Akonadi Foundation was launched by Quinn Delaney and Wayne Jordan in 2000, a year after California voters approved Proposition 21, a racist ballot measure targeting and criminalizing young people of color. Although Prop 21 passed, the movement that arose in opposition to this draconian initiative profoundly shaped Akonadi. Quinn and Wayne were inspired by the youth activists and youth-led groups in the Bay Area and across the state organizing and fighting against Prop 21 and racial injustice more broadly. They envisioned the foundation becoming a partner in the work to advance racial justice by listening closely, collaborating deeply, and marching in lockstep with courageous advocates and organizers on the frontlines.
Over the last two decades, the Foundation has given over 1,900 grants totaling $43 million to nonprofit organizations, primarily in the Bay Area as well as across the country, that have centered power-building and organizing to fuel a racial justice movement. Today, we face an oppressive political and cultural environment that demands a focused approach to deepen the impact of our work. Akonadi is doubling down on our commitment to work collaboratively with organizers in Oakland, as well as with our peers in philanthropy, to reduce the everyday oppression that criminalizes young people of color.