Connect sat down with Don Cooney (Kalamazoo Vice Mayor) and Tim Ready (Lewis Walker Institute Director) to talk about Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo. This group grew out of the poverty reduction initiative, and whose goal is to “ensure that everyone in Kalamazoo has access to everything they need to lead a fully human life,” according to Vice Mayor Cooney. He goes on to say that Kalamazoo’s poverty level is worse than national averages and that he and his organization are doing everything in their power to change that. You can watch the highlights of the interview here:
The three main goals of Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo fit in perfectly with the Foundation for Excellence, which is why they began working together. The goals are: securing healthy growth, learning, and development for kids, helping families to be economically strong and secure, and addressing generational poverty so that people who are born into poverty do not stay there. The next steps to growing their initiative is for Shared Prosperity to become bigger and more formal, and for the community to engage in and learn more about these issues.
Tim Ready’s dream is “for everyone to be a stakeholder in [Shared Prosperity]” and for “everyone to have a hand… in achieving this shared prosperity.” There are countless ways for community members to get involved, including volunteering at churches, schools, and different social services. Everyone is encouraged to check out volunteer opportunities at www.volunteerkalamazoo.org.
To learn more about this initiative you can watch the full interview here: