So Love Can Win Community Response Fund

It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”  
-Assata Shakur


From gun violence and displacement to biased police, Oakland’s communities of color face structural barriers to real safety and healing. As one of the most racially diverse cities in the country, Oakland can and should be a haven in which communities of color can thrive. We urgently need to uplift current efforts to create this haven and to seed new ways of understanding safety beyond relying on policing and prisons – systems that harm us all and fail to address the roots causes of inequity. We also need space to mourn the community members we have lost due to violence and to heal from the harm of racism and its intergenerational impacts.

To engage in long-term systems change, communities of color need to be emotionally and spiritually fortified and to feel safe. So Love Can Win, Akonadi’s Community Response Fund, supports projects in Oakland’s communities of color that protect and nurture our mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. The projects supported through So Love Can Win create new spaces for connection, build culturally relevant self-care and community-care practices, and bring an intergenerational frame to sustaining healing and safety. Akonadi is proud to stand in solidarity with courageous resistance in uncertain times.

Akonadi Foundation’s ‘So Love Can Win’ Community Response Fund will accept applications on a rolling basis from August 13, 2018 through November 15, 2018. The fund offers one-time grants of up to $5,000 to spark imagination and seed efforts that contribute to creating healing and safety in Oakland’s communities of color.


The project can be new or support ongoing work and must:
  • take place within Oakland city limits
  • be led by communities of color
  • be connected to long-term racial justice building in Oakland
  • clearly respond to community need in today’s particular racial justice context
  • be completed within four months of a grant award
  • demonstrate that it is part of and/or rooted in a particular group, formation, collective, or community (we do not fund individuals)
  • be undertaken by an organization that has 501(c)(3) status or is fiscally sponsored. Akonadi is continuing its partnership with the Social Good Fund, which will waive its normal fiscal sponsorship fees to groups that have been approved for a So Love Can Win grant. If you need a fiscal sponsor, please contact Iris Garcia: Iris [at] to discuss options

This fund will offer one-time grants of up to $5,000, on a rolling basis, until the funds are exhausted. In 2018, Akonadi Foundation will distribute a total of $115,000 through the So Love Can Win Fund. Since the fund launched in 2016, we have awarded 64 grants totaling over $200,000.

Proposals that focus on healing should touch on one or more of the following themes:
  • healing practices that are accessible and particularly relevant to communities of color
  • the importance of healing, wellness, and self-care for people of color on the front lines of racial justice movement building
  • responses to racial trauma and intergenerational harm
  • an anti-racist political frame
Proposals that focus on safety should touch on one or more of the following themes:
  • notions of safety that present alternatives to the current system of prisons, policing, and criminal justice
  • efforts to build communities that are free of state violence, through actively confronting and challenging the violence against people of color rooted in the criminal justice system, police, prisons, homeland security, ICE, and other instruments of the state
  • promotion of community self-determination, cohesion, and mutual support mechanisms

What kind of events do you fund through #SLCW?

Funding is not limited to these events. We also invite proposals that meet the eligibility requirements and the purpose of the #SLCW Fund but fall outside these specific areas.

What will not receive funding?
  • Political advocacy efforts for or against a political candidate, ballot measure, or bill
  • Projects that are solely or primarily fundraisers
  • General operating support
  • Labor, fraternal, athletic, or political organizations
  • Projects based in public or private educational institutions (K-12, private schools, and universities)
  • More than one proposal per organization
  • “Police-community” partnerships
  • Clinical healing/wellness work that lacks a justice frame
  • Healing activities that benefit a single organization (e.g., a retreat for the staff of X organization)

To Apply
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis from August 14, 2018, through November 15, 2018.
  • Applicants will receive a decision within two weeks of submitting the application.
  • Checks will be mailed to successful applicants within 10 business days of receipt of a signed contract
  • A brief report will be required from grantees four months after the grant has been made. To accommodate different learning styles, the report may be submitted in writing or via a scheduled phone interview with So Love Can Win Program Officer, Iris Garcia. 
To accommodate different learning styles, an applicant may apply either online or via scheduled phone interview. Please find application link or sign up for a phone interview time slot: 


Online Application


Phone Interview

Download application questions and criteria for your reference:

Application PDF

Running from September 15-November 15, 2017, Akonadi Foundation’s #SoLoveCanWin Community Response Fund awarded 24 grants, totaling $114,500 Many of the grants were given to organizations working with communities at the intersection of multiple oppressions, including gender, sexual orientation, and age.


A Touch of Life is a West Oakland-based leadership and wellness company that offers healing circles for African women of the Diaspora who are gatekeepers in Oakland. The SLCW grant will support intergenerational healing circles for women of color in Oakland. Black women leaders need coping strategies to support the broader movement, and “Leading with Love” will create a safe place for building connections, provide practical spiritual tools to manage and reduce harmful reactions to continued toxic stress, and enable participants to process their personal and community trauma.


Adamika Village will host “No Yellow Tape Day,” on Nov. 11, 2017 at DeFremery Park. The event will bring together Black and Brown families from across Oakland who have lost their children to tragedy, violence, and the state foster care or criminal justice systems, to bond, heal, and engage in conversation while enjoying music and food and learning from powerful speakers and resources. The goal of ‘No Yellow Tape Day’ is to help families heal and to discuss community-led solutions to public safety. West Oakland’s DeFremery Park has a history of hosting radical movements. Through No Yellow Tape Day, Adamika Village intends to demonstrate determination to stop the violence that has plagued Black and Brown communities.


Afro Urban Society’s mission is to sustain the resiliency, interconnection, and unique artistic and cultural expression of urban Africans through art production, performance, and artistic engagement. The “Lost African” project involves a series of bi-monthly gatherings designed to build a network of first-through-third-generation people of African descent. Participants will build community, connect to their cultural identities, and collectively create culturally relevant workshops and events that honor their contributions, stories, and relationships to the diaspora.


67 Sueños, a program of the American Friends Service Committee, works with marginalized youth, both undocumented and from mixed-status families, who are affected by high rates of violence, mass incarceration, deportation, and poverty. 67 Sueños will work with Oakland young people to create a self-defense rapid response network that will serve to protect people of color from instances of state violence, primarily ICE raids and police harassment. So Love Can Win funding will support 67 Sueños youth to: document ICE raids; use social media and modern technology to alert local community-based organizations of ICE or police harassment; act as legal observers, and safely film instances of police brutality.


The ‘Beautiful Being Lab’ is a two-day workshop open to queer people of color; it will explore how beauty as an aesthetic can inspire alternative movements, songs, and narratives. This lab will be a space for participants to consider what stories they need to affirm their being in the world; what movements make them feel free, beautiful, and present in their bodies; and what sounds quiet the negative voices in their heads. The mission of the Beautiful Things Project is to expand readership for poetry; foster mutual support among artists and organizations that work to restore, nurture, and bring beauty to the people they serve; and to create beautiful community events that spotlight the narratives and experiences of queer people of color.


“For the Love” is a community healing project that offers sliding-scale acupuncture and sound healing for queer and/or trans people of color in Oakland. These unique clinics aim to nurture the wellness and resilience of queer people living at the intersections of structural violence by offering safe, holistic health treatments.  SLCW will support “For the Love” seasonal acupuncture and sound healing clinics and help establish a fund to subsidize individual treatments for QTPOC activists and organizers dealing with acute healthcare needs.


The Healing Clinic Collective’s mission is to bring healing to the people through building an intentional network of natural and traditional healers, along with volunteer members who are grounded in political organizing, spirituality, ceremonial ways of life, and/or community health. Funding from SLCW will be used to launch a Movement Generation Healing Clinic in collaboration with Movement Generation, Justice and Ecology Project. The healing clinic will help movement workers who are taking on extremely challenging and taxing parts of our movement for deep social change, and will take place at Arroyo Viejo Recreation Center in East Oakland.


The Hummingbird Urban Farming Collective is dedicated to creating deep connections to land and community for children of color. The project in the Oakland hills will serve as a community space for children, caregivers, and educators. The property will be a black-led, land-based liberation space for healing, growing, and learning. Funds from SLCW will be used to develop a place where children will find a deeper connection to nature, their community, and each other.


Indian People Organizing for Change supports Sogorea Te Land Trust, an urban indigenous-women-led community organization that facilitates the return of Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone lands in the San Francisco Bay Area to indigenous stewardship. Last year, with the support of previous Akonadi funding, Sogorea Te Land Trust (STLT) hosted a series of community events called “What does Land mean to You?” Through that process STLT established a new collaboration with Planting Justice, a radical food justice non-profit that is now working to create a cultural easement plan for redistribution of land in deep east Oakland to STLT. Funding through So Love Can Win will support a daylong retreat focused on establishing this emerging vision through facilitated discussion and workshops.


The First Annual Healing through the Arts event organized by King David Respect for Life will showcase healing practices through prayer, dance, food, and art as a way to foster community. This event aims to reach people in Oakland’s ‘hot spots,’ where most homicides occur. The age of the target audience is 10-24, the range most susceptible to gang affiliation, human trafficking, gender-based violence, cyber bullying, “black-on-black” crime, and under-diagnosed mental illness. The theme will be “know your neighbors,” with goals of eradicating stereotypes of Black and Brown communities and uniting to bring justice to communities of color in Oakland. The event will feature an all-girl African American youth dance group, Native American dancers, other local talent, yoga, basket weaving, and more. Foods from Africa, Latin America, the Philippines, and the Caribbean will be featured.


