BUILDING COMMUNITY WEALTH AND POWER FOR A JUST EAST BAY
We are living in unprecedented times. The dual pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism continue to impact our communities in the East Bay and exacerbate existing inequities in wealth, health care, education, and many other aspects of life. As we move through these challenging times, we at East Bay Community Foundation (EBCF) are committed more firmly than ever to our mission of eliminating structural barriers, advancing racial equity, and transforming political, social, and economic outcomes for all who call the East Bay home.
In 2018, EBCF launched our work to create an inclusive East Bay economy, which includes supporting entrepreneurship and other wealth-building strategies in communities of color through the REAL People’s Fund. This $10M community-governed loan fund invests in East Bay entrepreneurs of color with a strong social mission–an effort that has taken on increased relevance during these times. Small businesses owned by black, indigenous, and people of color are critical drivers of job and wealth creation in communities of color, and they have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the economic recession.
REAL People’s Fund is:
- Governed by the community, putting the power to direct resources in the hands of those most impacted by economic injustices
- Professionally managed by lenders Community Vision and The Runway Project, together with business developer Uptima Business Bootcamp—3 financial organizations with a deep commitment to and demonstrated track record working in communities of color
- Supported by a local philanthropic anchor, East Bay Community Foundation, who provides grant capital to fund the community organizations leading this effort
- Part of a larger Movement-Building Strategy, led by the grassroots partners, to shift the conditions that create racial economic inequities. The community capital and movement-building strategies work in tandem to direct resources towards disinvested communities, protect against future harms, and level the playing field.
To learn more about REAL People’s Fund, please contact Sabrina Wu, East Bay Community Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.