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The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles has announced it has awarded a record $1 million to seven local nonprofits that address issues related to education equity.
The funding supports community-led organizations that connect students with strong mentors, focus on the specific needs of young people of color, increase access to health services for students of color and their families, and empower students to advocate for their educational needs. The recipients are the Girls Club of Los Angeles, Antelope Valley Boys and Girls Club, Bridge Builders Foundation in South Los Angeles, EmpowHer Institute in Westchester, Heart of Los Angeles Youth Inc. in the MacArthur Park/Rampart District, Social Justice Learning Institute in Inglewood and Special Needs Network in South Los Angeles.
The distributions are part of the foundation’s General Community Grants program, which focuses on high-priority social issues. In recent years, the grants have addressed homelessness, human trafficking and overcoming barriers to employment, as well as sexual and domestic violence. The new round of awards also builds upon The foundation’s Racial Equity Grants given last year.
“The pandemic has exacerbated existing inequities in our education system that disproportionately affect students of color who lack the resources to successfully learn remotely,” Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Marvin I. Schotland said. “This only widens an already-existing education gap which will result in a significant learning loss that will take years to address. The Foundation selected these outstanding programs recognizing that those closest to the communities they serve are best able to understand and respond to their needs. All of these recipient organizations are based in communities of color with demonstrated track records of service and strong, impressive leadership.”
Beyond grant funding, the foundation works closely with grant recipients to offer additional support including professional development, technical help and referrals to other funders in its network.
“We believe that money alone will not solve the pressing issues facing our communities,” Schotland added. “That’s why we proudly invest much time and energy engaging with our grant recipients and providing resources to help them strengthen their organizations and reach their goals.”
As part of its process to identify the recipients, The Foundation consulted with leading funders and experts in the field including Kaci Patterson, who leads the Black Equity Collective.
For information, visit jewishfoundationla.org.
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