June 29, 2023 (Los Angeles, CA) — Miguel A. Santana, President and C.E.O. of the Weingart Foundation, a private grantmaking foundation that partners with communities across Southern California to advance racial justice, released the following statement related to the release of the report by the California Task Force to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans (Task Force).
“On the day the Supreme Court rules against affirmative action in higher education, the Weingart Foundation strongly affirms its support for the California Task Force to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans (Task Force). As Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor stated today, we live in an “endemically segregated society where race has always mattered and continues to matter.” The data in the Task Force’s report clearly demonstrates this point.
“The Weingart Foundation’s commitment to racial and socioeconomic equity is grounded in our understanding of this country’s history of Indigenous genocide, theft of land, enslavement, and the subsequent decades of government practices that not only excluded Black Americans from equal and meaningful participation but also inflicted generational harm that continues to this day. Today we also recognize that the source of the wealth that we steward benefited from racist policies and practices.
“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 to individual nonprofits and through collaborations like our $5 million commitment to the California Black Freedom Fund. However, this does not and cannot replace the transformational power of government sponsored reparations for the generations of state sponsored harm to Black Californians.
“We applaud the Task Force’s research and report that outlines in great detail the compounding and ongoing harms specifically experienced by Black Americans in California including enslavement, exclusion from political participation, racist housing policies, prohibiting education, racial terror, disproportionate justice system involvement, exclusion from employment, and the racial wealth gap. This history, including the specific role of California’s state and local government, is not fully taught and not well known – such as its support of enslavement, even as a free state. We simply cannot achieve true racial justice if we are not honest about the legacy of racial injustice that led to the harmful conditions so many Black and other Americans face today.”
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, housing, 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.