San Francisco Foundation Awards $5,265,000 to Advance Racial and Economic Inclusion

San Francisco Foundation Awards $5,265,000 to Advance Racial and Economic Inclusion


San Francisco Foundation Awards $5,265,000 to Advance Racial and Economic Inclusion

Forty-two organizations receive grants in first round of funding under updated strategy

San Francisco, CA – Communities across the nation are grappling with profound challenges around race and inclusion, and the Bay Area is no different. In the face of these challenges, Bay Area residents understand how important these issues are, both morally and economically. In a recent poll conducted by the San Francisco Foundation, 77 percent said that having people from different races and income levels is part of what makes the Bay Area a great place to live, although many also highlighted the racial and economic challenges associated with being able to live and thrive here.

In fact, we do have a long way to go. While the regional economy is booming for some, the benefits are not being felt by all. Recognizing the magnitude of the challenge, in June the San Francisco Foundation announced that it would focus its efforts, taking advantage of its regional footprint to advance a regional agenda to help bring greater racial and economic equity across the region.

As San Francisco Foundation CEO Fred Blackwell notes, “We need to ensure that our rising tide is lifting all boats – that everyone has a chance to get a good job, live in a safe and affordable home, can fully participate in the political process, has a strong voice, and can live in a community that provides real access to opportunity.”

Today, the Foundation announced its first set of grants under its new strategy.

“The grants we’re announcing today reflect a new way of thinking for us about how to take on the problems of racial and economic inclusion in the Bay Area,”said Judith Bell, Vice President for Programs at the San Francisco Foundation. “We are organizing our work in three mutually reinforcing areas – people, place, and power. Our goal is to ensure that people have a  job that pays a living wage, that they can live in a home they can afford in a vibrant neighborhood with easy access to public transit, and that we anchor our communities through strong social and political engagement.”

Here are some examples of grants from each of the three areas –

People – helping to expand access to opportunity by removing barriers to meaningful employment.

Highlights from this category include: grants to Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Californians for Safety and Justice to work on criminal justice reforms to remove barriers to employment; and to REDF to work in San Francisco and Alameda counties to provide jobs and training for those who traditionally have a difficult time securing and keeping jobs.

Place – ensuring that Bay Area residents can find (and stay in) an affordable home.

In this area, the San Francisco Foundation funded organizations such as the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern CaliforniaOakland Citizens Committee for Urban Renewal, and the Philanthropic Ventures Foundation – all of which are working to address the housing crisis in Alameda County.

Power – strengthening voter engagement.

Grants to Self-Help for the Elderly in San Francisco, as well to Mobilize the Immigrant Vote (for work across the region), and to the East Bay Asian Youth Center, among others, are designed to increase power and influence by swelling the number of immigrants who are citizens, who vote, and fully participate in the political process, and by helping diverse neighborhood residents come together around a shared vision for their future.

“We are just getting started,” said Fred Blackwell. “These grants represent our first steps to move our equity strategy forward, and they also highlight many of the issues that we care about and reflect our first best thinking about how to begin to take them on. We look forward to working closely with our donors, fellow funders, local government officials, community leaders, the private sector, and of course our grantees as we seek to advance greater racial and economic inclusion across the Bay Area.”

The San Francisco Foundation serves San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, and San Mateo Counties, and makes grants across the five-county region. A complete list of these recently-awarded grants follows:


$250,000 – Asian Pacific Environmental Network                                                 

To educate, organize, and expand opportunities for low-income Asian Pacific Islander (API) immigrants and refugees in the Bay Area.

$250,000 – East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy                                      

To expand economic opportunity and stem displacement by: strengthening worker and resident leadership; passing and implementing policies that raise the floor on low-wage jobs; opening the door to middle class careers; and empowering low-wage workers.

$250,000 – Public Advocates

To create a more equitable region through improved planning, more public investment, increased affordable housing production, better transit service, and protection against displacement.

$250,000 – The Greenlining Institute

To expand racial and economic opportunity in the Bay Area by directing public and private resources to the most vulnerable communities.

$250,000 – Urban Habitat

To support research, coalition building, and advocacy to equalize transportation investments, pass tenant protections, secure funds for affordable housing, and build capacity in suburban neighborhoods experiencing an increase in poverty among people of color.

$150,000 – REDF

To expand job opportunities and economic sustainability for people overcoming high barriers to employment by strengthening social enterprises and associated support networks.

$150,000 – Reentry Success Center

To provide core support for the delivery of an innovative program model designed to foster successful reentry of formerly incarcerated people through a set of integrated supports and services.

$112,265 – Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

For core operating support to sustain Ella Baker Center’s policy advocacy and organizing work and to expand access to opportunities for families and communities most damaged by racism, classism, and our nation’s criminal justice system.

$100,000 – California EDGE Campaign

To provide core support to broaden and deepen the social equity work of the EDGE Coalition, a statewide advocacy coalition united in the belief that California’s future rests largely on the skill base of its workers.

$100,000 – Urban Strategies Council

To create an inclusive hiring strategy for boys and men of color in the Bay Area.

$75,000 – Self-Help for the Elderly

To increase the number of eligible low-income, legal permanent residents who become citizens and new voters in San Francisco, and increase their access to economic opportunities.

$50,000 – Californians for Safety and Justice

To ensure that as many people as possible benefit from Prop 47, that the law is protected and advanced, and that the results from implementing the law transforms lives and systems.

