Arts and Culture for Social and Racial Justice

FAQs & Glossary

Lake Merritt at sunset

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Grant Program

Eligibility & Fiscal Sponsors

Use of Grant Funds

Application Process & Letter of Inquiry (LOI)

Application Support & Technical Assistance

Other Resources

Download the 2023 Guidelines [PDF]
Download the 2023 Application Text [PDF]
Download 2023 Tips for Using the Online Application Portal
Download the 2023 Frequently Asked Questions [PDF]

For questions and assistance, contact

Glossary of Key Terms 

Belonging: Within the civic realm, belonging is tied to people’s ability to lead meaningful lives, to be connected to the place they live in and the people they live among, and to feel a part of something larger than themselves. We believe to cultivate belonging, there must be more equitable racial, cultural, and socioeconomic conditions for self-expression, mutual respect, empathy, and acceptance. These conditions cannot be fulfilled without an understanding of the breadth of cultural diversity in Oakland and how different forms of expression have different needs. (Definition from the City of Oakland’s cultural plan) 

BIPOC: BIPOC is an abbreviation for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and highlights the legacies of enslavement and colonization in the U.S. People of Color refers to people who do not identify as white and are not exclusively of European heritage. 

BIPOC-Led Organization: The Fund defines a BIPOC-led organization as one whose principal staff leadership is Black, Indigenous, orPeople of Color. Generally, the organization should also have a majority BIPOC board membership.

Civic-facing: The Fund considers a civic-facing organization or individual as being one whose work concerns or addresses the realm of the public sector, such as engagement in democratic processes and governance, public policy and administration, the rights and responsibilities of members of communities and societies, and the like.

Community-centered: The Fund seeks to support collaborations that center the voices, aspirations, and ideas of the communities they serve, in this case, those most impacted by systemic racism and other intersectional systemic oppressions.

Community-rooted: It is important to the Fund that the artists or cultural practitioners involved in collaborations are deeply a part of the communities with whom they will work – either through identity, years of involvement, or both. A community may be geographically or ethnically or culturally defined. It may also be a community of identity based on, for example, age, faith, sexual orientation, gender identity, or immigration status.

Cultural Practitioners and Cultural Workers: The Fund uses the term cultural practitioners and cultural workers to include not only artists, but artist-activists, traditional culture bearers or keepers, griots, storytellers, craftspeople, creative placemakers and place-keepers, cultural strategists, community historians, elders, or other visionaries.

Intersectional or Intersectionality: The interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.

(A term coined by Prof. Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw)

Racial Justice: The systematic fair treatment of people of all races resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all. Racial justice—or racial equity—goes beyond “anti-racism.” It is not just the absence of discrimination and inequities, but also the presence of deliberate systems and supports to achieve and sustain racial equity through proactive and preventative measures. (Definition adopted from Race Forward) Racial justice is a step on the way to a society liberated from racialized systems of oppression. 

Radical Imagination: The ability to imagine the world, life, and social institutions not as they are, but as they might be in a just world. It is the courage and the intelligence to recognize that the world can be changed. Radical imagination is about calling on the past, telling different stories about how the world came to be the way it is, and remembering the power and importance of past struggles and the way their spirits live on in the present. It calls on our capacity to imagine how to make common cause with other people, and undergirds our ability to build solidarity across boundaries and borders, real or imagined. (Definition adapted from writings by Alex Khasnabish and Max Haiven)

Systemic or Structural Racism: Systemic or structural racism in the U.S. is the normalization and legitimization of an array of dynamics—historical, cultural, institutional, and interpersonal—that routinely advantage white people while producing cumulative and chronic adverse outcomes for people of color. It is a system of hierarchy and inequity, primarily characterized by white supremacy—the preferential treatment, privilege, and power for white people at the expense of Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, SWANA (Southwest Asian, North African) and other racially oppressed people. (Definition adopted from Structural Racism by Keith Lawrence and Terry Keleher)