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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We define equity as fair and just outcomes for all Californians — recognizing our differences and eliminating barriers that prevent full participation of all people. Every Californian — regardless of who they are, where they live, or how they came here — should have the opportunity to create a better life for themselves and their families.

However, discrimination, racism, and exclusion — in policies and practices — have blocked opportunities for Californians in every corner of our state, of every race and ethnicity, and of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, faiths, creeds, and abilities.

We cannot reach our North Star — a California where all low-income workers have the power to advance economically — without actively addressing the ways structural racism limits economic opportunity for people of color in California. In the past, we have not explicitly expressed the impact of structural racism on economic opportunity. We do that now by making our beliefs and commitments clear to all our partners.

Our racial equity statement guides how we move our racial equity work forward. What we do with these words, and how we put our grantees and communities at the center of this work for a more equitable California, requires commitment and action from all of us.

Who We Are and Who We Fund

Click through the graphics below to explore our staff and board demographics and 2021 grantmaking.

Our Beliefs

Structural inequity has had a lasting impact on economic opportunity for Asian-American, Black, Indigenous, Latino/a, Pacific Islander, and other people of color. Workers of color have faced barriers to opportunity that include but are not limited to: political and economic policies that intentionally exploit and exclude; historical, racist practices regulating where someone can live; discrimination in education, employment, and the criminal justice system; and limited community access to resources and investment, including unequal access to capital and support for their businesses.

Removing and replacing policies, systems, and structures that perpetuate racial inequity improves economic outcomes for everyone. Philanthropy, as a sector, operates in and has benefitted from systems that exclude people and exacerbate racial disparities. Addressing the challenges embedded in our society requires time, resources, and personal commitment to shift our ways of working, funding, and thinking.

Our Commitments

In 2022 we will focus on specific actions to hold ourselves accountable to:

  • Ensuring that our grantmaking supports communities of color by learning from their lived experience and fostering transformative economic justice efforts led by workers, leaders, and allies of color
  • Learning about Irvine’s institutional history, being transparent about how the Foundation may have benefited from racism, and identifying how we can repair harm
  • Continuing the efforts of our internal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) staff committee to ensure we embody our DEI commitments in our policies and practices
  • Developing accountability tools to report on our progress, including grantee feedback