March 2022 Grant Announcement: Empowering Californians with nearly $8 million

Blue Shield of California Foundation is announcing nearly $8 million in grants that will support more than 20 organizations working on the ground in California to advance health equity and end domestic violence. These grants were unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees on March 17, 2022.

“With a close eye on the systems changes we seek, we are strategically supporting grantees whose work moves California toward being the healthiest state and brings all of us closer to ending domestic violence,” said Debbie I. Chang, MPH, president and CEO of the Foundation. “Our partners are addressing the root causes of domestic violence and health inequities—such as economic, gender, and racial inequities—which we believe is an effective way to make lasting impact across our state.”

Strengthen economic security and mobility: $3.35 million

One of the largest grants this quarter, of $1.6 million, will support the California Domestic Workers Coalition. It’s one of several grants designed to improve wages, benefits, and working conditions for people who keep California’s care economy going—particularly women of color.  

“Domestic workers make all other work possible,” said Kimberly Alvarenga, director of the California Domestic Workers Coalition. “As a workforce primarily made up of women of color and immigrant women, they have been excluded from basic labor protections. 

“Domestic workers are the experts on what rights need to be won and advanced,” Alvarenga said. “They can lead the changes they want to see in their industry in order to be treated with respect and dignity.”

The coalition is one of many Foundation grantees that empower Californians most affected by inequities to lead the way toward a healthier future.

Break the cycle of domestic violence: $1.45 million

Preventing the transfer of domestic violence across generations is a key strategy of the Foundation. The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence will receive $850,000 in general operating support over the next two years, to expand its prevention work but also to promote healing, security, and resilience for survivors and their children.

To raise awareness of domestic violence and illuminate paths to prevention, the Foundation also is supporting Alianza Metropolitan News for two years, with $200,000 to continue its culturally appropriate, solutions-oriented journalism.

“Domestic violence is a crisis that significantly affects people in the Latino community, who are also unlikely to report it,” said Alianza publisher and journalist Rossana Drumond. “And it has become worse during the pandemic. That’s why it’s essential that we not only publish the important journalism that helps people understand the causes, preventions and solutions, but that we share that coverage statewide through our Spanish-language newspapers and radio partners.”

Align systems with community priorities: $1.44 million

Elevating community voices is also an important element of the Foundation’s work to align systems, such as the public health system, with the priorities of people most affected by health inequities and domestic violence.

With a $500,000 grant to Human Impact Partners, the Foundation is supporting deeper partnerships between public health agencies and power-building organizations that can show how community safety and economic security affect health equity.

“We want an ecosystem of actors and institutions working to change the multiple systems driving health,” said Solange Gould, co-director of Human Impact Partners. “With racial and power inequities at unprecedented levels, public health needs to be deeply engaged in larger social justice movements to achieve health and well-being for all. We are excited to bridge relationships between and build the power of the economic security, community safety, and health equity movements through integrated organizing, advocacy, and applied research strategies.”

Other grants include: $1 million for the Latino Power Fund

California is home to 15.6 million Latinos, who represent 39% of the state population and who are overrepresented in the essential workforce. That has meant bearing a disproportionate burden of the health and economic crises of the pandemic. To build capacity of Latino-led nonprofits—those focusing on populations with low incomes—and to help them develop stronger, more influential networks, the Foundation is helping to seed the Latino Power Fund with $1 million. The Latino Power Fund is a five-year, $50 million initiative of the Latino Community Foundation.

“We are proud to be empowering Californians, especially people of color in communities with low incomes, with support to find, implement, and scale up the most impactful solutions to health inequities and domestic violence,” said Chang.

