As we look back at this year, we reflect on a year of growth and continued commitment to building power and movements for equity and justice throughout Southern California. We are proud to work alongside our nonprofit, philanthropic, and community partners to advance a bold and inclusive agenda for racial justice in our region.
We also recognize that this year has brought tremendous pain, trauma, and violence, both regionally and across the globe. We are proud to stand with our nonprofit partners who welcome people experiencing trauma with open arms and offer support. We stand with all those struggling for freedom, wherever they may be. We stand with all those demanding an end to violence and war. We stand with all those who are calling for peace.
We have significant work before us and much to look forward to in the year ahead. Undergirded by key values of courage, partnership, and trust, we enter the new year with optimism and hope as we build on the progress of 2023.
As we look ahead, we want to take this opportunity to celebrate our nonprofit and impact investment partners. In fiscal year 2023, the Foundation’s grants and impact investments totaled more than $88M – over $38M in grants and $50M in impact investments. Of our 174 grantees, 22% are first time partners. The size of our grants averaged $200K, often a catalytic investment for many emerging community partners.
In this report, we’ve highlighted just a few examples of organizations and funds that are leading critical work that advances equity, inclusion, and justice, especially in communities most impacted by racism. You’ll read about Swap Meet Justice, a coalition of immigrant rights organizations that is bringing an array of services to migrants in Ventura County; Cancel the Contract, a multi-racial coalition aimed at ousting Sheriff deputies from school campus and calling for increased investment in youth programs in the Antelope Valley; and Starting Over, an organization led by formerly incarcerated people addressing the multifaceted needs of people experiencing homelessness in the Inland Empire.
Using our own voices as racial justice leaders, we proudly endorsed the groundbreaking research and report by the California Task Force to Study Reparation Proposals that details the compounding and ongoing harms experienced by Black Californians. As a Foundation committed to addressing structural racism and the legacy of anti-Blackness, long-term investment in Black leadership and organizing in Black communities is a core part of our grantmaking including through collaborations like our $5 million commitment to the California Black Freedom Fund.
We want to thank our partners for their bold and courageous work. We look forward to continuing to build on our progress together in partnership with community leaders, movement builders, and collaboratives to realize a shared vision of a just and equitable Southern California for all.
Together for justice,
Interim President and CEO
In Case You Missed It
Earlier this year, we launched our third cohort of the John W. Mack Movement Building Fellows Program. Named after the late civil rights leader and former Weingart Foundation Board Member, the program aims to strengthen and develop current and emerging movement leaders to lead social and racial justice work that results in a more just and equitable Southern California region. You can meet the 2023 Fellows here. We also created a short video about the John W. Mack Movement Building Fellows program featuring some of our fellows and Elisa Sloan Perry, the program’s lead designer and facilitator:
Supporting communities most impacted by systemic racism is a crucial part of our commitment to equity. This Los Angeles Times article by Corie Brown captures how philanthropy is evolving to address systemic inequities: Wealthy L.A. philanthropists loosen grip on donations, shifting money toward social justice.
As part of our series introducing our board members, we recently shared this inspirational video of Dr. Bob Ross where he shares his career journey and why he volunteers with the Weingart Foundation: