Updates from The Weingart Foundation May 2023

2023 Weingart Planning Conference

Weingart Board Members and Staff

Our board and staff recently came together for our 2023 Weingart Planning Conference, an annual gathering where we build on the momentum and learning of our past work together to reaffirm our shared commitment to advancing racial justice. The Planning Conference took place at The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture where we were inspired by its mission to promote the Chicano/Latino experience from the perspective of the community through art.

We also had the opportunity to connect with our Inland Empire partners and learn more about how they are building power and advancing on intersectional issues impacting BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities of color including health access, immigrant rights, BIPOC-leadership building, civic engagement, and inclusive economic development. In this bulletin, we are shining a light on TruEvolution and the Palm Springs Section 14 survivors, two organizations that were part of our planning conference.

TruEvolution staff showed us the plan for a future housing development, Project Legacy

TruEvolution staff showed us the plan for a future housing development, Project Legacy

During our Conference, we toured TrueEvolution an organization that provides HIV care and prevention services, emergency housing, and mental health services advancing health equity and racial justice for LGBTQ+ people in the Inland Empire. We were inspired by Gabriel Maldonado, founder and CEO of TruEvolution, whose lived experienced motivates him to advancing the quality of life and human dignity of people of color in the LGBTQ+ experience.

Palms Springs Section 14 Panel

Palm Springs Section 14 Panel with Weingart Board and Staff

As part of our Conference, we heard from the Palm Springs Section 14 Survivors Advisory Group. Section 14 in Palm Springs was a one-square-mile, predominantly African American, working-class community that thrived in the 1900s at a time in California where racially restrictive covenants forced people of color out of certain communities. In the early 1960s, the City of Palm Springs enacted a plan to demolish Section 14 to build more lucrative commercial enterprises. Without proper notice or compensation, the city burned and bulldozed homes, violently displacing residents in what the California Attorney General’s office described in 1965 as a “City-engineered holocaust.”

The Palm Springs Section 14 Survivors Advisory Group was established in 2021 to advocate for the survivors of the city-led destruction with the goal of having the City of Palms Springs repair some of the harm caused to them and their descendants. The Los Angeles Times recently featured the efforts of the Palm Springs Section 14 Survivors.

Learn more about their efforts here: https://vimeo.com/755339911

The Weingart Foundation Honors the Legacy of Pioneering Leader Gloria Molina

We join all Angelenos in mourning the loss of a tremendous pioneering leader, Supervisor Gloria Molina. As the first Latina in the California State Assembly, the Los Angeles City Council, and the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, she not only opened doors for others to follow, she transformed lives. Many within our Weingart community have had the privilege of working alongside Supervisor Molina over her decades of service on behalf of vulnerable communities. Read our statement about Supervisor Gloria Molina.

Impact Investing Highlights

Dr. Gina Merritt, Owner & Principal of Northern Real Estate Urban Ventures, a developer that is a part of LIIF’s Black Developer Initiative

In addition to grants, impact investing is a powerful tool we increasingly utilize to support communities. Our goal is to use all of our assets to advance our racial justice mission and we are making meaningful progress in this regard.

The Foundation pledged $5 million, as part of a consortium of funders, to the Community Investment Guarantee Pool (CIGP). CIGP recently provided a $2 million loan guarantee for affordable housing to Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), a Community Development Financial Institution that invests in communities of opportunity, equity, and well-being. Specifically, Weingart’s commitment will support LIIF’S Black Developer Capital Initiative (BDCI) which provides pre-development lines of credit to emerging, Black housing developers who face challenges in accessing flexible, early-stage capital.

We are also actively pursuing opportunities towards our goal of achieving 100% mission-alignment in our investments. We recently committed $10 million dollars to Kah Capital Mortgage Credit Fund II, a fund managed by Kah Capital Management, a leading investment management firm focused on mortgage credit and led by people of color. The investment will support distressed borrowers utilizing Kah Capital Management’s technology driven servicing oversight strategy to restructure their mortgage loans and prevent foreclosures, prioritizing home retention. Many of the borrowers assisted through Kah Capital Management’s strategy are people of color living in low-income communities. This investment advances the Foundation’s housing justice work.

