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Cohort Reflects Foundation’s Strategy to Affect Sustainable Change at Scale in the East Bay.

Oakland, CA – November 4, 2019 – The East Bay Community Foundation (EBCF) announced its first-ever round of movement funding grants as part of its systems-change approach to empower those most adversely affected by societal injustices in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Entitled “Just East Bay” core partners, these grantees embody the Foundation’s new mission of partnering with social movements to affect sustainable change, at scale.

Earlier this year, the Foundation made public its decision to fund community organizing and social movements as a key strategy in creating social, political, and economic power for low income and communities of color. Through its discretionary funding and aligned donor giving, EBCF awarded~$700K to organizations that are actively engaged in building regional civic engagement. “This cohort represents our commitment to increasing civic engagement among historically disenfranchised communities and sets the stage for our work with donors to explore a broader approach to philanthropic giving,” said James Head, President and CEO of the East Bay Community Foundation. “The partner organizations each have a strong track record of advocating for strategies that build community power and enable East Bay communities to thrive.”

Collectively, this core cohort consists of 18 social justice organizations: ACCE Oakland, Filipino Advocates for Justice, Parent Voices Oakland, Causa Justa :: Just Cause, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, ACCE Contra Costa, First 5 Contra Costa, Safe Return Project, RYSE Center, Faith in Action East Bay, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Black Organizing Project, Bay Rising, Oakland Rising, Power CA, EBASE, Ensuring Opportunity Coalition, and Monument Impact. These organizations are committed to working with disenfranchised communities to deepen their members’ leadership, engage in an intersectional analysis of systemic injustice, build community power; and, ultimately, work to enact community-led systems change. As the Foundation pursues a social justice agenda, its staff plans to work closely with other community leaders, fundholders, local government, and the business community to assess the impact of its strategies. “We believe our role in this work is unique among community foundations,” said Head. “And we are hopeful that this expanded approach to philanthropy can be a replicable model for other community foundations to build the political and economic power of communities of color across the country.”

For EBCF, amplifying community leadership also means engaging its grant-partners in a consultative process and holding itself accountable to community priorities. This process will inform how EBCF can better implement its new mission – and center the importance of trust between philanthropic institutions and the communities and movements they champion. Moreover, EBCF has provided these core partners with the option of structuring their grant to enable them to lobby for their communities’ public policy priorities, including grants to their 501(c)(4) affiliates. Through this approach, EBCF estimates that policy wins supported by this cohort will generate over $250 million in public resources over the next five-years.

“As a 501(c)(4) organization, partnering with EBCF on our collective vision of a Just East Bay will help us tackle 2020 strategically and aggressively. These grant resources are unique because 501(c)(4) dollars are typically harder to come by,” said Kimi Lee, Director of Bay Rising Action, an organization whose work emphasizes the importance of understanding the political contexts that drive the disparities facing local communities. “EBCF chose to partner with us in this way because there is trust on both sides of the relationship. We hope our partnership will be a model for others as we build the political power of communities of color together.”