Celebrating Juneteenth: A Commitment to Racial Equity and Justice

June 18, 2024

Juneteenth 2024By Brittney Daniel, Health Program Officer, Brooke Pinnix, Director of Donor Relations and Antwone Roberts, Director of Civic Engagement

As we commemorate Juneteenth, a day that symbolizes the end of slavery in the United States, the California Community Foundation (CCF) reaffirms its unwavering commitment to advancing racial equity and justice. This historic day not only honors the freedom of African Americans but also reminds us of the continuous struggle for equality and the importance of ongoing efforts to dismantle systemic racism.

At CCF, we are dedicated to fostering an inclusive society where every individual, particularly the Black community, can thrive. Our work in supporting reparations legislation, the Black Empowerment Fund, hosting the California Black Freedom Fund, and Destination Crenshaw exemplifies our commitment to this mission.

Supporting Reparations Legislation
Reparations are a crucial step towards addressing the historical injustices and economic disparities faced by African Americans. CCF proudly supports the package of legislation by California lawmakers aiming to provide reparations for descendants of enslaved people by advocating for policies that aim to rectify the long-standing impacts of slavery and systemic discrimination.

Black Empowerment Fund (BEF)
The Black Empowerment Fund is a testament to CCF’s dedication to empowering Black-led organizations and initiatives. In 2021, CCF launched the Black Empowerment Fund to resource Black-led and Black-empowering nonprofits to strengthen their long-term sustainability to deliver on the promise of systemic equity for Black communities.

Over the past four years, BEF has supported 77 nonprofits across the county, of which nearly 75% are first-time CCF grantees. These organizations are mostly grassroots and offer community-centered solutions and services ranging from workforce support, outdoor activities, scholarships, mental and maternal health and wellness, youth programming, and LGBTQIA-focused support.

“The Black Empowerment Fund’s investment in OLASTEO has been a shining example of what can be achieved when organizations unite around a shared vision of uplifting and empowering our youth. With their game-changing support, we are creating a more just, compassionate, and equitable future, one transformative educational travel experience at a time. By providing our students with opportunities to step outside their comfort zones, engage with diverse perspectives, and discover their own capacity for leadership, we are laying the foundation for a brighter tomorrow.” — Aaron Friedman, Co-Founder and Executive Director, OLASTEO

With this Fund, we continue to identify nonprofits on the front lines and work closely with them to address persistent barriers that limit the 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.

Hosting the California Black Freedom Fund (CBFF)
The California Black Freedom Fund, a donor collaborative fund launched in 2020, focuses on investing in Black-led organizations across California. This fund was designed to amplify Black leadership and support transformative work that advances racial justice. As the fund’s southern California home, CCF is excited to expand investments to address the systemic barriers that have historically marginalized Black communities and support grassroots organizations working towards a more just and equitable society.

Destination Crenshaw
Destination Crenshaw is a community-inspired initiative that celebrates the rich cultural heritage and contributions of Black Angelenos. This 1.3-mile-long outdoor museum along Crenshaw Boulevard will serve as a vibrant public space showcasing Black art, history, and culture. CCF’s support for Destination Crenshaw underscores our commitment to supporting and uplifting the cultural and civic identity of the Black community in Los Angeles.

As we celebrate Juneteenth, we recognize that the journey towards racial equity is ongoing. CCF remains resolute in our efforts to support initiatives that promote justice, uplift Black communities, and address the root causes of inequality. We invite you to join us in this mission, not just today, but every day, as we work together to build a more just and equitable society.

To learn more about how you can support the Black community, please contact Brooke Pinnix, Director of Donor Relations, at bpinnix@calfund.org.

Learn More About Juneteenth
This collection of PBS programs tells the history of Juneteenth and shows the joy of communities coming together in celebrations of independence.

And this video from PBS Learning Media offers a kid-friendly lesson about the significance of this holiday.

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