American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California

December 2022 Grant and Impact Investing Highlights

The Weingart Foundation awarded 29 grants and one program related investment, totaling over $7.5 million to organizations providing critical services, strengthening civic power, and dismantling systemic inequities across Southern California.

This second cycle of grantmaking and impact investing in Fiscal Year 2023 includes a range of investments utilizing multiple Foundation tools and partnership strategies advancing our three drivers of racial justice that we’ve prioritized:

  • Strong and healthy individuals and communities;
  • Civic, cultural, economic, and political power of those most harmed by inequities; and
  • Equitable and just systems.

Youth Mentoring Action Network (YMAN)
Source: YMAN’s website

Partner organizations and coalitions in this cycle of funding operate within at least one of the three domains of our strategic framework, with nearly all contributing to all three.

Unrestricted Operation Support (U.O.S.) grants represent approximately 40% of dollars recommended for funding this round. Grantmaking was intentionally slowed down this this cycle to allow for deeper engagement in our truth and reconciliation efforts, including relationship building with community partners and further operationalizing racial justice in our grantmaking practices.

Centro Cultural de Mexico
Source: Cento Cultural de Mexico’s Facebook

Four (31%) of the organizations on the U.O.S. docket are first-time partners with an average budget of $1.3M representing both emerging and established power building groups working within Black, Indigenous, and immigrant communities. Two of these partners are in Orange County, El Centro Cultural de México en el Condado de Orange, a community-based social justice hub that has trained generations of grassroots organizers working across intersectional issues in Santa Ana; and Harbor Institute for Immigrant Justice, an organization that increases the capacity of power building nonprofits and movements in the county. New partners also include statewide groups working on movement building, Empower Initiative and Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples, each with a fellow from our John W. Mack Movement Building Program.

Urban Planning Institute
Source: Urban Planning Institute’s website

The Foundation’s investments in the community have resulted it catalytic impact for nonprofit partners such as Gente Organizada in Pomona and Youth Mentoring Action Network (YMAN) in the Inland Empire. Both organizations had budgets of less than $200,000 when they first became partners of the Weingart Foundation in 2017 and 2020 respectively and each organization is part of youth leadership initiatives supported by the Foundation. Each have recently purchased property within their respective communities that they intend to use as community spaces for their youth organizing and other power building activities. Ownership of these spaces is an important anti-displacement strategy that will solidify their physical presence as anchor institutions given their critical role in multiple justice coalitions.

In addition to unrestrictive grants to nonprofits, the Weingart Foundation also invests in systems change solutions across the Foundation’s priority areas of: immigrant and refugee rights, housing justice, and strengthening nonprofit effectiveness, as well as toward broader power building efforts. One example is the Foundation’s $3M commitment to years 3-5 of 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.

This round of funding includes support for HUB Cities, an organization that provides workforce development services to the South East Los Angeles (SELA) area, through both a grant and a program related investment (P.R.I.) that will provide bridge funding to enable HUB Cities to move into a new location. HUB Cities is one of the few workforce development organizations for displaced workers and disadvantaged residents in SELA, including people who are undocumented or who have prior justice system involvement. This investment and partnership is an example of Weingart’s continued commitment to support the SELA region, a community that has historically experienced disinvestment and economic disparities.

For a complete list of our December 2022 grants and program-related investments, click here.