The Weingart Foundation Thursday announced $8 million in grants and investments supporting organizations across Southern California addressing crucial needs in communities of color.

The investments strengthen nonprofit infrastructure in communities and target resources in addressing structural inequities and systemic racism, according to the foundation, which said the grants and program-related investments are the first round of funding for the foundation for fiscal year 2022.

“We are honored to partner with outstanding organizations that are working tirelessly to provide critical services during these unprecedented times,” said Miguel A. Santana, the Weingart Foundation’s president and CEO. “Our first round of grantmaking reflects our dedicated staff’s proactive approach of working in communities to understand their unique context, specific needs and opportunities.”

Most of the grants invest in organizations for two years with funding ranging between $75,000 and $200,000 in unrestricted operating support. The grantees lead meaningful work in human services, youth development, crime prevention, housing, food insecurity and advocacy, the Los Angeles-based foundation stated.

The funding also includes a Strategic Opportunity Fund to respond to emerging needs brought on by the double health and economic crisis. Many organizations selected through the invite-only application process are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color)-led nonprofits working in immigrant/refugee integration, housing justices, or youth organizing, the Weingart Foundation said.

Nearly a quarter of the organizations receiving funding are first-time grantees as part of Weingart’s growing commitment to addressing racial injustice head-on, according to the foundation.

“These investments demonstrate our commitment to responding to the call to action from community leaders on the frontlines of change,” said Joanna Jackson, vice president of programs at the Weingart Foundation. “These organizations are advancing racial justice in systemic ways even through the pandemic and economic crisis. With these grants and program-related investments, we stand with these partners in advancing equity and social justice.”

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