Read About Our Latest Round of Funding

We recently awarded over $7.6 million to 43 nonprofit organizations advancing racial justice across Southern California. More than half of the grants provide unrestricted operating support to organizations that serve historically marginalized communities. The Foundation is operationalizing its racial justice mission with BIPOC leaders at the helm of 84% of the nonprofit partner organizations receiving unrestricted grants. Learn more about our latest round of funding here.

Update from The Weingart Foundation February 2023

Honor Black Lives Through Action

As we celebrate Black History Month, we’re proud to stand with our community partners by investing in Black leadership, voices, and efforts that address anti-Black racism. This includes Black-led and serving partners funded in our latest round of funding: the African American Board Leadership Institute, the Black Migrant Power Fund, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Youth Mentoring Action Network, and the Empower Initiative.

We’ve invested a total of $5M in the California Black Freedom Fund, a five-year initiative to ensure that Black power-building and movement-based organizations have the sustained investments and resources they need to eradicate systemic and institutional racism.

In response to the murder of Tyre Nicols and others that have lost their lives at the hands of the police, we joined the philanthropic community in calling for justice. Read the letter in response to police violence. We are committed to organizing philanthropy on behalf of Black communities – now and for the long haul.

L.A. Governance Reform Project

We’re proud to join our colleagues in philanthropy to support the L.A. Governance Reform Project, an effort to review the City of Los Angeles’ governance structure and recommend reforms focused on transparency, accountability, and community representation. Led by a team of diverse, L.A.-based academics, the goal is to influence decision-making by LA City elected officials on a new system that removes politics out of the redistricting process. Learn more here.

The John W. Mack Movement Building Fellows Program

Named after the late civil rights leader and former Weingart Foundation Board Member, the John W. Mack Movement Building Fellows program aims to strengthen and develop current and emerging leaders to lead social and racial justice work that results in a more just and equitable Southern California region. Learn about eligibility and how to apply here. The deadline to apply is March 10, 2023.

Join Our Team

Our team is growing. Read about our current job openings here.

Understanding the California State Budget Process – March 2

Partners of the Weingart Foundation are invited to participate in our upcoming learning opportunity. Members of the California Budget & Policy Center team will provide information about the state budget and why advocates, organizers, and funders should engage in budget policy and advocacy. Register today: http://bit.ly/3DS2xG6.

Call for Sessions for the 2023 Los Angeles Immigration Summit – Due March 6

Our partners, The California Community Foundation (CCF) & USC Equity Research Institute (USC ERI), invite you to submit a session proposal for the 2023 Immigration Summit: Our Future is Now! Investing in an Inclusive Los Angeles Region, which will be held in-person on June 27 – 28, 2023 in Los Angeles. Please submit your session proposals by Monday, March 6, 2023 5:00 p.m. PST.

Update from The Weingart Foundation December 2022

New Leadership Brings New Opportunities

Through our support of the Committee for Greater L.A. and their research on homelessness, we know that bringing bold solutions that address the issue is a top priority for Angelenos and they are willing to be a part of the solution. These are the findings of a survey of November 8th voters conducted by The Committee and the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University.

Read this Los Angeles Times story about the findings here.

10 Ideas for Fixing Los Angeles

Our President and C.E.O. Miguel Santana was asked to contribute to this Op-Ed in the L.A. Times with 10 ideas to fix L.A. Read his piece here:

“Angelenos have made it clear that ending homelessness is their top priority, and over the years they have invested an unprecedented amount of money in an effort to house their unhoused neighbors. But the region suffers from fragmented systems, misaligned plans and diverging ideologies.

Now, with new leadership coming to City Hall and the county Board of Supervisors, we have an opportunity to hit the reset button. No one mayor or county supervisor can solve the issue alone.

