BCVision- Battle Creek, MI

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Project at a Glance

  • Issue Area Community vision and values, Economic development, Racial equity and healing, Workforce development/Adult education
  • Engagement Approaches Community conversations/dialogues, Door-to-door, Engaging traditionally marginalized groups, Racial healing, Surveys and data, Trust building, Visioning/ strategic planning, Youth Engagement
Project Description

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Residents and stakeholders wanted a road map to answer the question – “How can we improve the City of Battle Creek?”

Project Summary

BCVision launched in 2015 as a community-driven movement for change in Battle Creek. At the time, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Kellogg Co. met with local leaders, businesses, and neighbors to discuss how to spark transformation in Battle Creek and improve economic conditions. Since then, these stakeholders have collaborated to create a vision and an actionable, long-term economic development plan that includes neighborhoods and community members who, historically, have had less access to resources that lead to prosperity. 

BCVision Goals: 

  • Increase the number of local jobs
  • Provide a top-notch education for the city’s youth
  • Build a fun and friendly community where neighbors of all ages can thrive. 

Since the effort launched, the Steering Committee, Action Teams, BCVision supporters, and partnering organizations have worked to engage the broader community. The Steering Committee is comprised of members of the faith community, workforce and economic development, government, philanthropy, business, education, neighbors, and BCVision Action Team representatives. This group works to evaluate data, identify priorities, forge collaborations, and develop a structure for all neighbors to have an equitable opportunity to engage in the work; champion the effort broadly in the community; approve and review metrics; and hold Action Teams accountable for achieving goals and targets. 

They also sought outside industry experts to evaluate the information gathered and report out on where the community needs the most improvement. Those areas include racial equity, community engagement, and communication. The data helped shape the foundation for BCVision’s shared vision and action plan. 

Action Teams meet monthly, and work toward goals specific to the three BCVision pillars. They engage a diverse group of neighbors to ensure the action plans are owned by and rooted in the community, and advance racial and social equity: 

  • College and Career Readiness 
  • Culture of Vitality 
  • Kindergarten Readiness 
  • Large Business 
  • Small Business 
  • Workforce Development 

All work is measured using an equity lens to ensure efforts are centered on providing access to opportunities for all Battle Creek neighbors.  

Engagement Strategies

The Steering Committee hosted many community meetings, knocked on more than 30,000 doors, and spoke with thousands of Battle Creek neighbors to receive input from as many people as possible. Hundreds of individuals, representing every sector in the community, have contributed. 

BCVision strives to ensure marginalized neighbors have access to resources. That team has provided outreach at community events – more than 20 last year – and had a Community Engagement Team hold meetings in neighborhoods. 


Small Business Action Team has a mentorship program specifically to serve new women- and minority-owned businesses, giving them mentorship and support through their first year in business. This group will also launch a public data dashboard in 2018, create a resource guide mapping the small business/entrepreneurial ecosystem in the community, work to establish a fund and deploy $50,000 into the community to focus on minority-owned business, and already launched an internship program with the Chamber of Commerce and Battle Creek Public Schools. 

Workforce Development Action Team organized employment and pre-employment prep fairs, launched a task force to study public transportation needs, and partnered with various stakeholders to obtain job training funds from the State of Michigan. Another important impact was to host a career and life expo, attracting 530 people looking for jobs and hope, with 83 employers talking to a diverse group of people. 

Initiators: W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Kellogg Co. met with local leaders, business, and neighbors
Additional Resources:
BCVision Plan
Battle Creek, MI– 2018 AAC Finalist: Presentation
Local Contact:
BCVision Contact Page

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