Akonadi In the Press

Rainin Foundation on Elevating Black Women’s Leadership in Philanthropy

The global pandemic we are experiencing will have far reaching effects on our lives, our health system, and our economy, especially for those who were living on the margins before the crisis hit. We at Kenneth Rainin Foundation wanted to take a moment to recognize three leaders who are creating hope and opportunity. Read on to see how these leaders are opening access to good education and jobs, livable wages, and opportunities for everyone to build wealth. READ MORE


Categories: Lateefah Simon, Racial Justice

Building a strong infrastructure for arts and culture organizations in Oakland

Vanessa Camarena-Arredondo is a program officer at Akonadi Foundation, an Oakland, California-based funder focused on racial justice. Her role includes managing the Beloved Community Fund, which supports free public art and cultural events rooted in Oakland’s communities of color. We spoke with her about her work, including a recently launched pilot effort to strengthen arts and culture organizations, which receives funding from the Hewlett Foundation.

Categories: #BelovedCommunity, Akonadi Foundation, Culture, Oakland, Philanthropy

Art, Culture, and Racial Justice: Artist Talk on KPFA Radio

Listen: KPFA Radio‘s Hard Knock Radio aired our Art, Culture, and Racial Justice: Artist Talk. In May, we brought together several of our Racial Justice Poster commissioned artists for a discussion on the role of art and culture in the current political moment. Moderator Davey D Cook, Panelists Joshua MaysRobert Liu-Trujillo, and Janine Macbeth, Event host Vanessa Camarena#rjpp


Categories: Akonadi Foundation, Culture, Oakland, Racial Justice

Self Care as a Political Act

In the East Bay, women of color and queer people are making alternative health-care practices accessible and culturally relevant to their communities — as well as a key part of their activism. “There’s always been a level of care that exists in these communities, and elders that have held onto healing practices from ancestral lineage — that’s always been part of communities of color in Oakland,” said Iris Garcia of the Akonadi Foundation, whose mission is to eliminate structural racism. Garcia manages Akonadi’s So Love Can Win Community Response Fund, which supports community-rooted solutions to promote safety and healing in communities of color.

Categories: #SoLoveCanWin, Akonadi Foundation, Healing, Oakland, Safety

Why Do Art Funding Racial Disparities Remain So Stark?

Last week, a report titled Mapping Small Arts and Culture Organizations of Color in Oakland was published by the Akonadi Foundation and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, two San Francisco Bay Area funders with different—but overlapping—commitments to the region. The report was commissioned by the two foundations and compiled by Creative Equity Research Partners. A total of 138 organizations serving people of color in Oakland with budgets of $250,000 or less are included in the research. Read more about this important report.

Categories: #BelovedCommunity, Akonadi Foundation, Beloved Community Fund, Culture, Oakland, Racial Justice

Glasspockets Blog Interview: Lateefah Simon

GlassPockets: As the field of philanthropy is turning its attention to racial equity, I think there is a lot we might be able to learn from your story of how you started out in philanthropy when you led a small, grassroots organization, knowing no one in the field, and now have navigated your career to becoming a philanthropy insider. Can you start by describing your career path, the challenges you faced as a young woman of color, and how you broke into philanthropy? What were some of the key breakthroughs for you that made it possible? READ MORE

Categories: Akonadi Foundation, Lateefah Simon

Building Power: A Foundation Sees Voter Mobilization as a Pathway to Racial Justice

Read more about Akonadi’s Movement Building Grants for Voter Engagement: Inside Philanthropy

Based in Oakland, California, the Akonadi Foundation has been a steady force in social justice philanthropy at the local level. This is a funder we’ve watched closely over the years because it’s always one step ahead of the curve and is often cited as a nationwide model for grantmakers embracing movement-building and thinking more boldly about racial equity. Akonadi’s president, Lateefah Simon, has emerged as an important voice in philanthropy since she took the job in 2016.


Categories: Oakland, Racial Justice

Lateefah Simon Video

Tipping Point

The Bay Area community is connected by a common thread. We are all connected–by geography or philosophy, by chance or intention and by our universal needs. Tipping Point Board Member, Activist, and Akonadi Foundation President Lateefah Simon shares her story.


Categories: Lateefah Simon, Oakland, Philanthropy

Five Oakland arts nonprofits receive grants to support communities of color

East Bay Times

OAKLAND — Five Oakland arts and cultural nonprofits received a total of $100,000 in grants and technical assistance to continue serving communities of color in Oakland.

The funding and technical assistance is coming from a new program by Oakland’s Akonadi Foundation, which works to advance racial justice. In addition to financial support, the nonprofits will receive training on how to sustain their organizations. Read more here.