For immediate release | October 31, 2017

ALA receives $1.1 million from W.K. Kellogg Foundation for reading and discussion model for underserved youth as part of national Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation effort

CHICAGO — Libraries will engage more than 5,000 underserved young adults in transformative, humanities-based reading and discussion programming thanks to a $1.1 million grant to the American Library Association (ALA) from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF).

The Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Great Stories Club (TRHT GSC), will connect ALA’s longstanding Great Stories Club literary programming model to the Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation efforts.

Launched by the Kellogg Foundation in 2016, 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. It seeks to unearth and jettison the deeply held, and often unconscious, beliefs created by racism — including the belief in a hierarchy of human value. ALA is one of the 100 voluntary National Partner Organizations, along with 44 scholars, that participated in the 2016 TRHT design phase. More information is online at

“Equity, diversity and inclusion are core to our beliefs at ALA, and we are proud to continue our engagement with the Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation efforts,” said ALA President Jim Neal. “Linking this critical movement with ALA’s long-recognized work in literary outreach for underserved youth will be a powerful opportunity for all involved.”

As part of the TRHT GSC project, ALA will work with an Implementation Team of humanities scholars, programming librarians, racial healing practitioners and others in the development of new reading and discussion series inspired by WKKF’s TRHT process. Each new series will engage libraries, community partners and underserved teen audiences in reading and discussing three theme-related books and participating in programs led by a racial healing practitioner. The project will engage local communities in racial healing and change efforts that address present inequities linked to historic and contemporary beliefs in racial hierarchy.

The project will seek to bridge embedded divides and generate the will, capacities and resources required for achieving greater equity and healing, particularly in the lives of young adults facing personal challenges such as detention, incarceration, addiction, academic probation, poverty and homelessness.

A National Advisory Committee will include representatives from the ALA Executive Board; the Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS) Advisory Committee; ALA ethnic affiliates; the Federation of State Humanities Councils; and ALA member groups.

Up to six librarians will be selected to serve on the TRHT GSC Implementation Team and will help plan, develop and deliver print, web-based and in-person programming support and learning experiences for TRHT GSC grantees. Learn more about becoming a TRHT GSC advisor.

Programming will take place in 125 libraries and community partner organizations starting in 2018. Application information will be announced in the coming months. To be notified, sign up for ALA’s Programming Librarian e-newsletter.

The TRHT Great Stories Club will be administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office in partnership with ODLOS.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 57,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

About the ALA Great Stories Club

A project of the American Library Association (ALA), the Great Stories Club (GSC) is a reading and discussion program model that targets underserved, troubled teen populations. Launched in 2006, the GSC has received funding from Oprah’s Angel Network, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ford Foundation, bringing literary reading and discussion programming to more than 800 libraries and 30,000 young adults. The project seeks to inspire teens to consider "big questions" about the world around them and their place in it, affecting how they view themselves as thinkers and creators; establish important connections between underserved youth, their public library and community support agencies; and contribute to improved literacy and changed, positive attitudes toward reading.

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. For more information, visit


Sarah Ostman

Communications Manager

ALA Public Programs Office