The California Wellness Foundation has announced grants totaling $22.7 million and a program-related investment of $1.5 million in support of efforts to improve the health of California communities.
Several grants were awarded in support of social justice storytelling efforts designed to lift up unheard and traditionally marginalized voices. They include a grant of $250,000 to the California Immigrant Policy Center in support of public education messaging aimed at bridging divides and building healthy communities in Fresno and Orange counties, and a grant of $50,000 to Women in the Room Productions, which will use the funds to leverage its documentary Pushout to raise public awareness of and change perceptions around the issue of criminalization of African-American girls in schools.
Grants awarded to improve access to quality health care in rural Northern California include $150,000 to the True North Organizing Network and $50,000 to Save California Salmon in support of their policy advocacy, health education, leadership building, and organizing efforts in rural tribal communities; $150,000 to Sierra Streams Institute in support of research on the effects of mining toxins and other environmental contaminants on residents of the Sierra Nevada; and $250,000 to the Humboldt Area Foundation to address health inequities in Del Norte, Humboldt, and Trinity counties.
In addition, the foundation awarded its first-ever program-related investment to a for-profit company, Everytable, which sells nutritious, made-from-scratch food at fast-food prices and will use the low-cost $1.5 million loan to expand its franchise trailing program to entrepreneurs from economically disadvantaged and marginalized communities in Los Angeles.
"Our latest grants both respond to urgent needs in our communities and invest in long-term strategies to advance wellness in California," said Cal Wellness president and CEO Judy Belk.
For a complete list of grants, see the California Wellness Foundation website.