December 2021 News

Weingart Foundation Announces $8.9 Million in New Racial Justice Grants and Impact Investments

The Weingart Foundation is proud to announce our second round of grants and program-related investments for F.Y. 2022. This funding reflects our unwavering commitment to addressing structural racism and socioeconomic injustice throughout Southern California.

We are honored to partner with these remarkable organizations. Our nonprofit partners represent a continuum of organizations, from health and human service providers to nonprofits elevating resident voice and building power in historically oppressed communities of color. Each of these organizations is doing tremendous work to address the unprecedented challenges and rampant injustices facing our communities.

To read more about our December 2021 grants and program-related investments, and to see the full list, click here.

November 2021 News

As we enter the season of giving thanks, we want to express our appreciation to all dedicated to advancing racial equity and social justice. The Weingart Foundation stands with you. In line with our commitment to inclusivity, we are highlighting two efforts confirming the power of listening.

It takes intentional effort to seek out diverse voices and more importantly, to act on what you hear. We recently sought the input of key nonprofit organizations building power and providing critical services, as well as expert sources on the importance of including people of color on nonprofit boards. We hope the following helps inform your work as it has ours.

Key Learnings from Listening to Frontline Organizations

Eric Medina and Sara Montrose

Eric Medina and Sara Montrose, Program Officers

Earlier this year our program officers reached out to community leaders throughout Southern California for a series of listening sessions. Listening to communities and responding to their needs is at the core of what we do.

Leaders shared how they are addressing the mental health crisis, educational inequities, homelessness and housing needs, food insecurity, and health care gaps—all laid bare by the pandemic. They also shared about their inspiring work to advance racial justice and systems change.

Click here to read this post from Weingart Foundation program officers Eric Medina and Sara Montrose about what we’re hearing and how funders can respond.

Board Diversity: Beyond the Numbers

Dr. Yolanda Gorman, African American Board Leadership Institute, Patrick Salazar, Latinos LEAD, and Vera de Vera, Weingart Foundation

Dr. Yolanda Gorman, African American Board Leadership Institute; Patrick Salazar, Latinos LEAD; and Vera de Vera, Weingart Foundation

Vera de Vera, who is a program director at the Weingart Foundation and leads our capacity building work, recently moderated a discussion on board diversity with Dr. Yolanda Gorman, board member and faculty of the African American Board Leadership Institute (AABLI), and Patrick Salazar, founder and executive director of Latinos for Leadership Excellence and Diversity (Latinos LEAD). In the recorded conversation, Dr. Gorman and Mr. Salazar share highlights of board diversity pilot projects their organizations implemented and lessons learned. The video offers guidance to nonprofit organizations in recruiting and supporting people of color on their boards of directors and creating a more inclusive culture within their organizations. You can find other resources on board diversity here.

Please click here to view the video and hear directly from these experts.

October 2021 News

Nonprofit Spotlight: The Pomona Economic Opportunity Center

The Pomona Economic Opportunity Center (P.E.O.C.) was founded on the mission to provide an opportunity for day laborers, household workers, and other low-wage, immigrant workers in Pomona and the Inland Empire find safe work at a fair wage, including expanding a person’s employability by teaching new trades and skills. Beyond helping secure employment, they show people how to advocate for themselves and shape policies that impact their lives and use these organizing skills to help improve the overall conditions for all immigrant workers.

Then hundreds of unaccompanied migrant children began arriving in Pomona.

Children ranging in ages from 7 to 14 years old who had overcome unfathomable hardships traveling alone, began arriving at Fairplex in early May of this year. The children who arrived unaccompanied at the U.S.-Mexico border were to be temporarily housed at Fairplex, which was designated a federal Emergency Intake Site (E.I.S.), as they waited to be reunited with family or placed with sponsors.

A powerful advocate for immigrants, the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center immediately mobilized.

To read the full story, click here.

September 2021 News

Weingart Foundation Announces $8 Million in New Racial Justice Grants and Impact Investments

The Weingart Foundation is proud to announce our first round of grants and impact investments for F.Y. 2022. These grants and program-related investments advance equity and racial justice by strengthening nonprofit infrastructure in frontline communities, growing people power and movements, and addressing critical needs in communities of color. Our funding also underscores the Foundation’s growing commitment to bolstering new and innovative work.

We are honored to partner with these remarkable organizations. These nonprofits are serving communities that have been hit hard by the pandemic, socioeconomic uncertainty, and deep racial disparities, and each is doing inspiring work during this time of unprecedented need. To read more about our September 2021 grants and program-related investments, and to see the full list, click here.

