News & Blog: Advocate Spotlights


Yilin Wendland-Liu, Ph.D., the Literacy Center's Adult Tutoring Program director, has been selected as a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Fellow! This prestigious program is dedicated to empowering local leaders to drive transformational social change in their communities.

The WKKF Community Leadership Network with the Center for Creative Leadership is an innovative, 18-month fellowship that unites 80 dynamic and diverse leaders from the foundation's priority places: Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, and New Orleans. Together, the fellows learn about themselves and each other; grow their leadership skills; and build a strong, connected network to advance equity at local, tribal, state, and national levels.

The program curriculum emphasizes racial equity and racial healing, community engagement, and collective leadership. For Yilin, equitable access to literacy advancement is a fundamental human need, given that academic achievement, employment opportunity, financial health, community involvement and belonging all rely heavily on literacy.

“I’m honored to be named a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network fellow," says Wendland-Liu. "I’m ready to deepen my knowledge and skills for navigating today’s challenges and fostering an equitable future for all through the power of literacy.”

Prior to joining the Literacy Center in August 2020, Yilin served as provost and principal of the Grand Rapids Chinese Language School. She currently serves as the board secretary of the West Michigan Asian American Association and participates in several advocacy and action groups in West Michigan, including the Grand Rapids Community Foundation Scholarship Selection Committee, Kent County Welcome Plan Committee’s Engaged Community Workgroup, and Kent County Essential Needs Task Force’s Digital Inclusion Committee.

This year’s class composition features a broad array of leaders, from educators, youth mentors, and health practitioners; to businesspeople and social entrepreneurs; to tribal leaders and elected officials. It includes an urban farmer, consumer protection lawyer, breastfeeding medicine specialist, music theory professor, rural technology consultant, and Indigenous rights activist, among others.

We'll be sharing updates from Yilin's experiences with the program, so be sure to follow along. Sign up for our enewsletter here, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn

For a complete list of this year's Community Leadership Network fellows, see the W.K. Kellogg Foundation website.

About W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Founded by breakfast cereal innovator and entrepreneur Will Keith Kellogg in 1930, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is dedicated to supporting thriving children, working families and equitable communities. Embedded within all the foundation does is a commitment to advancing racial equity and racial healing, developing leaders and engaging communities in solving their own problems. WKKF supports work throughout the United States and with sovereign tribes, and in Mexico and Haiti, concentrating up to two-thirds of grantmaking in priority places: Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, and New Orleans in the U.S., Chiapas and the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, and in Central and South Haiti. For more information, visit

About Center for Creative Leadership
The Center for Creative Leadership seeks to advance the understanding, practice, and development of leadership for the benefit of society across the globe. A top-ranking executive education firm worldwide, CCL brings more than 50 years of experience, research and best practice to connect the challenges leaders face with the essential skills they need to be successful. Since 1970, CCL has helped transform more than one million leaders and thousands of organizations in 160 countries. CCL manages the WKKF Community Leadership Network as a grantee of the Kellogg Foundation. For more information, visit

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