American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California

September 2022 Grant and Impact Investing Highlights

The Weingart Foundation announces our first round of grants and program-related investments for F.Y. 2023. We provided 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 funds support strong and healthy communities, invest in BIPOC leadership, and promote collective healing in communities most impacted by systemic racism.

BLU Education Foundation


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.

The majority of funds, $8.2M, provide unrestricted support, giving nonprofit partners the flexibility to spend resources where needed. Reflecting our commitment to racial justice, 87% of organizations receiving unrestricted financial support are led by people who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC).

Strong and Healthy Individuals and Communities

Our ecosystem framework for racial justice calls for strong and healthy individuals and communities. This requires investments to: increase access to essential services; develop leadership among Black, Indigenous and other people of color; support collective healing, care and safety; and ensure equitable distribution of capital.

Our work in housing and homelessness is an example of our commitment to strong and healthy communities. We provided grants to community organizing groups working on campaigns related to tenants’ rights, housing development, and organizing people experiencing homelessness. This includes Alliance 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.

Long Beach Residents Empowered

Close to 20% of the Foundation’s grants in this round are to first-time partners, the majority representing organizations based in South L.A., one of our geographic areas of interest. First-time partners in South L.A. 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.

Civic, Cultural, Economic, and Political Power

As part of our commitment to sustain social movements, we support BIPOC youth leadership and invest in nonprofit leaders. Four partners are currently hosting fellows from our John W. Mack Movement Building Fellows Program, which focuses on developing current and emerging leaders of nonprofit organizations and movement networks. Partners in this space include Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project, Future Leaders of America, and One Step a la Vez, three groups that organize youth to empower the indigenous, migrant, and farm working communities of Ventura County.

In Orange County, the Foundation supports the Orange County Civic Engagement Table, an eight-member progressive coalition focused on increasing the civic participation of immigrant communities throughout the county, as well as three of its anchor members – VietRISE, O.C. Community Congregation Community Organization, and Resilience O.C.


In the Inland Empire, we support the Black Equity Initiative Inland Empire, a coalition of nonprofits in the Inland Empire focused on advancing Black liberation, co-led by Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement and BLUE Education Foundation. We 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.

Notably, our September funding included a number of organizations working in the areas of environmental justice and economic justice given their intersectionality with multiple concerns such as health and housing/displacement and their disproportionate impact on our most vulnerable communities. Partners funded this cycle in the environmental justice space all represent organizing groups that are advancing both local and broader systems change solutions. They include: East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice; Communities for a Better Environment (C.B.E.); California Environmental Justice Alliance, and Pacoima Beautiful.

Pacoima Beautiful

Equitable and Just Systems

To advance more equitable and just systems, the Foundation supports 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.

Collectively, these organizations are leading the way toward an equitable and thriving region for all. We look forward to working with our nonprofit partners to advance this shared vision for racial justice.