Class 3

Fellows Journey Reflections, Six Months In

Fellows Journey Reflections, Six Months In

In February 2024, WKKF Community Leadership Network class three fellows came together in Washington, D.C., for their second in-person gathering. Six months into the fellowship, we asked fellows to reflect on their journeys thus far — how the fellowship has impacted their approaches to leadership and what they are looking forward to in the next year.

The impact of personal clarity

Many fellows reported a renewed sense of personal clarity, noting the unique opportunity to not only learn about leadership, but to also learn more about themselves as individuals.

Alexandra Melnik is the communications director

Burning bright, not burning out

Burning bright, not burning out

You can’t pour from an empty cup.

Developing an effective, empowering and impactful leadership practice requires prioritizing deep rest and recovery. Before our communities can be well, we, ourselves, must model that wellness.

While gathering on Tamaya land in Bernalillo, New Mexico, the WKKF Community Leadership Network with the Center for Creative Leadership fellows were asked to reflect upon their self-care practices and how they can ensure they are burning brightly, not burning out.

We sat down with Social Impact Champion Sonya Lara of New Mexico, Self-Expression Advocate Ericka Thompson of Michigan, Movement Strategist Alison McCrary of New Orleans, and Mindful Healer Jessica Reed of Mississippi to discuss self-care and its implications on effective leadership.

How do you build energy as a leader?

Sonya: My values energize me. When I see challenges or barriers facing those I

It takes a village to support a leader

It takes a village to support a leader

As the old African proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” This is also true in developing impactful leaders; it requires an entire ecosystem of support. The WKKF Community Leadership Network with the Center for Creative Leadership fellowship is constructed with this wisdom in mind.

As part of the program, fellows are paired with executive coaches who provide guidance, thought partnership and personal development support. The fellows meet with their executive coaches on a regular basis over the course of the 18-month fellowship to dig deeply into their leadership practice and identify strengths, as well as areas of growth.

At the class three gathering in New Mexico this May, fellows had the opportunity to interact with their executive coaches in person and reflect upon how this relationship has impacted their leadership journeys.


Living History

Living History

The past is never far behind us.

As part of the four-day experience, fellows had the opportunity to visit several museums in the Washington, D.C., area, including the National Museum of African American History and Culture, as well as the National Museum of the American Latino.

These visits helped put the fellows’ journeys into historical and cultural context. Inspired by the work of their predecessors, we asked fellows to share

Let's Talk About Trust

Let’s Talk About Trust

So many of the communities we serve have had their trust broken by failing systems.

Hear fellows reflect upon the importance of fostering trust within their communities, what are barriers to that process, and how the fellowship is helping them gain tools and insights for promoting true healing and change.

The Importance of Trust

In the first video in our series on trust, class three fellows

Cooperative Planning, Intelligent Study and Group Action

Cooperative Planning, Intelligent Study and Group Action

At the core of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation’s (WKKF) mission is a dedication to thriving children, working families and equitable communities. In support of this mission, WKKF has defined a community engagement approach that empowers leaders to root themselves in an intentional process for engaging people in authentic and meaningful ways.

The community engagement approach is a continuum represented by an infinity loop, where cooperative planning, intelligent study and group action generate deep listening to community, data-informed decision making and collaborative impact.

Cooperative planning manifests through convening partners, residents and organizations to elevate community voices. In intelligent study, leaders collect data and community profiles to analyze policies, approaches and impact. Building on these learnings, leaders

Welcome to Battle Creek, Michigan!

Welcome to Battle Creek, Michigan!

Class three of the WKKF Community Leadership Network has started, bringing together 80 dynamic and diverse leaders from the foundation’s priority places of Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans. Together, over 18 months, these fellows will be learning about themselves and each other; growing their leadership

Journeying Together

Journeying Together

The WKKF Community Leadership Network with the Center for Creative Leadership is an innovative fellowship for local leaders to connect, grow and lead transformational change on behalf of children, families and communities. The 18-month fellowship brings together 80 inspiring and diverse leaders from the Kellogg Foundation’s priority places of Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans.

As part of the program, each fellow has the opportunity to choose an accountability partner from a different priority place to walk beside them over the 18-month fellowship. At this year’s gathering in Battle Creek, Michigan, we spoke to several accountability partners at the start of their journeys together. See

Leadership As A Social Process

Leadership As A Social Process

“For something to be sustainable, lasting and impactful, it’s never done on an individual level.”

~Paul Martinez, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

In Western culture, leadership is often associated with hierarchy, individualism and scarcity, placing one perspective at the center of the work with the expectation that others follow. As the world’s challenges become increasingly interconnected, this concept of leadership doesn’t meet the demands of our time. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), in partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership, takes a radically different approach, promoting that leadership is a social process – one in which collaborative direction, alignment and commitment are at the forefront.

Paul Martinez is the chief leadership and human capital strategist at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, where he focuses on executive coaching, organizational development and capacity building within the leadership team, as well as fellowship and

Meet Class Three Fellows

Meet Class Three Fellows


“Our founder, Will Keith Kellogg, would be inspired to meet this new class and see how his vision of investing in local leaders is being realized.” ~ Paul Martinez, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

In July 2023, the W.K. Kellogg

WKKF Community Leadership Network