Announcing the Black Empowerment Fund
February 25, 2021
by Sean Doss, Senior Program Officer/Housing & Program Related Investments & Jai Phillips, Program Officer/Youth Development
At the California Community Foundation (CCF), we believe that long-lasting sustainable change for the Black community is rooted in empowerment, investment and equitable distribution of resources and opportunities.
Despite historic civil rights laws that were enacted during the 1960’s to overcome intentional exclusion and oppression, the Black community continues to fare worse than others on many, if not most, indicators of well-being in the United States. While there has been progress over time, gaps persist and are worsening.
Recognizing that structural racism is the root cause of disparities in the Black community allows for a shift in approach which takes into consideration the side-effects of discriminatory laws and practices that are embedded in the fabric of our public institutions. Institutions include systems that have control over mortgages, wealth, housing, business, education, jobs, families, crime, health and policing. These systems are tied to outcomes that intersect and interlock inequity. See chart below.
The disparities we see today are the result of neglect, discrimination or both. In contrast, to have an equitable long-term recovery means that we develop and carry out policy and systems solutions that value Black life, Black thought/intellect, Black enterprise, Black culture, Black art and Black communities
CCF is honored to support the movement towards equity and empowerment and has created the Black Empowerment Fund. With a seed investment of $1 million from Facebook, this new fund will raise resources and awareness of donors, corporations and fellow foundations to invest in Black leaders and advance sustainable, community-centered solutions.
The purpose of the Black Empowerment Fund is to improve the social and economic outcomes of Black people by investing in the ecosystem of Black-led and Black-empowering organizations and institutions that develop and support Black communities throughout Los Angeles County.
Leveraging our partnership with the Black Equity Collective and the expertise of CCF program officers, we will identify nonprofits on the front lines and work closely with them to address persistent barriers that limit opportunity for the Black community to achieve quality education, safe and affordable housing, access to quality healthcare and upward economic and social mobility—the social determinants of a thriving community.
With the launch of the Black Empowerment Fund, we reaffirm our commitment towards building a more equitable Los Angeles County by combining our strength of grantmaking, lending, fundraising, stewardship, convening, advocacy, communications and multi sector partnerships to improve the social and economic plight of the Black community.
Together we can create lasting change. We invite you to join us in this transformational work by donating today.
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