Mission and Values

Akonadi Foundation’s mission is to support the development of powerful social change movements to eliminate structural racism and create a racially just society.
To transform the climate in Oakland to one of compassion, respect, and dignity for youth and young people of color.

Using an ecosystem grantmaking lens, Akonadi supports and nurtures grassroots organizing, culture shift, and policy changes that build Oakland’s racial justice movement. Since its founding in 2000, the Foundation has given over 1,600 grants totaling $35 million to nonprofit organizations, primarily in the Bay Area but also across the country.

We envision a world where youth and young adults of color are:

  • treated with compassion, dignity, and respect in schools and in community life;
  • valued as community members and assets to the city; and
  • assured of the support and opportunities they need to heal from harm, to become leaders, and to learn and grow.

Racial Justice
We support the development of a powerful social change movement to eliminate structural racism and create a racially just society. 

Communities of Color in Leadership
Efforts to achieve racial justice must be defined and led by the communities of color most affected by structural racism.

This work must be grounded in the knowledge that as systems and structures oppress, demean, and even take the lives of  individuals of color, these systems and structures simultaneously injure other groups — women, for example, or economically exploited populations — and that any person or group may suffer from multiple socially/politically imposed disadvantages.

Leadership from the Field
Effective foundations support and are led by the ideas, innovations, and needs of organizations directly involved in the work of racial justice.

Cultural Expression
Cultural strategies can play a powerful role in changing hearts and minds, ultimately shaping policies and practice.


Ecosystem Grantmaking

To build and sustain community power and racial justice movement building, Akonadi Foundation focuses our funding on ecosystem grantmaking. The term highlights the importance of the diverse web of relationships among the communities, organizations, and political formations that Akonadi supports.

We believe that this approach is an effective, comprehensive, and values-driven way to support the work of successful movements for racial justice and social change. We also believe that to achieve maximum success in building the capacity of racial justice movements, we must not only identify and support people and organizations that explicitly think, act, and talk about racial justice; we must also encourage collaboration and coordination among those organizations. As part of this approach, we fund organizations that do base-building work as well as their key allies and partners.