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.
ABOUT THE WEINGART FOUNDATION
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.