Twenty-five philanthropic organizations and funders have jointly launched the California Black Freedom Fund, a new $100 million initiative to provide resources to Black-led power-building organizations in the state over the next five years.
With an initial investment of $32.4 million, the Fund will raise additional money through a mix of foundation, corporate, and individual donor support. Funders currently participating in the new initiative include the Akonadi Foundation, the Annenberg Foundation, The California Endowment, the
Initiative, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and Emerson Collective, among others.
The Silicon Valley Community Foundation will provide fiscal and administrative management of the fund.
“Building a better future for everyone starts with centering [on] those who have been
politically, socially, and economically marginalized,”
co-CEO of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, said in a news release Thursday. The fund will ensure that “Black-led organizations and movements have the power, resources, and recognition to continue their missions and make racial equity a reality in California.”
In its first round of grantmaking, more than $6 million was awarded to three established Black networks, including Black Census and Redistricting Hub, a network of over 30 organizations maximizing participation in the census; Black Equity Collective, a community public-and-private partnership in Southern California; and PICO California: Live Free/ Bring the HEAT, an organization targeting basic health, safety, and well-being for people and communities.
The California Black Freedom Fund plans to make three rounds of grantmaking in 2021, with the next round set for late February.
The funders joined forces to address a history of underinvestment in Black-led organizations. According to the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, only 1% of community foundation support was specifically designated for Black communities in recent years.
“To make racial justice and equity real in California, philanthropy needs to elevate its
investments in Black organizations who are focused on advocacy, organizing and holding our institutions accountable—something that we call power-building,” Lateefah
president of Akonadi Foundation, said in the release.
In addition to grantmaking, the California Black Freedom Fund will also provide capacity-building support through technical assistance in communications, narrative change, and policy; research and data; and convening and learning opportunities, to the Black-led recipient organizations.