Grantee Highlight: The Unity Council

Photo courtesy of The Unity Council and its Head Start program.

Once a month, we highlight a grantee that we have recently funded through our Equity Grants Program, which advances racial and economic inclusion in the Bay Area.

Founded in 1964, The Unity Council (officially known as the Spanish Speaking Unity Council) is a non-profit devoted providing economic and educational opportunities to low-income communities. Located in Oakland’s Fruitvale district, The Unity Council delivers programming across Oakland and Concord, including social services and employment training, and facilitating the development and support of local businesses, low-income housing, and neighborhood improvement activities. They serve over 1,000 families every day.

The San Francisco Foundation’s recent grant to The Unity Council provides the organization with general support for its operations. The organization will soon be embarking on the creation of 92 new affordable housing units for low-income individuals in the Fruitvale Village – a property they developed and operate, just steps from the Fruitvale BART station.

Last year, Google opened an after-school program for teens in the Fruitvale Village. Code Next aims to cultivate the next generation of Black and Latino computer scientists and works with 65 eighth graders from Fruitvale each school year. Even though many Latino youth are eager to adopt new technologies, only seven percent of tech workers are Latino. This program is a long-term solution to creating a more equitable and diverse tech workforce.

Like the foundation’s Place pathway, The Unity Council believes that everyone deserves self-sufficiency and advancement, no matter their language, background, or neighborhood, and that cultural identity contributes to a thriving community and is a tool to combat displacement. By strengthening community anchor organizations, like The Unity Council, The San Francisco Foundation can help preserve the cultural diversity of neighborhoods and help prevent displacement. Many of our donors have supported The Unity Council, and we are pleased to share their good work with you.

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