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Sierra Health Foundation Partnerships

Leadership Development for Racial Equity grants to support capacity building for policy and systems change


Eleven youth-focused nonprofit organizations led by people of color serving in Northern California and the San Joaquin Valley will receive grants totaling almost $110,000 through the Leadership Development for Racial Equity program.

Little Manila photo

As one of the most diverse states in the nation, California depends significantly on the success of the communities of color that together comprise a majority of its population. Yet many African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans and other Californians face systemic barriers to leading healthy lives. These barriers block access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, clean environments and other resources, and result in racial inequities.

Funding will support activities to increase organizational capacity to address racial equity. Youth will participate in advocacy and leadership training, civic engagement opportunities, advocacy for ethnic studies curriculum, development of organizational infrastructure and more. Learn about the funded organizations and their activities on The Center web site.

The Leadership Development for Racial Equity program is funded by The California Endowment and Sierra Health Foundation and is managed by The Center.

Photo courtesy of Leadership Development for Racial Equity grantee partner Little Manila Rising. Shown are youth engaged in the Us History Ethnic Studies Program.

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California’s budget to include $37.3 million for the Youth Reinvestment Fund


In a win for California’s youth, including boys and men of color, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a 2018-2019 budget that includes $37.3 million for the Youth Reinvestment Fund.

The Youth Reinvestment Fund is the first-ever state fund specifically dedicated to keeping young people out of the justice system and in the care of community organizations that are best able to provide guidance and support. The fund will help improve the outcomes of vulnerable youth populations by using trauma-informed community and health-based interventions in lieu of arrest, detention and incarceration. More than $1 million will be allocated to Native American Tribes for youth diversion programs.

California Funders for Boys and Men of Color members joined with advocates, Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer and young people to call for the Youth Reinvestment Fund in the California state budget.

Learn more on the California Funders for Boys and Men of Color web site.

Youth Reinvestment Fund press conference photo

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Philanthropy responds to inhumane family separation and detention policies


Sierra Health Foundation is one of more than 200 philanthropic institutions from across the country that have signed a joint Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) statement in support of children and families seeking refuge in the United States. Read the statement and see the list of organizations that have signed the joint statement on the GCIR web site.

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Partner Spotlight: Rural Community Assistance Corp’s Agua4All program


School may be out for the summer, but Rural Community Assistance Corp’s Agua4All program works year-round to provide students in rural communities with safe and accessible drinking water on school campuses.

Build.Black. Coalition logo

Agua4All recently completed an installation at two elementary schools and a middle school in Kernville, a town of 1,400 in the southern Sierra Nevada, about 40 miles northeast of Bakersfield. Its school district, the Kernville Union School District, includes Kernville Elementary School, Wallace Elementary School and Wallace Middle School.

The project included installation of 12 water bottle filling stations and drinking fountains between two campus locations. The initial plan was to replace or retrofit 10 water stations that were either rundown or broken, but with support from the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund, Rural Community Assistance Corp added two completely new units where none had been before. Altogether, the project served 900 students.

Once the water stations were installed, the Agua4All manager and project coordinator visited the schools to give educational talks to the students. The interactive presentations included information on the benefits of drinking water and how much water they should drink each day. The students also received reusable water bottles to use at the newly installed bottle filling stations.

In an area like Kernville, where the average temperature last month was 90 degrees, having access to safe drinking water at school is crucial for kids to stay hydrated.

Learn more about Rural Community Assistance Corp and its programs.

Learn about the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund.

Photo courtesy of Rural Community Assistance Corp

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Build.Black. Coalition receives RAILS grant to promote inclusive economic development


Build.Black. Coalition logo

The City of Sacramento has awarded $99,750 to the Build.Black. Coalition through the Rapid Acceleration, Innovation, and Leadership in Sacramento (RAILS) Program to support a project that will promote inclusive economic development and create on-ramps to prosperity in an effort to transform lives and unite community.

Specifically, the project will:

  • Develop professional economic innovation learning communities that include economic leaders, investors and local entrepreneurs
  • Support emerging businesses with the New Idea Build.Black. Awards and Innovation Competition that will recognize and support local economic development concepts and position awardees to attract further investment
  • Track results by identifying and disseminating lessons learned to key stakeholders in a written report and webinar, with the aim of increasing awareness of African American economic development opportunities and strategies

The Build.Black. Coalition is improving outcomes and communities so Black youth can thrive, be healthy and be safe. Sierra Health Foundation is a coalition partner. Learn more

In 2016, the Sacramento City Council adopted the Innovation and Growth Fund Policy and Guidelines to create new programs that expand the startup pipeline and engage the innovation ecosystem. In doing so, the council unanimously approved a framework for the RAILS Program, offering up to $1 million in grants annually to support community-based initiatives and programs that help entrepreneurs take their startup from initial idea to viable company. Learn more

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Kings and Queens Rise Basketball League tournament to be held at Golden 1 Center


It has been a summer of teamwork, learning and fun for youth from the eight Black Child Legacy Campaign neighborhoods who have participated in the Kings and Queens Rise Co-Ed Basketball League. A partnership of the Black Child Legacy Campaign, the Build.Black. Coalition, the Sacramento Kings and Kaiser Permanente, the league provided an opportunity for young people to engage in intercommunity sports, while providing a caring and positive environment with community building, sportsmanship and resources for health and safety.

Youth participants had a chance to meet and learn from NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas at Golden 1 Center on July 2 during the California Classic Youth Forum, a writing workshop and panel discussion on ways youth can improve their life skills, which was held prior to the tip-off of the California Classic summer league games. The youth will be back at Golden 1 Center to bring their season to a close at a daylong tournament on July 28.

The Black Child Legacy Campaign is raising visibility and strengthening collective impact efforts of the Steering Committee on Reduction of African American Child Deaths to reduce the number of child mortalities. Learn more

Kings and Queens Rise photo

Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Kings

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Black Child Legacy Campaign represented at Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy


Representatives from the Black Child Legacy Campaign participated at the 2018 Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy in Clinton, Tennessee, July 16-20. The Institute is held annually at the Children’s Defense Fund’s Haley Farm. This year’s focus was on “Realizing Dr. King’s Vision for Every Child: Ending Child Poverty.” Campaign representatives included Senior Program Officer Kindra Montgomery-Block from Sierra Health Foundation and The Center, who presented on the Black Child Legacy Campaign’s work in Sacramento County.

Learn about the Black Child Legacy Campaign.

Group photo from Proctor Institute

Photo: Black Child Legacy Campaign representatives Pastor Samuel Gordon, Pastor Deborah Simmons and Reverend Alice Baber-Banks join Children’s Defense Fund Founder and President Marian Wright Edelman (second from left) at the Proctor Institute.

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Throughout 2018, we’re continuing to highlight the work of our partners through the #PeoplePursuing campaign. We invite you to visit our Facebook and Instagram pages for new inspiring posts!

People Pursuing screenshot

Learn about the work of APIs RISE, a philanthropic giving circle that works to enhance Asian Pacific Islander giving in the Sacramento Region.

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