In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, Kaiser Permanente Monday announced $8.15 million in funding for 40 nonprofit and community-based organizations across the country, including 10 in Southern California, that operate programs that address systemic racism and its accompanying trauma on individuals and communities of color.
The funding is part of a $25 million pledge made by Kaiser Permanente last June to promote health equity and combat racism and includes $1 million for six recipients in Los Angeles and Orange counties, two in San Bernardino, and one each in Ventura and San Diego.
Kaiser Permanente serves 4.7 million members in Southern California.
The SoCal recipients are:
— Community Health Councils Inc., Los Angeles;
— InnerCity Struggle, Los Angeles;
— African American Leadership Organization, San Fernando Valley;
— Cal State Dominguez Hills, Carson;
— Social Justice Learning Institute, Inglewood;
— Latino Health Access, Santa Ana;
— BLU Educational Foundation, San Bernardino;
— Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement, San Bernardino;
— Partnership for the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy, Ventura; and
— Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans, San Diego.
“As we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I hope Kaiser Permanente is one of many voices plainly saying that there is much, much work still to be done to realize Dr. King’s ideal of an equitable society that guarantees every individual the opportunity to thrive,” said Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO Greg A. Adams.
“I am encouraged as I see what progress is possible through organization, activism and advocacy — and I want our support to enable future generations to follow that path to create change,” he said.
Kaiser is developing an evaluation plan for the $25 million grant with input from a panel of national racial justice and trauma experts. The evaluation plan will help measure the initiative’s progress, according to officials with th nonprofit health system.
“It’s important for us to take strong action to stop the economic, physical, psychological and social impacts of inequity and systemic racism — including discriminatory policies and practices — so that we can create healthier communities where everybody, regardless of their race, ethnic background or skin color can feel safe and thrive,” said Julie Miller-Phipps, president of Kaiser Permanente Southern California and Hawaii, Health Plan and Hospitals.
“This is why Kaiser Permanente is pledging significant funding to help achieve an end to systemic racism and break the cycles of stress and trauma that can lead to poor health outcomes,” she said.