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Photos courtesy WK Kellog Foundation

This Week on MFP Live: ‘Urgent Disruptors’ La June Montgomery Tabron and Rhea Williams-Bishop

The president and CEO of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, La June Montgomery Tabron, and  Rhea Williams-Bishop, the director of Mississippi and New Orleans programs for WKKF, join Publisher Kimberly Griffin and Editor Donna Ladd this Thursday for a conversation about Mississippi’s children, narrative change, racial healing and much more on MFP Live.

Tabron has served as the president and CEO of WKKF since 2014. As a Black woman, she made history as the first of either her race or gender to hold the position. Tabron, a native of Detroit, Mich., has described her role as leader of a major philanthropic organization as that of an “urgent disruptor,” driven by deep purpose, diligent work and intentionality for real and immediate change.

Rhea Williams-Bishop became the director of Mississippi and New Orleans programs for WKKF in 2016. A life-long Mississippian, Williams-Bishop came to the position with an extensive history of advocating for the state’s children. Prior to joining WKKF, she held positions with the Center for Education Innovation and the Children’s Defense Fund. In her current role, she continues to work to help all of Mississippi’s children get their best chance at safe, healthy, happy and productive lives.

Children have been at the heart of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation’s mission since its founding almost 100 years ago. The goal of that mission—to create lasting, transformative change that benefits children—is expressed in the foundation’s focus on three interconnected priorities: thriving children, working families and equitable communities.

This focus grows from WKKF’s understanding that children exist, not alone, but within families, and those families exist within communities. Children, therefore, have the best chance to thrive within thriving families, and their families have the best chance to thrive in thriving communities.

The W. K. Kellogg Foundation, one of the largest philanthropic foundations operating in the United States, provides hundreds of millions of dollars in funding each year through its grants to organizations and institutions that are working to provide children and families with opportunities to thrive. WKKF provides support for Mississippi Free Press journalism, and Donna Ladd is a former WKKF Community Leadership Network fellow for Mississippi. The Mississippi Youth Media Project, which is now part of the Mississippi Journalism and Education Group alongside the Mississippi Free Press, grew out of Ladd’s WKKF fellowship.

While WKKF does work throughout the United States, as much as two-thirds of its grants are concentrated in a handful of areas, one of which is Mississippi. Here the work has centered on supporting children and racial healing and equity, including support for equitable opportunities in public education, early education and non-traditional college students.

Tune in Thursday at 6 p.. central on MFP’s Facebook Page or YouTube channel to hear this conversation about about what WKKF is doing to help make life better for children in Mississippi and around the country, as well as conversation about racial healing and equity, narrative change, and the importance of teaching and learning real history.

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