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Kellogg Funds Initiative Targeted for Black Males

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The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has announced that it will devote $8.5 million over three years to an initiative designed to improve the lives of young African-American men and their families.

The money will be used for grants to organizations that serve black men and their families and toward setting up a 30-member national advisory task force to guide the effort.

Task-force members will be selected next month, said Tom Springer, a foundation spokesman.

The foundation, based in Battle Creek, Mich., hopes to help grassroots organizations develop projects that give black males chances to improve their lives and to help groups that break down community barriers that contribute to young people's isolation and failure.

The projects, intended to be replicated locally and nationally, are also meant to improve the leadership skills of community leaders.

In addition to the short-term benefits to black men and boys, the foundation hopes that the programs will bring long-term gains to their communities, Mr. Springer said.

"While most black men are successful, productive members of society, a significant number are engaged in a desperate struggle for survival,'' Norman A. Brown, the Kellogg Foundation's president and chief operating officer, said in a statement.

Fifteen grants affecting 400 adults and 15,000 youths, primarily ages 16 to 18, have been made so far.

One-third of the grants--including the three largest--have gone to organizations in Washington.

The Eisenhower Foundation for the Prevention of Violence received $600,320 to help run and replicate successful community-based projects that address problems of high-risk youths.

The National Trust for the Development of African-American Men received $530,800 to help incarcerated men become positive leaders in prison and, when they are released, in their communities.

The National Urban Coalition received $406,000 to involve young urban college students, entrepreneurs, and professionals in a leadership program for minorities that focuses on public policy related to urban youths.

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