August 26, 2021 News

Ending Anti-Black Racism in LA: A New Report and Action Plan from the Committee for Greater L.A.

The Weingart Foundation is proud to be a member of the Committee for Greater L.A., a group of civic leaders that organized at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the recovery efforts prioritize LA County’s most marginalized communities.

The Committee’s Black Experience Action Team last week released its The Path to Justice Runs Through Equity: Ending Anti-Black Racism in Los Angeles report, a call to action for all with specific recommendations for addressing institutional racism.

Joanna Jackson, Vice President of Programs at the Weingart Foundation, serves on the Black Experience Action Team and has this to say about the report.

Message from Miguel A. Santana, President & C.E.O.: Reflections and Looking Ahead—The F.Y. 2022 Program Plan

July 29, 2021

I joined the Weingart Foundation as President and C.E.O. this past January with a strong appreciation for the role the Foundation plays in combating the historic and chronic barriers that have resulted in an inequitable Southern California. Since then, my appreciation for this work—and for the extraordinary leadership of our nonprofit partners—has deepened and grown.

Our work to build a more equitable Los Angeles is centered around three main strategies. 1) We support the nonprofit social justice sector in becoming stronger and more resilient; 2) we strengthen ecosystems, collaboratives, and collective action to increase impact; and 3) we work to advance systems change on broader issues like homelessness, immigration, and youth outcomes through cross-sector partnerships.

One of my first actions was to travel across our region to hear directly from communities—from South and Southeast L.A. to the the San Fernando Valley, the Antelope Valley, the Inland Empire, and Orange and Ventura counties. It’s important to us to cultivate authentic relationships with community leaders who are closest to the challenges and ultimately the experts in developing solutions. These leaders shared how they are responding to the pandemic, what opportunities lie ahead to advance racial justice, and the importance of supporting staff mental health and resilience. It was inspiring to hear how communities—with all they hold—are coming together in creative ways to address the inequities exposed by the pandemic, build grassroots power, strengthen cross-racial solidarity, and achieve big and bold systems change.

In order to make sure the recovery prioritizes those most affected by the pandemic, we joined with others to form the Committee for Greater L.A., a cross-sector group of civic leaders with the vision to advance systems change and dismantle the institutions and policies that have perpetuated institutional racism. Through the Committee, we put forth a plan to fix the fragmented and ineffectual way L.A. addresses homelessness. The Weingart Foundation also made significant commitments to collaboratives advancing racial justice and Black power, including the California Black Freedom Fund and the Black Equity Initiative of the Inland Empire. And we quickly funded grassroots organizations working around the clock to ensure a fair census, to get out the vote during an historic election, to respond to wildfires, and to provide food, healthcare, housing, and vaccines in impacted communities of color. Our work last year was bolstered by our Board’s decision to increase the Foundation’s grant payout by $16 million.

Looking ahead, the Foundation’s current grantmaking priorities and practices will remain in place through the 2021-2022 fiscal year. Our F.Y. 2022 Program Plan builds on our existing framework and focuses on addressing structural racism—including the continued focus on anti-Black racism—and socioeconomic injustice throughout our Southern California region. We’ll continue our proactive grantmaking and impact investing with Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities that are the most impacted by injustice and will invest heavily in their infrastructure and collective needs. This includes partnering with initiatives like Bold Vision 2028, as well as exploring ways to better support the sustainability, resilience, and mental and emotional health of the social justice sector, starting with an assessment of best practices and needs among immigrant rights organizations.

I am proud to share that the Foundation is also launching a critically important process of internal reflection and learning. When we first made our full commitment to equity in 2016, we also committed to ongoing organizational transformation and evolution. We realized then that work of racial justice requires us to go deep. For this reason, we will embark on a “truth and reconciliation” journey to look intentionally and comprehensively at how to further align ourselves with our racial equity mission from the inside out. The process will start with delving into the origins of the Foundation’s wealth in the context of Southern California’s broader history of real estate development, racial exclusion, and indigenous displacement. In addition to our origins, we’ll also look at the ways that our culture and practices continue to perpetuate the racism that permeates our society at large. Our goal is that our our racial justice mandate fully informs our organization, our relationship with the community, and our long-term funding priorities.

As we plan for the future, I believe it’s important to look back and reflect on the many lives lost over the past year—our beloved community leaders, nonprofit staff, colleagues, friends, and family members. Lives lost to COVID, and lives lost due to deeply entrenched structural racism, police brutality, and white supremacist hate. May we honor their memories by rising to meet this moment of racial reckoning and transformation.

Miguel A. Santana
President & C.E.O.

To read the F.Y. 2022 Program Plan, click here.