Standing Strong and Moving Forward

Standing Strong and Moving Forward

I never thought I’d write an annual report letter quite like this one, and I hope I never have to again. This year has tested each and every person in our Bay Area community and across the country. And as I write this, we are facing down the most consequential presidential election in modern history. So much hangs in the balance.

Annual reports by their nature are a look back at what we have achieved, but this is also very much a look forward at what we are capable of as a community. During a year of attacks on immigrants, a deepening housing crisis, a global pandemic that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, historic levels of unemployment, and a national movement against anti-Black racism, the San Francisco Foundation’s north star of advancing racial equity and economic inclusion in the Bay Area is more prominent and important than ever before.

When we launched our equity strategy four years ago, it was with the understanding that ensuring racial equity in our community requires dismantling inequalities that are embedded in the structures of our society. Since that time, we have committed ourselves to doing just that, and 2020 was a painful reminder of just how important that goal is and how far we have to go.

In this moment, I’m proud to be a Black leader in philanthropy and serving the Bay Area, where I was born and raised. Our community continues to step up when the systems and people meant to represent us do not. I am profoundly proud of the staff of the San Francisco Foundation for rising to the challenge of this year. They are the most dedicated, talented, caring people I know, and as the crises of the past year unfolded, they adapted with grace and fortitude. On the following pages you will read about how we are attempting to meet the moment and seize the opportunity to realize transformative change.

I’m equally proud and grateful to stand in community with our donors, funders, and partners in this shared work to advance equity. It is your confidence and investment in our organization that allows this great work to happen. I sincerely thank you for your commitment, and I look forward to your partnership in the coming year, which promises to test us in ways that we can’t imagine. We will stand strong in solidarity with one another and continue to be agile, adaptive, and most of all deeply committed to the people of the Bay Area.

With gratitude and in solidarity,

Fred Blackwell
Chief Executive Officer
San Francisco Foundation

See Our 2020 Annual Report