate goal is to create a vibrant and inclusive Greater Buffalo region with opportunity for all.”

TRHT is a comprehensive, national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism. A primary focus of the TRHT is to create awareness for the deeply held and often unconscious beliefs that create racial divides and begin to bridge those divides. The main belief is the “hierarchy of human value,” which has fueled conscious and unconscious bias throughout U.S. culture, is the perception of a person’s or group’s inferiority or superiority based on physical characteristics, race, ethnicity or place of origin.

The TRHT was initiated in January 2016 by WKKF with a year-long design phase, advancing and complementing the Foundation’s decades-long commitment to advancing racial equity and racial healing throughout the United States.  Now in its implementation phase, Buffalo is one of 14 places throughout the country receiving support from the WKKF to implement this work, building on the TRHT process and framework co-developed in the 2016 design phase.

“If our country aspires to be a place where all children can thrive, where equal value of all human beings is the foundation for our society, then we must jettison racial hierarchy and replace it with the capacity to see ourselves in one another and transform the structural and systematic manifestations of this devastating belief,” said Dr. Gail Christopher, WKKF’s senior advisor and vice president for TRHT. “The TRHT is a community-driven vehicle for transforming the country and we are pleased that Buffalo has committed to do this work.”

Learn more about the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable at

The TRHT framework and Implementation Guidebook is available for download here:  Learn more about TRHT at


About the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable

The Racial Equity Roundtable includes more than 30 community leaders from public, private, nonprofits and faith institutions convened by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo to advance racial equity and promote the change required to accelerate shared regional prosperity. The group is committed to ensuring all members of our community have the opportunity to fulfill their highest potential.

About the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, a 501(c)(3) organization, was established in 1919 to enhance and encourage long-term philanthropy in the Western New York community. The Community Foundation’s mission is: Connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York. Since 1919, the Community Foundation has made the most of the generosity of individuals, families, foundations and organizations who entrust charitable assets to the Community Foundation’s care.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life. The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. To learn more, visit or follow WKKF on twitter at @wk_kellogg_fdn.