Blue Shield of California Foundation awards $3 million to prevent domestic violence through restorative practices

June 28, 2023

Blue Shield of California Foundation has approved $2.9 million in grants to six organizations that use restorative practices to support healing, safety, and accountability among survivors and families impacted by domestic violence. The new funding is meant to encourage the adoption of a wider range of non-criminal justice, community-based options to help survivors and advance domestic violence prevention across California.

“More than half of survivors do not use the criminal justice system or the current shelter system, so we are missing opportunities to heal and prevent domestic violence across generations,” said Foundation President and CEO Debbie I. Chang, MPH. “These grants will build on evidence-based restorative practices already in use and expand on our ongoing work by providing more ways to support survivors and heal families.”

The Foundation will provide grants of $600,000 to $700,000 each to four community organizations over the next two and a half years and will establish a learning cohort with two additional organizations to build capacity and evaluate the programs. 

The selected organizations already work with marginalized communities and have experience implementing restorative justice programs to center survivor safety and healing. Each organization agreed to participate in the cohort and to conduct impact evaluation measures to inform wider use of effective approaches.

The four core grantees are:

“Our hope is that restorative practices will bring light to the lives of those who experienced harm and a renewed life for those who caused harm,” said Barbara Kappos, executive director of the East LA Women’s Center. “We understand that healing takes place within the context of culture, relationships, and community. Our families and communities will rise up by the interconnection and the rebuilding of relationships and ultimately accountability and forgiveness.”

Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth CEO Teiahsha Bankhead said the grant will allow her organization to apply, to domestic violence, its nearly 20 years of experience advancing healing in the local school district and community.

“In our communities of color, often the intervention that happens when police are called and even mental health providers are called, causes more harm and trauma than the initial trauma itself. So, people in our communities are reluctant to call, even though they need the help,” Bankhead said.

The cohort approach to this funding will bring together more experienced groups with organizations newer to domestic violence prevention, with the additional community partners receiving grants of $100,000 each. These organizations have significant experience empowering youth or incarcerated people and their families to heal. The cohort participation and funding will help them translate this experience into helping families touched by domestic violence. 

The grantees being awarded $100,000 are:

  • Community Justice Center, Fresno – Empowers community members and incarcerated people and their families through restorative programs.
  • Success Stories, Costa Mesa – Works to support formerly incarcerated people and their families through trauma-centered work with men at risk for recidivating. 

“We are excited to fund this leading-edge racial and gender equity work in restorative practices that promises to bring more options for long-term healing to survivors, children, and those who cause harm,” said Lucia Corral Peña, chief program director for the Foundation. “Healing is prevention for the next generation.”

This round of grants builds upon the Foundation’s more than $167 million investment over the past 20 years to end domestic violence in California.


About Blue Shield of California Foundation

Blue Shield of California Foundation supports lasting and equitable solutions to make California the healthiest state and end domestic violence. When we work together to remove the barriers to health and well-being, especially for Californians most affected, we can create a more just and equitable future. For more information, visit:

Press contacts:

Blue Shield of California Foundation: Rachael Kagan, Rachael.kagan [at], 510-227-7665

The Reis Group: Stacy Skelly, sskelly [at], 703-477-6938