MEDIA RELEASE: Catalytic Funding To Support Community Based Social Justice Efforts

Monday, June 12, 2017

Catalytic Funding To Support Community Based Social Justice Efforts

San Diego, CA (Jun. 12, 2017) – The Social Equity Collaborative Fund (SECF) hosted by San Diego Grantmakers (SDG) is pleased to announce $821,650 has been awarded to six local projects, representing 30 organizations and groups of residents working collaboratively to achieve racial and economic justice in the San Diego region.

“In a region where much of our most effective racial justice and economic justice work takes place through the efforts of volunteers and small organizations that are not always on the radar of organized philanthropy, the goal of the Social Equity Collaborative Fund is to support authentic collaboration among grassroots groups that advance racial equity in San Diego County,” said SDG President and CEO Nancy Jamison.

The focus on grassroots collaborations was adopted by the fund’s eight person steering committee, which includes community leaders, academics, and funders committed to utilizing their professional and personal understanding of the issues and working closely with the grantees supported by this fund. The committee is honored and excited to play a role in catalyzing a number of new and dynamic collaborations in our most underserved communities.

Steven Eldred, the committee Chair and Senior Program Officer at The California Endowment, hailed the importance of the process. “It can be very challenging to have productive discussions about race and racism in San Diego, and to reach collective acknowledgement about how such values and attitudes influence public policy and negatively impact communities of color. Community groups working within impacted communities can struggle to be heard, yet are in the best position to understand inequities, and advance strategies to address immediate impacts and to propose long-term solutions.

“I have great hopes and expectations that this funding process will help to amplify authentic voices within these communities, and that together we will be able to correct some of the damage that has resulted from decades of discriminatory beliefs and practices.”

The strong response to the Request For Proposal (RFP) for this project highlights the need for racial and economic justice funding. From among 66 applications, the steering committee selected projects that demonstrate the tremendous capacity of community members and community based organizations to bring forward solutions. The six projects selected for funding include:

  • Advancing Healthy Neighborhoods builds the agency and voice of refugee and immigrant families as equal participants in the civic, environmental and economic life in the City of El Cajon and San Diego’s City Heights neighborhoods ($135,000).
  • Asian Solidarity Collective activates Asian American social justice consciousness, identify intersectional affiliations, condemn anti-Blackness, and build Asian solidarity with Black folks and other communities of color ($152,250).
  • Semillas de Libertad supports formerly incarcerated individuals in San Diego with a focus on underserved North County through an intensive, holistic curriculum that integrates culturally relevant education and legal approaches to increase students’ wellness and reentry success ($170,000).
  • Southeastern San Diego Food Equity Project transforms the political and economic environment using neighborhood-based agricultural cooperatives as strategies of resistance to food insecurity through community/civic engagement and alternative food ecosystems ($130,000).
  • The CommUnity Spot Collaborative provides a home base or community center for residents and leaders from—and working within—the Southeast region to congregate and build community, and offers mentoring and educational support and support for entrepreneurship ($104,400).
  • United for Justice nurtures a powerful, collaborative voice in our immigrant communities of color and, through the nonprofit minority-led United Dispatch, empowers low-income immigrant taxi drivers to achieve livable incomes and fair treatment in their work ($130,000).

"Every college and university can keep a brother or sister out of prison by opening the doors to higher education. Semillas de Libertad is making a difference one student at a time," said Flor Alvarez of Homie UP, one of the partners of the Semillas de Libertad (Seeds of Freedom) project.

"This fall, I will be the first student to walk through the doors of the Semillas de Libertad program at Cal State San Marcos. As someone who was formerly incarcerated, I am inspired to build a home for other students who are walking out of prison and onto a university campus."

"It's almost impossible to find funders like the Social Equity Collaborative Fund that truly understand social justice. We are lucky to be part of this group." Ms. Alvarez said.

Jamison was also quick to point out how thrilled SDG is to have an opportunity to host the fund that supports this work. “We view these grants as a reflection of the imperative for philanthropy to be intentional about their focus on equity and transparency, a way to contribute to impressive community based efforts and a way to model effective funder-grantee relationships based on the shared pursuit of a common goal rather than a strained power dynamic.”

The Social Equity Collaborative Fund was created via a transformational three-year investment by the Satterberg Foundation and provided the catalyst for additional contributions by the Blue Shield of California Foundation and The California Endowment.


Media Contact: Megan Thomas | (858) 875-3333 | [email protected]
Word Count: 813

San Diego Grantmakers is a 501(c)3 membership association of organizations and individuals that give strategically and significantly to multiple nonprofits each year. To date, SDG's membership includes more than 110 foundations, corporate philanthropy programs, giving circles, donor advised funds, grantmaking public charities and government funders. SDG enhances the good work of its grantmaking members by providing opportunities for networking and collaboration, education, and advocacy.

Find More By
News type