March Newsletter

From the President

‘Tell Her’ Akonadi’s 2019 Racial Justice Poster

Beloved Community Fund Grant Awards

Benchmark ‘Mapping Report’ Wins Award


The last few months have been a busy time for us as– after 20 years of grantmaking to support racial justice movement building in Oakland, we are getting ready to go all in on ending the criminalization of people and youth of color in Alameda County. We realize that this is a significant change for our organization, our grant partners, and how our work is seen in the community and in philanthropy. We also realize that we are in a moment where we must take bold steps to ensure freedom and justice for our young people.

In the coming months, we’ll be keeping you updated with additional details, what the grantmaking approach will look like, and our vision for this work. We are grateful for the leaders and organizations working tirelessly to address one of the most critical injustices facing our communities today.

In community and solidarity,
Lateefah Simon


We are pleased to unveil the 11th Annual Racial Justice Poster commissioned by Akonadi Foundation from renowned artist, Chicanx social justice activist, and teacher Juana Alicia.

“Tell Her” features Chinaka Hodge presenting her poem, “What Will You Tell Your Daughters About 2016?”, at a Ted Talk. In the background is a detail of Rigoberta Menchú Tum from the MAESTRAPEACE Mural on The San Francisco Women’s Building; which seven women muralists, including Juana Alicia, created.

Juana Alicia has been creating murals and teaching for over 30 years. Her sculptural and painted public works can be seen in Nicaragua, Mexico, Pennsylvania, and many parts of California, most notably in San Francisco. Her work is associated with the greatest artistic and political achievements of the Chicanx movement.

The Racial Justice Poster Project is one approach the foundation uses to honor and inspire racial justice movement building in Oakland and around the world. The project also commemoratesMarch 21, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and honors the legacy of political posters as an integral part of social movements for more than a century. Find out more here.

Watch the Video

Check out our video featuring Juana Alicia produced by Jean Melesaine


Akonadi Foundation will be distributing $255,000 through its final round of grants of the Beloved Community Fund to 17 organizations. The funding provides general support to organizations that employ a cultural strategy to advance racial justice in Oakland. Moving forward, the foundation will no longer fund one-time events and will engage peer institutions and governmental agencies to grow the overall base of funding for people of color-led arts and cultural institutions in Oakland.

The Beloved Community Fund was founded in 2012 with the goal of investing in efforts that use art and culture to build voice, power, and self-determination in communities of color. Since 2012, the Beloved Community Fund has given $2,319,825 to 196 organizations to support free public art and cultural events for communities of color in Oakland. In 2018, the average grant size was 7,800 with a total of $500,000 awarded to 64 projects.

The following organizations will be receiving grants of $15,000 each:

Afrocentric Oakland
American Indian Child Resource Center
Afro Urban Society
Fua Dia Congo
Betti Ono
Intertribal Friendship House
Omnira Institute
Peacock Rebellion
The Umoja Festival
BH Brilliant Minds Project, Inc.
Studio Grand
Friends of Lincoln Square
Friends of Peralta Hacienda Historical Park
Oakland Public Conservatory of Music
American Friends Service Committee (67 Sueños)
Omi Arts Project Space at Ashara Ekundayo Gallery


“Mapping Small Arts and Culture Organizations of Color in Oakland,” a report commissioned by theKenneth Rainin Foundation and Akonadi Foundation, won first place for external publication or report in PR News’ 2019 Nonprofit Awards. This win underscores a timely investigation into the ways that vibrant contributions from communities of color are strengthening our cities, while these communities struggle to survive. The award also celebrates the power of collaboration to lift up work and voices in the community.

BH Brilliant Minds Juneteenth Festival

At Akonadi Foundation, our mission is to support the development of powerful social change movements to eliminate structural racism and create a racially just society. With an emphasis in Oakland, Akonadi Foundation seeks to stop the criminalization of youth and young adults of color, end the school to prison pipeline, and build responses to harm that nurture wellness and well-being. Since its founding in 2000, the Foundation has given over 1,600 grants totaling $40 million to nonprofit organizations, primarily in the Bay Area as well as across the country. For more information: or @akonadi_oakland.