Social Equity Collaborative Fund

Social Equity Collaborative Fund

The Social Equity Collaborative Fund (SECF) is a pooled grantmaking fund facilitated by San Diego Grantmakers that supports collaborative grassroots efforts to improve the economic, social, and physical well being of San Diego County residents. Grants from the Fund are intended to support organizations and projects that increase the connectivity of equity work in San Diego County, such as access to education, public benefits, and civic leadership opportunities; career development; criminal justice reform; workplace rights; and adequate infrastructure, transportation, and housing options.

SECF was established through a $1,050,000 grant from the Satterberg Foundation as a project of the Social Equity Funders (SEF) collaboration. Information about past and future grants from this fund is available on the Social Equity Funders page. This pooled fund and funder collaboration are both facilitated by San Diego Grantmakers, though grant award decisions are made by an independent SECF Steering Committee comprised of SEF members and subject matter experts, and which is organized to be routinely evaluated to ensure appropriate representation of grantmaking experience and equity perspectives.

Social Equity Collaborative Fund Key Values

Grant award decisions are made by an independent steering committee comprised of SEF members and subject matter experts, and which is organized to be routinely evaluated to ensure appropriate representation of grantmaking experience and equity perspectives. In this grant cycle, the steering committee anticipates distributing up to $700,000 in multi-year, general operating support grants that align with these key values:

  • Racial justice and economic justice
  • Resident leadership through community power-building
  • Collaboration, trust-building, shared learning, and cross-cultural healing and understanding by all stakeholders
  • Innovation in methods and strategies
  • A productive learning process may include failure and risk-taking
  • Honesty, openness, and trust among partners
  • Accountability not just to a grant report, but to partners and the community served
  • Collaboration that reflects an awareness of interconnectedness in a broader movement
  • A commitment to structural and systemic change

Through its grantmaking, the Social Equity Collaborative Fund seeks to:

1. Support grassroots organizations led by people of color and engaged in “bottom-up strategies” developed and implemented by the people directly affected by climate injustice

2. Encourage authentic collaboration and build the community’s overall capacity for collaboration, understanding that “collaboration” may appear differently in various settings

3. Provide adequate resources for effective collaboration, recognizing both the amount of time needed to engage in authentic collaboration and the resources needed to do so

4. Create the conditions that will nurture collaboration that reflects an awareness of interconnectedness to a broader, local racial and climate justice movement in San Diego County

5. Commit to a funding and grant process that respects individuals’ and organizations’ time and resources and eases rather than increases the burden they bear to serve the community

6. Dismantle structural racism in the region

Jim Bliesner

Center for Urban Economics and Design

Paul (Khalid) Alexander

San Diego City College

Steven Eldred

Chair of Social Equity Collaborative Fund

Kyra Greene

Center on Policy Initiatives

Jennifer James

Harder + Company

Michelle Jaramillo

Artesana Consulting

Jesse Mills

University of San Diego

Arcela Nuñez-Alvarez

National Latino Research Center

Total Funded: $821,650

Advancing Healthy Neighborhoods will build 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 neighborhood to improve social, racial and environmental justice.

  • Partners: Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans | Climate Action Campaign | Mid-City CAN
  • Funded: $135,000

Asian Solidarity Collective activates Asian American social justice consciousness, identifies intersectional affiliations, condemns anti-Blackness, and builds Asian solidarity with Black folks and other communities of color.

  • Partners: Asian Solidarity Collective | Pillars of the Community | Kuya Ate Mentorship Program | National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum-SD
  • Funded: $152,250

Semillas de Libertad supports formerly incarcerated individuals in San Diego with a focus on underserved North County through a holistic and intensive educational curriculum, which integrates culturally relevant education and legal approaches with the aim of increasing students’ wellness and reentry success.

  • Partners: Homie UP | National Latino Research Center CSUSM | Pillars of the Community | Amity Foundation Vista Ranch | Universidad Popular | CSUSM Foundation
  • Funded: $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 building alternative food ecosystems.

  • Partners: Project New Village | SD Food System Alliance | SDSU Urban Studies | Diamond Business Association | Urban West Development Consultants | Kitchens for Good | San Diego Continuing Education Woodbury University School of Architecture
  • Funded: $130,000

The CommUnity Spot Collaborative will be a home base or community center for residents and leaders from—and working within—the Southeast region to congregate and build a sense of community; offer mentoring/educational support; and support local entrepreneurship.

  • Partners: Pillars of the Community | Reclaiming the Community | Justice4SD33 | Community Based Block Program | National Latino Research Center CSUSM | Community Democracy Workshop | Umoja Club (City College)
  • Funded: $104,400

United for Justice will develop self-sufficiency for United Dispatch as a non-profit, minority-led enterprise that empowers low-income, immigrant taxi drivers to earn livable incomes and get fair treatment in their work and nurture a more powerful, collaborative voice in our immigrant communities of color for social justice and against racism.

  • Partners: United Taxi Workers of San Diego| Labor's Alliance | Employee Rights Center | Somali Bantu Association| ACLU San Diego
  • Funded: $130,000

2016 Grantee Projects

Engage San Diego - Engage San Diego envisions collective power to win social, economic, and health justice through the integration of voter engagement and organizing to build a culture of voting, policy education, community leadership development, strategic research and experiments, and coordinated communications. The collaborative’s 12 partner organizations work together to build a nonpartisan voter mobilization to turn out disenfranchised voters for the issues affecting its constituents and members - including health, environmental health, land use, transportation equity, and social justice.

  • Partners: ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties | Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment | Alliance San Diego | Center on Policy Initiatives | Environmental Health Coalition | San Diego LGBT Community Center
  • Website:

Partners for Progress - Partners for Progress (P4P) is a collaborative of social equity advocacy and social service organizations that improves the lives of San Diegans through narrative change (reframing social policy issues); system change (making San Diego County government more transparent and accountable to residents); and leadership development. P4P convenes the Multi-Sector Alliance to bring together social equity advocacy organizations with nontraditional stakeholders who might not otherwise be associated with social equity causes to achieve changes at the County level.

  • Partners: Clean Slate Clinic | Engage San Diego San Diego Imperial Counties Labor Council | SEIU United Service Workers West
  • Website:

San Diego Youth Development Office - San Diego Youth Development Office (YDO) supports positive youth development strategies that improve outcomes for more than 40,000 Opportunity Youth in the county by connecting, convening, and engaging stakeholders and their resources to advance the health and economic wellbeing of San Diego’s youth. YDO’s San Diego Youth Opportunity Pathways Initiative helps reconnect low and moderate income youth with education, training and employment.


2020 Black-led Racial Justice Grants 

SECF is pleased to provide $28,000 in funding to the following Black-led grassroots organizations who are leading racial justice efforts in their communities: 


2020 Climate Justice Grants 

In partnership with The San Diego Foundation, which provided $300,000, the Social Equity Collaborative Fund made four grants totaling $400,000 in early 2020 to support authentic collaboration that advances racial and climate justice in San Diego County. All grants were two-year grants and general support, meaning funds can be used as the grantee sees fit.

Climate Ambassadors for Environmental Justice, a collaborative effort led by the San Diego Urban Sustainability Coalition ($125,000)

Climate Resiliency through Transportation Justice, a collaborative effort led by the Environmental Health Coalition ($100,00)

Growing Resilience: Carbon Sink Demonstration Farm, a collaborative effort led by Solidarity Farm ($100,000)

Reclaiming the Narrative for Racial and Climate Justice through Intentional Placemaking, a collaborative effort led by Project New Village ($75,000)