What we need is a functioning, outcome-driven response system at the scale of the problem, not diffused leadership and finger-pointing. Any credible solution to homelessness needs to have clear data, specific goals and greater transparency. Most of all, moving forward requires clarity of roles and thoughtful coordination between the city and county governments and the region’s many on-the-ground service providers.

The good thing is that while reducing homelessness is a considerable undertaking, it is not an insurmountable problem. Other communities, like Houston in partnership with Harris County, have figured this out, and so can we. The goal should be to create one unified, countywide governing structure that will be accountable to all and which will benefit from the voices of those who have experienced homelessness.”

— Miguel A. Santana

New Report Finds Significant High Levels of Burnout, Mental Health and Financial Challenges Amongst Staff in Immigrant Rights Movement

The California Community Foundation and Weingart Foundation launched a new report, “From Burnout to Wellbeing: Building a Sustainable Immigration Movement,” which examines the current state of nonprofits and staff within Southern California’s immigrant rights movement.

Read the report here.

Read Our F.Y. 2022 Annual Report

We’re delighted to share with you our F.Y. 2022 annual report highlighting our partnership with frontline community leaders, funder colleagues, and cross-sector collaboratives in addressing structural racism throughout Southern California.

This fiscal year, we were able to be back out in person and in community, connecting with, and being guided by our partners as we engaged in proactive grantmaking and impact investing in communities most impacted by systemic racism.

Some highlights from our team in the field.

Looking ahead, we remain committed to learning from, partnering with, and growing people power and movements, to strengthening the infrastructure of the racial justice sector, and advancing racial equity.

Click here to read our F.Y. 2022 Annual Report.

An Open Letter Regarding Los Angeles City Council Members Nury Martinez, Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo from Latino Civic Leaders

We write today in our personal capacity as Latino civic leaders and Angelenos who believe in a just, equitable and inclusive Los Angeles for all. The hateful, racist, and divisive comments heard in the recording released this weekend have no place in public or behind closed doors.

We expect better of our Latino elected officials, and Los Angeles deserves better. We are deeply saddened. These public officials have breached the trust and confidence of our entire city. We condemn their anti-Black, homophobic, and prejudiced sentiments against Indigenous people and other marginalized communities in our city.

Angelenos deserve elected officials who respect them and reflect their values. We must hold these individuals accountable for their hateful remarks and participation. We call for the resignations of Los Angeles City Council Members Nury Martinez, Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo.

These elected officials have failed us and our community as leaders. They have deepened the pain that our communities have experienced especially during a time when our nation has been struggling with hate speech and political division. It is imperative that these city council members resign and accept accountability.

In Solidarity,

Fernando J. Guerra, Ph.D.
Antonia Hernández
Monica Lozano
Fabian Núñez
Manuel Pastor
Angelica Salas
Miguel Santana
Gary Segura
Arturo Vargas

The Weingart Foundation Awards Over $13.5M to Nonprofits Advancing Racial Justice

The funds support strong and healthy communities, invest in BIPOC leadership, and promote collective healing in communities most impacted by systemic racism.

October 4, 2022 (Los Angeles, CA) — The Weingart Foundation, a private grantmaking foundation, awarded 54 grants totaling over $13.5 million to organizations providing critical services to communities most impacted by systemic racism, advancing racial equity, and building power in historically disinvested neighborhoods. The majority of funds, $8.2M, provide unrestricted support, giving nonprofit partners the flexibility to spend resources where needed. Reflecting the Foundation’s commitment to racial justice, 87% of organizations receiving unrestricted financial support are led by people who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC). This round of funding is the first round for the Foundation’s fiscal year.

“Stepping into a new year, we are building on our ongoing dedication to advancing racial justice in partnership with organizations that demonstrate time and time again that a just future is possible,” said Miguel A. Santana, President and C.E.O., the Weingart Foundation. “From providing lifesaving resources, to building political power, our nonprofit partners are opening opportunities and strengthening communities across Southern California, and we are honored to stand with them.”

