West Central Initiative (WCI) is one of six community foundations in Minnesota created by the McKnight Foundation in 1986 to response to the farm crisis. Together, we cover the area of the state called “Greater Minnesota.” We have cities and towns in all of our regions, but we are commonly understood to be representative of rural Minnesota.
During the United Nations General Assembly in late September, Heads of State, government officials, civil society, and the philanthropic and commercial private sector are convening in New York with a focus on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). UHC is a key part of Sustainable Development Goal 3 and a shared commitment by United Nations member states to ensure everyone has access to health services without undue financial hardship. The vision is lofty and worthy, but the barriers are plentiful.
The world faces pressing challenges that require global responses – the climate crisis, entrenched inequality, migration, and more. But with international cooperation increasingly at risk, actions taken at the local level are ever more vital.
Karabi Acharya of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation discusses the importance of maintaining a global view for problem-solving as a grantmaker.
Lance Chrisman from the Anthem Foundation outlines the work Anthem and the American Lung Association are doing to decrease smoking in public housing residences.
Debbie Reznick of Polk Bros. Foundation describes the work they've done with Michael Reese and the Chicago Community Trust to improve the health of those experiencing homelessness.
Noah Atencio discusses what winning the Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking meant to him and the Community First Foundation, detailing the work done by the Innovators Society.
Nearly 9,000 wildfires tore through the State of California in December 2017, burning 1.2 million acres of land, destroying more than 10,800 structures and killing at least 46 people.
Mexico experienced two major earthquakes in the September 2017. The first, hitting the southern coast of Mexico on September 8th, was one of the biggest recorded in the area at a magnitude of 8.1. Only eleven days after this first major disastor, on September 19th, Mexico was hit with another earthquake, at a magnitude of 7.1. Many deaths have been reported from both earthquakes and several major cities including Mexico City, Puebla, and San Juan Raboso have large amounts of rubble, with many people trapped under collapsed buildings.