Cal Wellness awards $10.7 million for health equity, racial justice

Cal Wellness awards $10.7 million for health equity, racial justice

The California Wellness Foundation has announced grants totaling $10.7 million to advance health equity in the state, support the movement for Black lives and racial justice, and invest in statewide public policy advocacy to achieve long-term social change.

In addition to making grants to organizations working to address barriers to health and wellness in historically marginalized communities, the foundation awarded $2.75 million in support of Black-led initiatives to address racism, poverty, police violence, disinvestment in Black communities, and the impacts of COVID-19. Recipients include the Movement for Black Lives ($500,000 over three years), which will use the funds to strengthen Black-led and -serving organizations that are challenging racial inequities in policing; the California Black Freedom Fund ($500,000 over two years), which will use its grant to build a network of leaders and institutions dedicated to reversing damage and trauma in Black communities and advance racial justice; the UCLA Labor Center ($475,000 over three years), which will launch two centers focused on providing training, job placement, counseling, and leadership development for Black workers; and Destination Crenshaw ($1 million over two years), which will establish an outdoor hub in South Los Angeles that honors and celebrates Black culture and activism. 

The foundation also awarded five-year grants ranging from $1 million to $1.5 million to three statewide advocacy organizations working to build the movement for health equity and racial justice in California. They are the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, which engages communities of color in advocacy around health equity, collects data to measure progress, and works to advance an inclusive health equity movement; Power California, which is focused on cultivating, training, and empowering the next generation of Black, Latinx, Asian-American/Pacific Islander, and Native community organizers and movement leaders; and the Advancement Project, which conducts research and data analysis and leads advocacy efforts in partnership with communities of color around policies designed to address racial inequities. 

"The events of 2020 have upended our lives and broken our hearts. But these same events have forced us to question our assumptions, focus on our priorities, and rethink how we do our work," said Cal Wellness president and CEO Judy Belk. "We are grateful to be in partnership with our grantees, who, despite unprecedented hardship lead the way by responding to limitations with innovation and demonstrating unwavering commitment in the fight for racial justice and health equity."

For a complete list of grants, see the Cal Wellness website.

(Photo credit: Power California)

"Announcing $10.7 million in grants for Black equity & health policy advocacy." California Wellness Foundation press release 12/17/2020. "The California Wellness Foundation — Advancing Wellness Grantmaking July ‐ December 2020." California Wellness Foundation grants list 12/17/2020.