Akonadi Foundation Announces Grants to Support Voter Engagement in Alameda County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 23, 2018

Akonadi Foundation Announces Grants to Support Voter Engagement in Alameda County
Six racial justice organizations will work to increase voter turnout in Oakland communities

Oakland, CA — Akonadi Foundation announced today $265,000 in grants to support six racial justice organizations mobilizing voters to get to the polls in Alameda County and to ensure accountability in local government.

“Progressive philanthropy must play a key role in supporting electoral activism in communities of color this November and beyond,” said Lateefah Simon, Akonadi Foundation President. “Our Movement Action Fund grantees are galvanizing the new majority across Alameda County to vote and hold elected officials accountable during this critical time in our democracy.”

The organizations have been working to mobilize voters for years and, in 2018, are aiming to reach 75,000 people of color and young people in districts with historically low turnouts, including East and West Oakland. The foundation has awarded a total of $530,000 in grants through the Movement Action Fund this year. The second round of grants will support the following organizations in mobilizing voters of color for the mid-term elections:

  • Oakland Rising, a 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.
  • Urban Peace Movement (UPM), a racial justice organization focused on criminal and juvenile justice work and community safety, builds youth leadership in Oakland to transform the culture and social conditions that lead to community violence and mass incarceration in communities of color.
  • Fam 1st Family Foundation is dedicated to uplifting and empowering youth in the Bay Area through empowerment and education and aims “to build self-esteem and academic learning skills in underserved youth”.
  • ACCE Institute is a grassroots, member-led, statewide community organization working with more than 10,000 members across California to raise the voices of everyday Californians to fight for the policies and programs needed to improve communities and create a brighter future.
  • Filipino Advocates for Justice strives to build a strong and empowered Filipino community by organizing constituents, developing leaders, providing services, and advocating for policies that promote social and economic justice and equity.
  • Faith in Action, a member of the PICO network, supports grassroots organizing, enabling congregations to build power to reshape their lives and their communities by training leaders and equipping them with tools to fight racism and make society more equitable.

“Our communities are under attack in every election,” said Carroll Fife, director of Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE). “ ACCE leaders believe that when we are engaged and organized, not only can we defeat their attacks but we can advance strong policies that materially benefit our communities.”

Mid-term elections historically have lower turnout than presidential elections, and voter participation in communities of color is typically lower than in white communities. Although California is a majority-minority state, according to PPIC, turnout by communities of color continues to lag. While non-Hispanic whites make up 42 percent of the state’s adult population, they make up 59 percent of the state’s likely voters.

About the 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