Possibility Through Partnership

Guest author: Maria Jimenez, Program Director, Mujeres Unidas y Activas

This year, Blue Shield of California Foundation was selected as the 2018 Outstanding Corporate Grantmaker by the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Golden Gate Chapter. We are deeply honored and humbled by the beautiful and powerful words written below as part of our nomination by María Jiménez, Program Director of Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA).  For nearly a decade, MUA has been a stalwart partner for the Foundation and continues to be a champion of community resilience and leadership, as well as a bastion of equity and human rights. We are proud to play a small part in all the difference that they make in the world. Thank you.   

On behalf of Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA), we are pleased to nominate Blue Shield of California Foundation for the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Golden Gate Chapter’s 2018 Outstanding Corporate Grantmaker Award. Mujeres Unidas y Activas is a grassroots organization of Latina immigrant women with the dual mission of promoting personal transformation and advancing community power for economic and social justice. As a longtime grantee, we see Blue Shield of California Foundation as not just a funder, but as an active and effective partner in social change.

Blue Shield of California Foundation is strategically focused on developing the leadership of organizations that are not mainstream service agencies. They recognize that there are culturally-specific approaches that can be more effective in reaching and serving marginalized communities — including immigrants, people with disabilities, and people of color.

As a convener of grantees and allies, the Foundation has promoted a deeply inclusive model for language access, creating conferences and events that are truly multilingual.

As a funder, the Foundation has adopted a transformational approach to supporting trauma survivors that seeks to address the root causes of violence and inequality, and is committed to empowering survivors in a meaningful way. They understand that services are more effective when survivors are empowered and encouraged to take part in peer services that support other trauma survivors and recognize that long-term healing cannot take place without changes to the systems that create and/or exacerbate trauma. The Foundation is committed to ensuring that survivors can advocate for those changes and has invested significant resources in cultivating leadership among survivors.

Blue Shield of California Foundation is also deeply committed to advancing survivor-driven cross-cultural collaboration to address and prevent domestic violence. They funded and championed a statewide domestic violence network, the Culturally Responsive Domestic Violence Network, that is not funder-centered but survivor-centered. The Foundation not only provided the resources, but also utilized its influence within the network to ensure that the organizations led by the most marginalized survivors were at the forefront of determining priorities and had a voice and critical presence at all statewide events. Such inclusive and participatory meetings were extremely process-heavy and required a significant investment in time and resources, as it takes time to establish trust among survivors from different backgrounds. The Foundation demonstrated deep commitment to this process, and the result is a strong network that, today, jointly carries out training on cultural and linguistic access to mainstream service providers throughout the state of California.

Given its deep commitment to social change led by the most marginalized communities, we strongly feel that Blue Shield of California Foundation is highly deserving of the 2018 Outstanding Corporate Grantmaker Award.