As part of its commitment to sustain social movements, the Weingart Foundation invests in leadership development in BIPOC communities by supporting youth leadership and by strengthening nonprofit leaders. Four partners are currently hosting fellows from Weingart’s John W. Mack Movement Building Fellows Program, which focuses on developing current and emerging leaders of nonprofit organizations and movement networks. Weingart is also investing $740,000 total to Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project, Future Leaders of America, and One Step a la Vez, three groups that organize youth to empowering the indigenous, migrant, and farm working communities of Ventura County.

Investments in powerful racial justice coalitions are also a priority for the Foundation. This includes $600K in grants to the Black Equity Initiative Inland Empire, a coalition of nonprofits in the Inland Empire focused on advancing racial equity, co-led by Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement and BLUE Education Foundation.

“With support from the Weingart Foundation, we can further our mission of building healthy, productive communities in the Inland Empire,” said Dina Walker, President & C.E.O., BLU Educational Foundation. “We also look forward to continuing to build Black leaders, increase educational access, and advance equity along with our partners through the Black Equity Initiative and appreciate the Foundation’s partnership.”

The Foundation also provided seed funding to the Cultivating Inland Empire Latino Opportunity (CIELO) Fund, which aims to uplift and invest in Latino-led and serving nonprofits, research and highlight issues impacting the Latino community in the Inland Empire, and work to address disparities in the region.

Weingart Foundation program officers work proactively to identify region-specific needs in the Foundations five-county region of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino, and Ventura counties. Giving is guided by the Foundation’s strategic framework, which includes a commitment to 1) Strong and healthy individuals and communities; 2) Civic, cultural, economic, and political power of those most harmed by inequities; and 3) Equitable and just systems.

Housing and homelessness is one of the Foundation’s areas of special interest. The Foundation directed $9.25K in grants to community organizing groups working on campaigns related to tenants’ rights, housing development, and organizing people experiencing homelessness. This includes Aliance for Californians for Community Empowerment Institute, Long Beach Residents Empowered, Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement in the Inland Empire, Orange County Congregation Community Organization, and Los Angeles Community Action Network for their work on Skid Row.

South L.A. and South East Los Angeles (SELA) are geographic areas of special interest for the Foundation as these represent regions that have been systemically under resourced. Close to 20% of the Foundation’s awardees are first-time partners, the majority representing organizations based in South L.A. These partners include Vermont Slauson Local Development Corporation, a Community Development Financial Institution (C.D.F.I.) offering technical assistance to South L.A. entrepreneurs; Positive Results Center which provides culturally responsive, trauma-informed care to communities impacted by violence; and Whole Systems Learning, that helps system-impacted youth with an array of healing supports.

To advance more equitable and just systems, Weingart is investing $1.5M to the California Truth and Healing Fund, a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership with the state, aimed at power building efforts within Native American communities across California. Decolonizing Wealth Project, an Indigenous-led racial justice organization disrupting the existing systems of moving and controlling capital, serves as the lead partner for this pooled fund initiative that is centered on racial and economic justice, racial healing, and narrative change.

“We are proud to partner with such passionate nonprofit organizations working tirelessly to end systemic racism and to forge a new path forward,” said Aileen Adams, Board Chair of the Weingart Foundation. “We are consistently inspired by the organizations on the ground meeting essential needs in impacted communities and by how they empower these communities as they build a more equitable future for us all.”

For a full list of grants, please visit the Weingart Foundation website.

The Weingart Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation that partners with communities across Southern California to advance racial, social, and economic justice for all. Our vision is a dynamic and effective social change sector that is creating equitable systems and structures needed to achieve justice. Founded in 1951, the Foundation has to date granted over $1 billion to organizations, strengthening their efforts in human services, health, education, and community power building. In addition, the Foundation builds networks and collaboratives with philanthropic, public sector, and community leaders to advance equity and justice together.