The Love Not Blood Campaign provides holistic healing to families that have been traumatized by police or communal violence. Funding from SLCW will support a symposium for communities of color that have been affected by state-sanctioned and communal violence, communities that have experienced racial trauma, and people who have witnessed community violence. Families will participate in activities guided by a variety of mental health professionals, public health advocates, family advocates, and veteran family member activists. The symposium will cover such themes as healing through resistance, adopting sustainable self-care routines, and supporting traumatized families. Participants will leave empowered emotionally and physically and with a collective vision, a larger network of supporters, ideas for daily self-care routines, concrete next steps appropriate to their individual situations, constructive organizing toolkits, and a deeper analysis of the anti-police brutality movement and communal violence.


MJ’s Brass Boppers Brass Band is a New Orleans singing and swinging brass band that fuses traditional NOLA standards, funk, and jazz with an emphasis on the African roots of New Orleans music history and culture. So Love Can Win funding will be used to throw a series of second line parades in black communities around the city of Oakland, in partnership with local cultural organizations. Our workshops emphasize the musical influence black musicians in New Orleans had not only on jazz but on a plethora of musical genres and culture in general. Our goal is to empower, encourage, and inform our community about the importance of an American art form with roots in Africa that we black people created for healing.


OneLife Institute is an Oakland-based organization that serves at the intersection of spirituality and social action. Its mission is to nurture, inspire, and sustain people who are committed to healing and justice. “Healing Black Lives” is a day-long retreat for front-line activists and other community members at risk of burnout and trauma in these perilous times. OneLife created Healing Black Lives in 2016 to contribute to the contemporary Movement for Black Lives: “We gather in safe and sacred space to foster connection and support, share hopes and visions, and find strength in ourselves and one another.” The day includes free mini-sessions with healers, facilitated discussion, and development of ongoing practices for sustainability, resilience, and spiritual well-being.


‘Make Healing Together’ is a free one-day drop-in healing space for queer and trans people of color (QTPOC), hosted by Peacock Rebellion. Make Healing Together will be held at Liberating Ourselves Locally, on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017; survivors of violence will come together to learn and practice community care. Stations will include sound healing, meditation, breathwork, ritual, and more, including artistic creation–for the somatic processing and transformation of individual and collective trauma as QTPOC face profound levels of violence from the current administration and its followers. Peacock Rebellion is a crew of queer and trans artists, healers, organizers, and cultural workers of color who use the arts to heal QTPOC communities that are experiencing intimate, interpersonal, institutional, and structural violence.


People’s Community Medics’ (PCM) is hosting two free healing collective clinics with AfrikaTown Healing Clinic and the Oakland Climate Action Coalition. PCM will provide free emergency response trainings to the community. The mission of PCM is to provide free emergency medical education, especially for low-income communities of color in Oakland. PCM educates people, free of charge, on treating medical emergencies such as seizures, gunshot wounds, and stabbings. It offers medical service education in the hood for as many people as possible to prevent needless deaths.


PICO is the largest multi-racial religion-based community-organizing network in California; it develops leadership and builds capacity for civic engagement to effect broad systemic change. PICO California’s #RighteousResistance initiative will train congregations to increase their rapid response capacity as a means to counter violent white supremacy and white terrorism, leverage best practices around the theory of nonviolence as an actual strategy, and emerge equipped with the knowledge of how their houses of worship can be sanctuaries. PICO will train roughly 200 clergy leaders from 100 congregations in Oakland in non-violent resistance, protest, civil disobedience, de-escalation training, and protection strategies around houses of worship. PICO will also establish a text-based rapid response communications network that will provide support for congregations in need.


As the first and only support group for queer and trans Muslims in the Bay Area, the mission of the Queer Muslim Support Group is to enable participants to support one another, practice vulnerability, speak plainly, and explore parts of the self that otherwise do not feel safe. This process breaks down feelings of isolation and invisibility, allowing participants to appear as they define themselves – more fully in their communities and families, with dignity, presence, and power to encounter these political times. Queer Muslims are often seen as holding contradictory identities and can experience being marginalized and misunderstood, by other Muslims and other queer folks alike. In a political climate that is fraught with islamophobia, xenophobia, and ongoing wars against Muslim-majority states and peoples, gathering Muslim-identified folks for healing, visibility, and mutual support brings unique opportunities to move from surviving to thriving as a people.


Regina’s Door will host two events for young survivors of sex trafficking in Oakland. “In My Mother’s Garden” healing circle and a “Protection Shield” Workshop will examine learning to walk the path of life with bold wisdom and walking that path with the knowledge that one is protected. These components are key to healing for survivors because slavery reduces a survivor’s personal will through constant physical/emotional attacks, and fear is burned across the soul to ensure compliance. The “In My Mother’s Garden” circle focuses on healing the generational trauma leveled against the black female mind, body, spirit, and heart, in an effort to encourage living effectively and with abundance. The Protection Shield Workshop will train participants to use spiritual energy, recycled objects, plants/flowers, and tradition to create personal protection shields based on their individual needs and healing triggers. The mission of Regina’s Door is to provide a creative arts and healing sanctuary for young survivors of sex trafficking in Oakland and trauma-informed methodologies for gentle healing of spirit, body, mind, and soul.


