SFF Responds to the Pandemic and the Movement for Black Lives

Posted on September 03, 2020

Earlier in the year, we shared a message of support to our partners, and an acknowledgement of the racial violence plaguing our country. We voiced a commitment to examine our position, power and responsibility and we pledged to take additional actions, including deepening investments to address the growing needs related to the pandemic and the Movement for Black Lives. We would like to share how we have advanced these commitments.

Our first set of COVID-19 grants represented a range of support from testing to direct service. We recognized that needs and gaps would continue to grow over a longer period of time. After connecting with the majority of our grantees and learning about gaps and opportunities across the state, we made an additional $490,000 in grants to capacity building organizations, and underfunded efforts across the state. You can access a detailed and full list of pandemic related grants at this link. In addition to new grantmaking, we extended reporting timeframes for active grants and increased our engagement in conversations taking place around a just economic recovery.

Our latest round of grants include:

We reserved some funding for longer-term recovery, and we are steadfast in our commitment to gathering information and understanding needs and gaps as they arise.

As we use our grantmaking to address the needs brought about by the pandemic, we continue to learn more about the historic and systemic reasons that COVID-19 is disproportionately harming communities of color. The underlying, structural injustices and broken public systems revealed by COVID-19 can only be fixed through long-term political, social and cultural change. Supporting Black, Latinx, Native, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), and immigrant-led organizing is essential to safeguarding our democracy and to ensuring our country begins the long journey toward greater equality and opportunity for all Americans. We are applying this learning to our advocacy and civic engagement strategy, as we further explore ways to advance equity.

We are committed, impassioned, and moved by the national and local Movement for Black Lives. In support of the movement, we are providing grants to a few local efforts:

As a foundation committed to the access and use of data, we are also supporting the Black Futures Lab, a national effort led by Alicia Garza, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter.

Staff and trustees of the Stolte Family Foundation are engaged in individual and group learning about racial equity, including building our awareness of equity tools and approaches that can strengthen our strategies and portfolios. We know this work takes time and we commit to action beyond learning. We’ve been reading The Color of Money Black Banks and The Racial Wealth Gap, and discussing the case for greater investment in and reparations for the Black community. As an organization, we will be engaging with a consultant to build our knowledge and skills, and assess areas for growth.