The California Endowment Pledges 10-Year Support for Black-Led Organizing & Activism
LOS ANGELES – The California Endowment Board of Directors today announced it has approved a 10-year, $225 million pledge of funding support for Black-led organizing, activism, and advocacy in California.
“The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the African-American community, in combination with recent tragic events of racial injustice, remind us that we must push further and harder to achieve meaningful systemic and structural change to advance racial equity,” said Board Chair Dr. Shawn Ginwright, professor of Africana Studies at San Francisco State University.
The identified funding is a long-term commitment by The California Endowment to build and strengthen Black-Led organizations and organizing throughout the State of California. While there will be an immediate infusion of one-time funding support, The Endowment has pledged a decade-long commitment of support to help sustain funding for organizations that are working to reimagine systems built on structural inequality and racism.
“We are aware that structural racism in America constitutes a public health crisis,” said Board Vice-Chair Bishop Minerva Carcaño of the United Methodist Church. “Above all, we know that reaching health and wellness in the African-American community will require an investment that addresses the impact of centuries of oppression. But the healing of this community will contribute to the healing of every other community of color. The resourcing of activist, Black-led organizations to lead the critical efforts necessary to overcome racial injustice and inequity will help us all become healthy and well.”
The 10-year pledge of support builds upon existing efforts by the Endowment to fund community organizing and activism in African American-led organizations across California, with a projected $50 million dollar increase in support in the coming decade. “We have witnessed extraordinary, unprecedented multi-racial and multi-ethnic support in the movement for Black Lives in recent weeks,” said President & CEO Dr. Robert K. Ross. “We also intend to enhance support to build and strengthen alliances that cross-racial and ethnic boundaries in the state. California is poised to show the nation that by focusing on anti-Black structural racism, all vulnerable communities will benefit from structural change.”
The Endowment also announced the immediate deployment of $5 million in resources to Black-led groups engaged in health-related racial justice battles now, such as criminal justice, juvenile justice, and policing reform efforts.
The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental affordable improvements in the health status of all Californians. The Endowment challenges the conventional wisdom that medical settings and individual choices are solely responsible for people’s health. At its core, The Endowment believes that health happens in neighborhoods, schools, and with prevention.