$50,000 – The Education Trust-West

To support a landscape analysis of educational equity issues in the Bay Area.

$50,000 – W. Haywood Burns Institute

To support a landscape analysis of youth and adult criminal justice issues.

$50,000 – Working Partnerships, USA

To increase public funding for essential services for low-income communities and to improve standards and advance jobs for low-wage workers.

$47,585 – Office of the Public Defender, Contra Costa County                            

To support a public/private partnership to accelerate Prop 47 petitions in Contra Costa County.

$25,000 – City of East Palo Alto

To support the completion of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Challenge (MBK) Playbook and draft the MBK Local Action Plan for the City of East Palo Alto (EPA).

$25,000 – City Of Oakland, Office of the Mayor

To support the City of Oakland’s implementation of My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Local Action Plan.

$25,000 – City of Richmond – City Manager’s Office

To support the City of Richmond’s implementation of My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Local Community Challenge Action Plan, and to expand employment, training and education programs for boys and men of color (BMoC) in Richmond.

$25,000 – Office of the Mayor San Francisco

To support the implementation of San Francisco’s MBK local action plan.

$12,000 – Council of Community Housing Organizations

To build and sustain San Francisco’s Transportation Justice Coalition and advance transit equity in the region.



$250,000 – Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation

To support development of a coalition to reduce residential displacement in five SF low-income neighborhoods (Tenderloin, Chinatown, Mission, Western Addition, and Bayview/Hunters Point) with large populations of low-income people of color.

$235,000 – Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California

To engage community stakeholders in finding solutions for the crisis in housing affordability through time-tested and innovative strategies that serve low-income families, seniors, veterans, formerly homeless and people at risk.

$159,000 – East Bay Community Foundation

To support a funder collaborative capacity building and accelerator initiative aimed to improve the overall effectiveness and sustainability of Black-Led Organizations (BLOs) in the Bay Area.

$150,000 – Oakland Citizens Committee for Urban Renewal (OCCUR)

To expand racial and economic inclusion and opportunity across the Bay Area through developing leadership, and supporting civic engagement on policy measures to support African American and low-income communities threatened with residential housing displacement.

$150,000 – Young Community  Developers

To expand racial and economic inclusion and opportunity in San Francisco’s Western Addition (WA) and Bayview Hunters Point (BVHP) communities.

$125,000 – Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency

To conduct education, outreach, and engagement with multiple stakeholders (housed/homeless residents, service providers, housing developers/landlords to support reduced displacement and increased housing preservation/creation.

$100,000 – East Bay Community Law Center

To provide legal services in support of grassroots efforts to prevent the displacement of low-income persons of color from East Bay communities.

$75,000 – ACCE Institute

To expand racial and economic inclusion and opportunity across the Bay Area by lifting up resident voice on key issues addressing displacement of minority and low income people.

$75,000 – East Bay Housing Organizations

To advocate for increased affordable housing opportunities and revenue through community education and outreach.

$75,000 – San Francisco Interfaith Council

To support convening and stakeholder engagement on anti-displacement and housing affordability in San Francisco.

$70,000 – Philanthropic Ventures Foundation

To raise awareness about the housing crisis in Alameda County and encourage the development of a countywide housing bond.

$30,000 – Faith in Action Bay Area

To support resident engagement around the issues of tenant protections needed to lessen the displacement of low-income and persons of color from the Bay Area.

$15,000 – Monument Impact

To support ongoing program needs and core operating activities of a community anchor in the

Monument Corridor neighborhood of East Concord.



$450,000 – California Calls

To increase the capacity of key Bay Area organizations to enhance voter engagement and the civic participation of Bay Area communities of color with a particular focus on African-American communities.

$300,000 – Bay Area Rising

To strengthen and expand the civic engagement infrastructure at a regional scale to build the political power of low-income communities of color through integrated voter engagement, organizing, and movement building strategies.

$225,000 – Mobilize the Immigrant Vote

To advance racial justice and promote equity by building the voting power, leadership, and organizing capacity of low-income immigrant and refugee new Americans in the Bay Area and across California.

$100,000 – East Bay Asian Youth Center

To support the E. 14th Street Congress of Neighborhoods Project, a collaborative effort of neighborhood-based resident organizations in East Oakland, to address development and displacement, and increase the organized voice, power, and influence of low-income communities of color.

$10,000 – RYSE Youth Center 

To promote the creation of a ballot measure for the establishment of a Richmond Fund for Children and Youth.



$200,000 – USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) 

To support the production of a regional equity data infrastructure for the Bay Area that will support equity advocacy campaigns.

$125,000 – KQED, Inc.

To support coverage of racial and economic inequities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

$50,000 – Bay Area Black United Fund

To support a data scoping project for TSFF’s Regional Equity Agenda.

Click on the images below to read stories of PeoplePlace, and Power

Michael, REDF

Suguey, Mobilize the Immigrant Vote

PPP Stories Amie NPH

Amie, Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California

About the San Francisco Foundation
With more than $1.3 billion in assets, the San Francisco Foundation is one of the largest community foundations in the country.  The foundation is committed to expanding opportunity and ensuring a more equitable future for all in the Bay Area, and working with its donors, it distributed nearly $100 million a year to nonprofit organizations last year. The San Francisco Foundation serves San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, and San Mateo Counties.

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