A Just East Bay

From Response to Transformation

From Response to Transformation

Creating a community where every resident has housing, health and well-being, and access to economic opportunity is possible.

At East Bay Community Foundation, we work with the movement leaders who are creating the change every day so we know it’s possible. But, transforming our community so that everyone has the power they need to set their own future requires us to transform our philanthropy. EBCF started its own journey toward transformation before 2019 when we announced a new mission.

In early 2020, we launched a special fund in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Fund raised and distributed $8.2 million in grants to organizations addressing the social, emotional, and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to meet the needs of communities and organizations affected by the coronavirus in a time of mass crisis.

Today, the pandemic and the compounding economic fallout continue. The systems that created uneven and unfair outcomes throughout our communities also remain unchanged. Long-term problems require long-term solutions and systems change.


EBCF has evolved the COVID-19 Response Fund into an ongoing fund — A Just East Bay Fund — to equip ourselves and our movement leaders to take on these persistent systemic problems.

On August 19, 2021, we held a virtual town hall to share learnings from our COVID-19 Fund and introduce the Just East Bay Fund. Community movement leaders Shaketa Redden of Causa Justa :: Just Cause, Debra Ballinger of Monument Impact, and Kimberly Aceves-Iñiguez of the RYSE Center, characterized what they experienced in 2020, and EBCF’s James Head, Amy Fitzgerald, and Alexandra Aquino-Fike described how the Just East Bay Fund will sustain the work of organizations like these.

Core Strategies For A Just East Bay

Funds raised through this initiative will allow EBCF to advance our grantmaking in four core program strategies:

Community Organizing, Power Building, and Movement Building

We’re expanding our support for grassroots organizing and movement infrastructure — efforts led by and for the community — to build and expand the power of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and South Asian, Southwest Asian, and North African people to exercise self-determination and agency in their communities and lives. We’ll do more of the movement funding work we announced in Fall 2019 as part of our approach to empowering those most adversely affected by societal injustices in the East Bay.

Capacity Building with A Racial Equity Lens

We are partnering with organizations whose vision for advancing racial justice addresses the complexity and interconnected nature of our lives, who are committed to growing the leadership of their members, and who are working to enact community-led systems change. This includes increasing the scope, scale, and impact of our groundbreaking initiatives like ASCEND: BLO.

Fostering Inclusive Economic Models

We’re addressing racial economic inequities in our region by supporting entrepreneurship and business ownership as pathways to wealth building, by supporting organizations leading campaigns for workers rights and protections, and by deepening the social impact of our investments by investing directly into Black, Indigenous and people of color-led business and funds. This work includes increasing the breadth and impact of community-led initiatives like the REAL People’s Fund.

Arts & Culture for Social & Racial Justice

We believe in the power of culture and art to both increase civic engagement for social change and build stronger communities and neighborhoods. EBCF has been a long time proponent of the arts as is demonstrated through our partnerships with our generous donors and fellow foundations that work to support the arts across Alameda and Contra Costa counties. This includes support for Belonging in Oakland: A Just City Cultural Fund and the East Bay Fund for Artists.

The Just East Bay Fund aims to:

  • Support communities most harmed by systems of oppression to build power and advance justice. We do this by supporting the community’s own vision, listening and following their lead, and acknowledging they are the experts in what’s best for their families and futures.
  • Transform ourselves and the systems we are part of. We need to gain a deeper understanding of the ways we each participate in systems that perpetuate harm, and take on the work as individuals and an institution to rework our practices. This includes how we do our grantmaking, make investments, and amplify new and inspiring voices.
  • Use the position of power we hold to move others, and cede our power to people and communities that have been historically excluded.


Be Part of the Transformation

EBCF believes that by working together, our community can build an East Bay centered on racial equity and justice, where all the people and cultures we represent are celebrated. We are invigorated by the opportunity to grow as an organization and in community with donors and partners like you.

We hope you will join us and be a part of our transformation, and the vibrant, unified community that is possible: A Just East Bay!

An adult embraces a teenager holding a sign that reads "Free Our Future"