March 2020 Grant Announcement
On March 18, Blue Shield of California Foundation’s Board of Trustees met by teleconference during the onset of the COVID-19 public health crisis. Heeding the Bay Area’s shelter-in-place order, our board convened virtually to welcome our incoming President and CEO Debbie I. Chang, to recognize and express gratitude for our outgoing President and CEO Ray Baxter, and to review and approve our quarterly grantmaking to address key determinants of health and move us forward in achieving our goal to make California the healthiest state with the lowest rates of domestic violence. The Board also explored and endorsed the Foundation’s approach to responding to community prevention needs related to COVID-19 (more at the end of this page).
As COVID-19 continues to spread across our state and our planet, our grants for this quarter, which were developed months ago, address many of the social and health inequities that have been laid bare and exacerbated by the pandemic. This moment also makes it clear that it’s imperative to redouble our efforts to build good health proactively through prevention, not simply address illness reactively. Our health is woven into the social fabric, and when the social contract fails one of us, it fails all of us.
This quarter’s grantmaking focuses on income inequality, the prevention of domestic violence, building prevention infrastructure, and community strength:
- To address our state’s growing, and often racialized, income inequality – a powerful contributor to both poor health and domestic violence – and to facilitate greater economic mobility for individuals, women, and children, we are supporting five grants totaling $1.6 million.
- To end the cycle of domestic violence by identifying and testing new practices, sharing culturally appropriate models, exploring a new leadership paradigm, and supporting efforts to end harmful gender norms, we are supporting five grants totaling $2 million.
- To strengthen the infrastructure for prevention and enable policy innovation to address health inequities, we are supporting four grants totaling $1.6 million.
- To support California’s ethnic communities, whose participation in civic life is vitally important to the health of our state, we are supporting four grants totaling $1.3 million.
Today, as millions of our state’s residents are sheltering in place, it’s clear that our work to improve the health of Californians and end domestic violence is more important than ever. Every Californian is connected to someone who is working at the frontline of this massive health crisis. They represent some of our most essential workforce – domestic, childcare, home healthcare, and senior care workers – who are keeping others safe and healthy, often without a living wage or workplace protections themselves. Too many of California’s children, our future leaders, who already face food insecurity, are even more likely to experience hunger while schools are closed for weeks and likely months. People who are at risk of experiencing domestic violence are at even greater risk under conditions of isolation and resource scarcity.
While the grants recently approved address some of this, especially related to income inequality, we recognize these times require additional urgent action to directly address these issues. We are working with our partners to quickly provide funding to respond to community prevention needs related to COVID-19 , and we will update you in the near future.
We promise to keep working with you to build a more just and equitable society – and to ensure that every single Californian has good health.
To conduct and disseminate culturally-responsive research that informs the domestic violence experience of American Indian and Alaska Natives communities in California, including the root causes, protective factors, intergenerational impacts, and potential policy recommendations for prevention.
To incubate four human-centered design projects that are designed to prevent intergenerational cycles of family and domestic violence at the community level.
To support the newly formed Leadership Council for Domestic Violence and Health Care of Los Angeles, working toward systemic change to end domestic violence in Los Angeles county through cross-sector collaboration.
To expand the Housing Opportunities Mean Everything cohort by adding two rural sites, build the California Gender Justice Funders Network’s learning community, and convene self-identifying women and gender nonconforming people at California Women Rising.
To build partnerships between healthcare and community development organizations in three California communities to support sustainable investments that address social determinants of health.
To conduct a survey of between 800 and 1,000 Asian foreign-born patients served by community health centers to document how immigration policies are affecting their families' daily lives, health, and well-being, including their decisions to participate in health coverage and other public assistance programs.
To spur collective action among four Bay Area counties focusing on early childhood stability and reduction of adverse childhood experiences by providing full family support through the implementation of two-generation prevention policies and practices that improve health and prevent domestic violence.
To test a model that invests directly in families and fosters their connections to each other to promote economic and social mobility, and to generate evidence that can lead to innovations in policy and practice for low-income families.
To support research that informs practices and policies to accelerate a path toward universal child care in Stockton, with the goal of enabling economic stability for families and economic mobility for those in the care economy.
To support the efforts of the National Immigration Law Center to defend immigrant communities in California through legal, advocacy, and policy
strategies; build a stronger, more inclusive immigrant justice movement; catalyze intersectional alliances with other communities; and shift dominant narratives to effect long-term change toward the idea that everyone has a stake and constructive role to play in shaping California’s future.
To support a multifunder collaboration to provide resources for engaging communities of color in the state’s redistricting process, which stands to heavily influence how resources are allocated for critical supports to health including education, health care services, housing, and social services.
To plan and implement an ethnic media initiative that will bring ethnic media and front line organizations together to improve information and community engagement on the census, redistricting, public charge, and domestic violence.
To support better state policy for promoting economic mobility and security, a known driver to contribute to health, well-being, and prevention of domestic violence, through convenings, research, and metrics, including the California Dream Index.
To provide support for the continued implementation, research, technical assistance, and convening of a six-county pilot project to test innovative strategies for preventing recidivism in cases of domestic violence.
To expand evidence-based strategies for increasing health and preventing domestic violence including home visiting, paid family leave, and earned income tax credits in California through advocacy, network building, and communications strategies.
To improve the health of women and families by supporting the Stronger California Women’s Economic Security Campaign to advance economic security, a known driver of family stability and contributor to family well-being, through policy research, advocacy, collaboration across sectors, and communications strategies.
To provide thought leadership, policy coordination, and advocacy to promote policy solutions that strengthen state program investment in prevention and health equity.
To support the California Initiative for Health Equity and Action to translate research on prevention, health equity, and the impact of economic security and mobility on health, into state health policy and practice.
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