FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2018
Akonadi Foundation Announces Grants to Support Voter Engagement in Alameda County
Five racial justice organizations aim to rally 10,000 voters
Oakland, CA — Akonadi Foundation announced today $260,000 in grants to support five racial justice organizations to mobilize 10,000 people to get to the polls in Alameda County.
“It is vital that we inspire our communities to get involved in choosing their leaders,” said Akonadi Foundation founder and board chair Quinn Delaney. “Philanthropy must show up for our communities by making voter engagement and building power a visible and high priority.”
The five organizations have been working on these issues for years and, in 2018, are aiming to reach people who have not been engaged before. Through a first phase of grants, the following organizations will combine their efforts and mobilize 10,000 new voters for the June election:
- Urban Peace Movement builds youth leadership in Oakland to transform the culture and social conditions that lead to community violence and mass incarceration in communities of color.
- Black Futures Lab works with Black people to transform our communities, building Black political power and changing the way that power operates—locally, statewide, and nationally.
- PICO California is the state’s largest community organizing network, bringing together local federations from throughout California to effect meaningful budget and policy change at the state level and advance racial and economic justice in California through organizing, advocacy, and voter engagement.
- The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights works locally, statewide, and nationally to end mass incarceration and criminalization and mobilizes everyday people to build power and prosperity in our communities, enabling them to reinvest in communities, change policies, and redefine safety.
- Oakland Rising, a multilingual, multiracial collaborative with deep roots in East and West Oakland’s neighborhoods, educates and mobilizes voters in the flatlands to speak up for and take charge of the issues impacting their lives.
“Our communities are greatly impacted by the decisions made by elected officials,” said Prince White, program and policy campaign coordinator with Urban Peace Movement. “This investment will allow us to reach people who have not been engaged before–mothers who have lost children, people who have been formerly incarcerated–and educate them about the power they have to choose leaders who share their values.”
Primary elections have historically low turnout, and voter participation is especially low in some parts of the Bay Area. In Alameda County, 30.5 percent of those registered voted in the 2016 California primaries, compared to 43 percent of registered voters statewide. In the 2014 general election, voter turnout in the flatlands of Oakland was the lowest in the city, at or below 39 percent, compared to nearly 74 percent in some of the more affluent Oakland Hills neighborhoods.
About Akonadi Foundation
Akonadi Foundation’s mission is to support the development of powerful social change movements to eliminate structural racism and create a racially just society. Through an ecosystem grant making lens, Akonadi supports and nurtures racial justice movement building in Oakland by supporting grassroots organizing, culture shift, and policy change. Since its founding in 2000, the Foundation has given over 1,600 grants totaling $35 million to nonprofit organizations, primarily in the Bay Area as well as across the country. For more information: Akonadi.org. On social media @akonadi_oakland