About Us

Our Mission

The Michigan Transformation Collective catalyzes racial healing and narrative change to transform the community from a system of harmful human hierarchies into one of hope, courage, and love.

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Our Vision

We envision generative communities that practice liberation, embrace truth, love, and healing, and where historically under-resourced people can claim and stand in collective power to activate generational wealth, health, and knowledge.

Our Values

The Michigan Transformation Collective values transformative relationships, radical imagination, community care, courageous living and practice.

Dissecting the MTC Apple Blossom

Graphic of a pink flower with six petals, each labeled with words like "love," "hope," "convene," linked by looping blue lines around a central yellow circle.

The Petals: What We Do

We Convene

We believe that meaningful change begins with unity. By convening diverse stakeholders, we create spaces where collaboration flourishes, resources are mobilized, and leadership is cultivated. Through inclusive processes, we empower communities to take ownership of their challenges and collectively drive sustainable initiatives.

We Curate Racial Healing Spaces

We recognize the importance of addressing racial divisions as a fundamental step towards achieving equity and justice. By curating spaces for truthful dialogue, understanding, and reconciliation, we foster healing and inspire collective action. Our aim is to create environments where individuals can confront uncomfortable truths, build empathy, and work together towards dismantling systemic racism.

We Advocate

We believe inclusive, equitable policies are essential for fostering thriving, just societies. We actively engage with policymakers, stakeholders, and affected communities to develop and advance solutions that address the root causes of racial disparities. Together, we strive to create a future where all individuals have equal opportunities to thrive, regardless of their race or ethnicity.

We Activate

We understand that true change requires active participation from all members of the community. Through our activation efforts, we empower individuals to advocate for issues addressing the root causes of racial disparities and engage in civic processes.

We Cultivate

Through our efforts, we cultivate unity, healing, advocacy, and activation toward racial equity. By convening diverse stakeholders, we foster collaboration and leadership development, empowering communities to address their challenges collectively. We curate spaces for racial healing, facilitating truthful dialogue and reconciliation to inspire action against systemic racism. Advocating for inclusive policies, we engage policymakers and stakeholders to dismantle racial disparities and foster just societies. Through activation, we empower individuals to advocate for change and engage in civic processes, driving meaningful progress toward racial justice.

The Anthers: Our Aspirations

Much like how anthers in flowers produce pollen for growth, the same can be said for the anthers in our logo. The orange dots represent what we aspire to transform our communities into – hope, courage, and love.

Healing through Policy

                                                  Adapted from the National Collaborative for Health Equity’s Healing Through Policy initiative. 

The formation and history of all public institutions embedded with racial stereotypes and shame in accessing public services ensure the policies of our grandfathers continue to cause wounds today.

Systemic change will not erase the harm caused to prior generations. We approach each change with radical imagination, with the intention that future generations will not experience the same harm from public systems as their ancestors. With each new generation, society will heal through truth-telling that leads to the transformation necessary to correct past wrongs.

The system transformation work of the Michigan Transformation Collective is to identify opportunities to create the conditions necessary to ensure all families in Kalamazoo County can thrive through sustainable policy change. 

We convene community conversations infused with racial healing practices and approaches to catalyze and mobilize opportunities to engage in transformative action.  We ensure the voices of those situated farthest from economic security and healthy, strong communities are prioritized as critical to the civic health of our community.

Our Theory of Change

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Inputs

Diverse stakeholders 

Expertise in facilitation and community engagement

Resources for convening and curating spaces

Access to policymakers and decision-makers

Community-driven public policy agenda

Philanthropic support

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Processes

Convening

Curation of Racial Healing Spaces

Community Activation

Public policy Advocacy

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Outputs

Increased collaboration and mobilization of resources within the community

Greater awareness and understanding of racial divisions and injustices.

Enhanced community engagement and participation in advocacy efforts

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Outcomes

Strengthened relationships and networks among diverse stakeholders.

Increased capacity for community-driven initiatives and leadership

Heightened sense of empathy and solidarity across the community

Policymakers introduce and pass legislation supporting community-driven initiatives.

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Impact

Sustainable, community-led initiatives addressing local challenges.