Sacred Space Spiritual Support Group consists of Black women and other women of color from a diverse backgrounds, ranging in age from 50 to 85. Sacred Space Spiritual Support Group helps women and their families overcome obstacles, many caused by racism that has affected their housing, work situations, or grown children who are involved in the criminal justice system. Sacred Space is known for providing opportunities for Black women to learn from each other, and find solutions that help them feel empowered. With support from SLCW, Sacred Space will charter a bus for 60 African American residents of Oakland to attend the 22nd annual Maafa commemoration at Ocean Beach in San Francisco on October 8, 2017. Sacred Space also will host the Post-Maafa Dinner, forming a healing circle to allow Maafa participants reflect on the experience and create community agreements and actions to be carried out during the year.


Super Juiced believes that eating organic vegetables and fruits every day is a human right and that we ALL deserve to treat our bodies with love and respect through conscious food choices. In the struggles for a more just world in this current political climate, Super Juiced understands that what people eat has a profound impact on the health of the community as a whole and can also be a fierce act of resistance. Funding from So Love Can Win will support an eight-week workshop series that will invite local healers, food justice educators, midwives, and herbalists, in collaboration with local organizations, to empower participants to take concrete steps toward healing that are indigenous to our communities. Eating healthy and prioritizing healing is connected to practices that have always been central to people of color. This series will create a safe, welcoming space to heal collectively, and connect participants to resources that they can continue to tap into.


Spearitwurx’s mission is to further youth development and social transformation through conscientious consulting, wellness workshops, and transformative trainings. Spearitwurxhas taught life skills and culturally based, gender-specific healing circles through school-based health centers, making a positive impact on overall school climate and youth’s self-esteem and non-violent conflict resolution skills. Funding from So Love Can Win will support the Powerful Parent Conference, a safe space for parents and youth to learn how to navigate the impacts of trauma while gaining practical life skills knowledge. Interactive workshops will be offered on: 1) educational advocacy to support in-school safety and justice; 2) rights when engaging with police, school site officers and immigration; 3) self-defense and awareness techniques for use in non-violent direct actions; 4) restorative communication and de-escalation skills; and 5) personal grounding tools for daily use, to bring power to the peaceful and conjure a culture of calm.


“Luv Euphor Record Sto’: Reclaiming Reputations & Known As,” a 12-week workshop hosted by The Biz Stoop, will be a place for survivors of trauma – with special consideration for those harmed by systems of incarceration or trafficking – to use poetry, prose, and other forms of creativity to explore variations of personal/ancestral truths. Sessions will be accompanied by select readings/recordings from Black and Afro-diaspora artists and will encourage participants to explore these issues through the lenses of witnesses, confessor/testifiers, the jailed, the jury, the jailer, and the bereaved. The BIZ (Black Intergenerational Zeal) Stoop is a W.O.M. (word of mouth) social enterprise with the vision to exponentially increase the life expectancy of Black youth beyond the age of 25 years and offer individuals healthier visions of themselves, using holistic approaches to wellness while altering the boundaries that circumscribe our environment.


The Women and Girls Empowerment (WAGE) Collective will facilitate community circles and productions of artistic resistance to uplift the stories, voices, and bodies that are often silenced or harmed through different forms oppression and violence. Its artist facilitation techniques integrate community building, critical dialogue, creative expression, and collaboration to address complex manifestations of oppression and violence, using art as a tool to heal, transform, liberate, affirm, and celebrate. ‘Breaking Bread Sister Circles’ will address topics including: reclaiming sexuality, identity and media, colorism and standards of beauty. Participants will engage in deep conversation about their experiences on each topic, and discover how these issues manifest, using movement, poetry and theater. These circles will uplift stories and talents of a diverse network of women artists and activists and contribute to a rich culture of healing and artistic resistance in Oakland, by reclaiming stories as triumphant survivors, not victims.


We Fight Back is a trauma-informed boxing and self-defense program to help women and girls stay alive and safer. A high percentage of women and girls of color in Oakland live with the trauma of assault and fear future physical, sexual and/or emotional assault. We Fight Back boxing and self-defense program for women and girls believes that liberation is an embodied practice and nurtures creative empowerment while providing real life skills for personal healing and safety. We Fight Back will prioritize female-identified youth who have been channeled through state systems and face deeper levels of oppression due to the intersection of sexual identity, race, and culture, giving them access to fighting and life skills that foster confidence.


If you have questions about any of our programs, please call our office: 510-663-3867 or email info[at]