This is the most challenging time I can personally remember facing California. It is easy to lose hope, but I must believe that the very weight of the challenges we face also can set the stage for a potential transformation of our economy and a new social compact.
With support from Irvine, Engage R+D hosted a series of listening sessions with California-based evaluators of color who work with philanthropic clients. The brief lifts up the voices and experiences of evaluators of color, lays out the challenges they face in their careers, and offers suggestions for how to address these barriers.
We are grateful to support research by The Shift Project. According to their new report “Essential Changes Needed for Essential Workers: Job Quality for California’s Service Sectors,” workers in low-wage jobs, especially people of color and particularly women of color, bear the brunt of COVID-19’s economic and health fallout.
On Friday, Irvine’s board approved exceeding our grantmaking budget so that the Foundation can spend an additional $20 million to support efforts to end anti-Black racism and advance racial equity in California’s systems of economic opportunity over the next 18 months.
We start the week with heavy hearts. We are both optimistic people, but the senseless killing of George Floyd in Minnesota and the protests that have followed reveal just how far we have to go to end the racism in America that extinguishes opportunity, hope, and, too often, lives.
We’re announcing a new initiative that dramatically expands and deepens our investments in four California communities – Fresno, Salinas, Riverside, and San Bernardino – and expects to add Stockton in a future phase of grantmaking in 2021. The goal: to create local economies that work for all residents.