Reduction in racial disparities and injustices

Inclusive decision-making processes that reflect the diverse needs and perspectives of the community

Our History

Logo of truth, racial healing & transformation kalamazoo, featuring two stylized human figures forming a heart, with text around the top curve.
TRHT Kalamazoo is formed
WKKF Awarded funds to support 14 communities across the United States to host the Trust, Racial Healing & Transformation Initiative. Kalamazoo is one of the original 14 sites.
$1 Million Endowment for The Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Initiative is created.
Funds support efforts to address racial inequity, discrimination, racial bias and institutional and systemic racism while also supporting racial healing work in Kalamazoo County
A diverse group of twenty racial healing practitioners posing for a photo outside a stone building, smiling on a sunny day.
TRHT Kalamazoo hosted the first Racial Healing New Practitioner workshop
We join the CFLeads Gun Violence Prevention Network
This Network is designed to catalyze and expand local gun violence prevention by learning about and adapting best practices from across the country. Participating community foundations also work together to apply a racial equity lens to their gun violence prevention initiatives.
Cover of "impact report 2017-2020" by truth, racial healing & transformation kalamazoo, featuring images of diverse groups, a speaker on stage, and a dancer performing.
We publish the TRHT 3-Year Impact
Logo of the michigan transformation collective featuring a stylized pink flower above the organization's name written in dark blue.
We become Michigan Transformation Collective
TRHT Kalamazoo becomes a project of the Tides Center and evolves into the the Michigan Transformation Network.
We publish Blueprint for Peace Kalamazoo
The Kalamazoo Blueprint for Peace is a long-term and community-led strategy to address community violence through a public health lens. The work captured in this report is the result of convening, research, interviews, site visits, and many community conversations that took place across Kalamazoo County and the Midwest from 2021-2023.
2017
September 2019
January 2020
September 2021
October 2021
December 2023
December 2023

Our Team

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Dr. Kenlana Ferguson

Executive
Director
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Beth Berglin

Director of
Policy & Strategy
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Brooke Lindley

Administrative and Communications Manager
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Jen Heymoss

Kalamazoo Blueprint for Peace Chief Facilitator

Advisory Council

Amy Mervak

Kathy Purnell

Gabriel Giron

Erycka Hunter

Heather Frayer

Natalia Carvalho-Pinto

Take Action

Join the Collective

Help make a tangible difference in the lives of Kalamazoo residents through collective action, advocacy, and collaboration by joining our dynamic and action-oriented community.

Practitioner Login

Racial Healing Circle Interest

Racial Healing Circle Request Form

Practitioner Interest Form

Racial Healing Practitioner Interest

What is Transformation?

Racial healing is at the heart of racial equity. Racial healing is about:

  • the people work that leads to the transformation of systems;
  • the telling of hard truths about past wrongs and present consequences;
  • repairing the harm of racism;
  • replacing the deeply held system that fuels racism with one that sees the inherent value of all people;
  • authentic relationship-building across real and perceived differences.

 

Without racial healing and building trust, changes in policies or practices are short-lived. Through healing and relationship-building, we can collectively develop new values that affect our everyday decisions in areas of policy making, hiring, education and housing – to name just a few.

What is Civic Health?

Racial healing is at the heart of racial equity. Racial healing is about:

  • the people work that leads to the transformation of systems;
  • the telling of hard truths about past wrongs and present consequences;
  • repairing the harm of racism;
  • replacing the deeply held system that fuels racism with one that sees the inherent value of all people;
  • authentic relationship-building across real and perceived differences.

 

Without racial healing and building trust, changes in policies or practices are short-lived. Through healing and relationship-building, we can collectively develop new values that affect our everyday decisions in areas of policy making, hiring, education and housing – to name just a few.

What is Racial Healing?

Racial healing refers to the process of addressing and repairing the harm caused by racial injustice, discrimination, and systemic oppression.

It involves acknowledging historical and present-day injustices, fostering understanding and empathy across racial divides, and promoting reconciliation, healing, and solidarity among individuals and communities.

Racial healing recognizes the deep-seated trauma and intergenerational impact of racism on individuals, families, and society as a whole, and seeks to create spaces for healing, dialogue, and transformative change.

It encompasses personal, interpersonal, and systemic dimensions, and involves both individual reflection and collective action to address the root causes of racial inequity and promote equity, justice, and belonging for all.

Racial healing is a proactive and ongoing process that requires commitment, compassion, and collaboration from individuals, communities, institutions, and society at large.