Ciciley “CC” Moore has spent much of her personal life and professional career in the nonprofit industry, working to advance racial justice and prioritize opportunities to amplify and build power in Black, indigenous and people of color communities. Currently serving as the program officer in the office of the president at W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Moore has helped lead the development and launch of the foundation’s $90 million global challenge, Racial Equity 2030, to build and scale ideas for transformative change in social, economic and political systems — the first initiative of its kind in the foundation’s 90-year history.
“It’s my responsibility at the Kellogg Foundation to build, lead and nurture a portfolio of national and international partnerships and initiatives focused on racial equity,” Moore said. “What we really focus on is shifting the balance of power and resources to families and communities that have been historically excluded. I also represent our CEO in effectively sharing the foundation’s knowledge and investment priorities of racial equity and healing, early childhood education and employment and health equity to internal and external stakeholders.”
Moore believes part of the reason she earned her current position as program officer are her education opportunities and her Executive MBA at Broad.
“Getting my EMBA helped me get the position that I have now,” Moore said. “I started out at the Kellogg Foundation based in Grand Rapids, focused on the west side of Michigan doing great relationship work, and I had the opportunity to move into the office of the president. However, one of those optional but much-needed skills was somebody who had a higher degree. I was able to leverage what I was learning in class at the time and bring that into the interview process, which ultimately landed me the current position that I’m in now.”
More than just getting the degree, Moore believes the program gave her foundational skills that help her to identify and work through complex business and society problems.
“I think more than just having the degree, they were looking for someone who had critical analysis, which comes with this kind of learning opportunity,” Moore said. “The EMBA at Broad gave me the foundational skills to be able to address complex problems that go beyond just the balance sheet, because in my work, it’s not about profit. It’s about relationships. And I think more and more, we’re seeing businesses of all kinds grappling with racial equity, climate change and immigration because they impact policy, communities and society. And that is both in the boardroom and in the classroom. So, this sort of education helps to really define the kind of leader that you want to be and address more complex bounds.”
That also means taking a deeper dive into her company’s internal policies and workforce. Moore, who identifies as a Black Latina woman, recognized the priority her company places on diversity and acknowledged her role in impacting intentional change.
“The Kellogg Foundation prioritizes creating diverse teams within the workforce,” Moore said. “We focus on racial equity, and so you’ll see that we have a lot of people that are leading from lived experience. I work directly with our CEO, who is a Black woman, and my nearest leader is an Afro-Latina woman. We have men and women as part of my direct division, and we come from all ethnic backgrounds because that’s a priority for our organization and so that gets reflected in who they hire.”
Before joining the Kellogg Foundation, Moore held a position that focused on creating workplace and community cultures of belonging for historically excluded communities. She explained the importance of this work and that it’s not enough to simply “check the box” of diversity and inclusion by hiring people of color. If an employee doesn’t feel supported by their workplace culture, they won’t stay long in the organization.
“Diversity is not something that you just say — it’s something that you do,” Moore said. “You have to really think about what policies and practices within your organization are barriers, and that includes things like language when we’re advertising for positions and creating a culture within your organization that is supportive of the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ workforce.”
Moore also believes there are other societal, systemic changes that can create change outside of the workforce, such as access to educational opportunities.
“Of all the things that have helped me be successful, obtaining my education was really a systemic factor that many women don’t have access to and need,” Moore said. “I think that it’s really important for women to be in these programs and to be leaders. Whether it’s getting their Executive MBA or becoming leaders in other ways, I think we have the ability to influence systemic issues.”
Moore went on to cite the pay gap for women and particularly women of color.
“It still exists, and it’s systemic issues like the lack of parental leave, costs of quality child care and the absence of flexible working conditions that we have the ability to change. When women are influencing and creating policies and practices that are for us, we have the opportunity to create change and address these issues. And so, gaining these fundamental skills in our education are important, and we need support to do it.”
Even outside her career at the Kellogg Foundation, Moore is deeply committed to advancing racial justice and prioritizing opportunities to amplify and build power in BIPOC communities.
“One of the things that brings me joy, and one of the things that I was really intentional about, is building and creating space for BIPOC communities,” Moore explained. “I’m proud to be the co-founder of Black Women Connect GR and a board member for the Latina Network of West Michigan. We allow opportunities for women to build relationships within our communities, find professional development, advocate for and take action for racial justice and connect and reclaim our heritage. Being part of these groups has been transformational for me. It gives me a space to connect to my culture but also gives me a space for my children to stay connected to our Black and Latinx roots. These networks give me the kind of courage I need to lead in my everyday life and work.”
Moore’s dedication and leadership, within her career and beyond, is a testament to cultivating meaningful change by way of intentionality, patience and hard work.