Pathways to Safe, Affordable Housing for Domestic Violence Survivors
To support the Downtown Women's Center and the Domestic Violence and Homeless Services Coalition to advance policies and practices that expand access to a range of housing solutions for survivors of domestic violence in Los Angeles and across California.
Expanding Stronger California's Economic Security Policy Advocacy
To advance the economic security and mobility for underserved women and families in California through policy advocacy, capacity and community building, and shifting narratives around gender norms.
Supporting the California Domestic Workers Coalition
To organize California's domestic workers to advance the development and implementation of local and state policies that will improve their wages, benefits, and job quality.
Supporting the Development of a Home Care Co-op Incubator
To develop tools and trainings that support the rapid launch and scaling of cooperative home care businesses that can transform the pay and working conditions of California’s home care workers.
Comparative Research on Equitable Paid Family Leave Policy Opportunities
To support the UCLA WORLD Policy Center in using comparative data to identify gaps and feasible solutions that address structural inequities in California’s existing paid family leave policy that leaves out many low-income people of color and women.
Practitioners Voice California
To engage and elevate the voices of child care practitioners, particularly women of color, in advocating for policy and system changes that can lead to better wages, benefits, and job quality.
General Operating Support
To provide general operating support to California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, California’s statewide domestic violence coalition, to support its work with member organizations to advance domestic violence prevention through policy change, practice innovation, capacity building, and strategic communications.
Solutions-oriented Domestic Violence Journalism by and for Latinx Communities
To support and build the capacity of solutions-oriented and culturally appropriate coverage of domestic violence for Latinx Spanish-, English-, and Indigena Mixteco-language speakers to increase awareness about prevention of domestic violence.
Supporting Listening Sessions to Improve Prevention and Intervention Services for Domestic Violence Survivors
To support a series of listening sessions with service providers, survivors, and other stakeholders to enable the California Department of Social Services to improve its prevention and intervention services for domestic violence survivors.
Building Health Care Delivery Systems' Capacity to Create Systems Change
To support hospital leaders in Southern California to systematically address social determinants of health through increased support for or participation in multisector initiatives in Southern California.
Aligning Public Health Leaders and Community Power-building Groups in Elevating Economic Security and Community Safety as Crucial Drivers of Health Equity
To build deeper partnership between public health agencies and community power-building organizations to produce new research and narratives that increase attention to two key social determinants of health: economic security and community safety.
General Operating Support
To provide general operating support to Prevention Institute, a leading California policy research and advocacy organization whose mission is to build prevention and health equity into key policies and actions at the federal, state, local, and organizational levels to foster health, safety, and wellbeing.
Berkeley Media Studies Group: Building Communications Capacity Among Local Health Departments
To support Berkeley Media Studies Group’s continued delivery of technical assistance to California’s three regional public health consortia (Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative, Public Health Alliance of Southern California, and San Joaquin Valley Public Health Consortium) and their members in order to strengthen their communications capacity and promote statewide narratives about health equity and a just recovery from the COVID crisis.
San Diego Refugee Communities Coalition: Building Policy Advocacy Capacity in Refugee and Immigrant Communities to Advance Health Equity South
To build the policy advocacy capacity of the San Diego Refugee Communities Coalition and its 12 member organizations to engage with local and state public systems in order to advocate for the health equity priorities of the region’s diverse refugee population.
Center for Strategic Partnerships: Planning an Integrated, Community-based Public Health Infrastructure in Los Angeles County
To support efforts by Los Angeles County’s Health Services, Public Health and Mental Health Departments and their community partners to plan an integrated and expanded Community Health Worker infrastructure for the delivery of health and social services throughout the County that will lead to healthier individuals and communities.
PACEs Connection Learning Community
To support PACEs Connection in building the infrastructure for a learning community on Positive and Adverse Childhood Experiences that expands the number of practitioners and organizations using trauma-informed practices in California.
General Operating Support for Grassroots Asians Rising
To provide general operating support to Grassroots Asians Rising, a national network of organizations building power among marginalized Asian and Pacific Islander communities including refugees, low-wage workers, youth, undocumented immigrants, queer and trans people, and low-income tenants.
Learning from Together Toward Health
To disseminate through publications, webinars, and convenings the lessons learned about the impact of the Together Toward Health COVID-19 awareness, education, and community outreach project and share best practices about the role of community-based organizations in partnering with local public health departments to address health inequities.
Strengthening the Voice of Community-based Organizations in Equitable Economic Development
To support organizations representing low-income communities and communities of color to participate in and influence regional planning for economic development through the Community Economic Resilience Fund Program.
Latino Power Fund
To invest in the capacity and effectiveness of Latino-led organizations and Latino philanthropy to effect policy and systems change that improves the health and well-being of Latinx Californians, including organizations engaged in Foundation-funded strategies to prevent domestic violence and promote health equity.
Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity
To support the National Academies Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity to convene stakeholders from a range of sectors and perspectives to share and disseminate strategies, approaches, case studies, and evidence that can catalyze action related to promoting health equity.

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