Non-profit

California Black Freedom Fund

Website:

cablackfreedomfund.org/

Location:

Los Angeles, CA

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Type:

Grantmaking Organization

Formation:

February 2021

The California Black Freedom Fund is a left-of-center grantmaking initiative that plans to spend $100 million over 5 years to address alleged systemic racism against African Americans in California.  Formally announced in 2021, initial donors to the California Black Freedom Fund include JPMorgan Chase, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the California Endowment, the Emerson Collective, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and the Weingart Foundation. [1]

The California Black Freedom Fund is the first so-called “racial equity” fund to provide financial support exclusively to organizations run by African Americans that work in African-American communities. [2]

Founding

The California Black Freedom Fund was formed out of discussions held by the California Executive Roundtable, a group of 16 leaders of leaders of left-of-center foundations in California brought together by the left-of-center Weingart Foundation. [3] California Executive Roundtable began raising money for the creation of the California Black Freedom Fund after the Black Lives Matter protests following the May 2020 police-custody death of George Floyd.

In February 2021, the California Black Freedom Fund launched its first round of funding with an initial investment of $32.4 million. The Fund distributed the grants to the Black Census and Redistricting Hub, the Black Equity Collective, and PICO California’s Live Free/Bring the HEAT initiative. [4]

In an interview with the Southern California Grantmakers, Black Equity Collective president Kaci Patterson accused Republicans in the 2020 presidential election of voting for “blatant voter suppression, blatant misinformation, blatant racism, blatant misogyny, and blatant anti-immigrant sentiments.” [5]

PICO California’s Bring the HEAT initiative calls on every elected official to make a public pledge to “#FireAllRacistCops.” Bring the HEAT has also called on local police departments to violate officer privacy by investigating all “police issued phones, lockers, emails, chat rooms” in order to assess what it deems to be explicit racial bias among police officers. [6]

Funding Goals

The California Black Freedom Fund has pledged to donate $100 million over 5 years to address what it perceives as systemic racism. The organization has pledged that $73.5 million of that amount will go directly to nonprofit organizations, while $7 million will go directly to political campaigns and activities that endorse left-of-center perspectives on race. The California Black Freedom Fund’s grants will be delivered over several rounds, including three rounds of invite-only grantmaking for 2021. [7]

The Fund has adopted several left-of-center goals of its own, including removing Confederate statues, re-labeling allegedly racist food packaging, closing prisons, and defunding law enforcement agencies. [8]

Administration

The California Black Freedom Fund will be managed administratively by the left-of-center Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF). SVCF has been the target of dozens of allegations of abusive management and sexual harassment in the past. [9] The Fund will be guided by an advisory team as well, but its members have not been made public as of March 2021.

As of March 2021, the California Black Freedom Fund does not have publicly available financial information.

References

  1. Funders join together to Launch $100 Million California BLACK Freedom Fund. (2021, February 04). Retrieved March 07, 2021, from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/funders-join-together-to-launch-100-million-california-black-freedom-fund-301222605.html ^
  2. Hadero, H. (2021, February 04). Zuckerberg part of $100m ‘California BLACK freedom fund’. Retrieved March 07, 2021, from https://apnews.com/article/race-and-ethnicity-laurene-powell-jobs-priscilla-chan-mark-zuckerberg-philanthropy-816ab1482e391bf5e21ed8139cd4e554 ^
  3. Weingart Foundation: Leadership in the sector. (n.d.). Retrieved March 07, 2021, from https://www.weingartfnd.org/leadership-in-the-sector ^
  4. Funders join together to Launch $100 Million California BLACK Freedom Fund. (2021, February 04). Retrieved March 07, 2021, from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/funders-join-together-to-launch-100-million-california-black-freedom-fund-301222605.html ^
  5. The black Equity COLLECTIVE’S vision for racial justice and liberation. (2021, February 03). Retrieved March 07, 2021, from https://www.socalgrantmakers.org/news/black-equity-collective-s-vision-racial-justice-and-liberation ^
  6. Bring the HEAT. (n.d.). Retrieved March 07, 2021, from https://www.bringtheheat.info/ ^
  7. FAQ’s. (n.d.). Retrieved March 07, 2021, from https://cablackfreedomfund.org/faqs ^
  8. California black Freedom Fund. (2021, February 04). Retrieved March 07, 2021, from https://cablackfreedomfund.org/ ^
  9. FAQ’s. (n.d.). Retrieved March 07, 2021, from https://cablackfreedomfund.org/faqs ^
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California Black Freedom Fund


Los Angeles, CA