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Press Release

Irvine Board of Directors Approves $13.9 Million in Grants on June 12, 2018

The James Irvine Foundation Board of Directors approved 14 grants totaling more than $13.9 million last week. The grants included support for the Foundation’s two new initiatives focused on low-income Californians (Better Careers and Fair Work).

The board also approved grants to protect immigrant rights in Orange County, expand voter and civic engagement, and support media organizations in San Joaquin Valley and statewide. Additional grants were approved for Postsecondary Success, a potential initiative in development, as well as support for grantees in the Foundation’s culminating initiatives (Arts Engagement and Linked Learning).

The full list of board-approved grants includes:

Arts Engagement

Ford Theatre Foundation
A two-year grant of $200,000 to strengthen organizational capacity and deepen arts engagement practices, as part of the Foundation’s culminating Arts Engagement efforts.

Better Careers

Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO)
A two-year grant of $2 million to expand CEO’s scale and impact in California by adding career pathway programming to its core model, helping formerly incarcerated, lower-skilled adults secure higher-wage jobs.

Year Up, Inc.
A three-year grant of $5 million to bring to scale the impact of Year Up California, specifically through expansion of its operations in Los Angeles and the Bay Area that provide middle-skills training and jobs for low-income young people.

Fair Work

Mujeres Unidas y Activas
A two-year grant of $700,000 to support domestic workers through education, organizing, training, and policy advocacy (through an entity such as the California Domestic Workers Coalition).

New Venture Fund
A two-year grant of $350,000 to improve labor conditions for low-wage workers in California by strengthening access to legal protections and advancing accountability (through an entity such as

New World Foundation
A two-year grant of $375,000 to support efforts to reach, educate, and organize California retail workers towards family-sustaining jobs (through an entity such as Organization United for Respect).

Linked Learning

Pivot Learning Partners
A two-year grant of $1 million for general operating support. This grant will allow Pivot Learning Partners to establish itself as a certified Linked Learning pathway provider and build on its efforts to ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed in college and career.


A two-year grant of $400,000 to support reporting on economic and political opportunity for the statewide program The California Report, as well as their contributions to the California Dream series comprised of five California media outlets.

Valley Public Radio (White Ash Broadcasting)
A two-year grant of $360,000 to inform San Joaquin Valley residents about public policy and other issues via Valley Public Radio in Fresno.

Postsecondary Success

Foundation for California Community Colleges
A one-year grant of $800,000 for the Career Ladders Project to grow the state’s capacity to implement reforms across K-12 and postsecondary systems.

Priority Regions

Latino Community Foundation
An 18-month grant of $1.35 million to invest in and strengthen Latino-led nonprofits in the Central Valley.

Protecting Immigrant Rights

Orange County Community Foundation
A two-year grant of $600,000 to support the OC Opportunity Initiative (OCOI) and its countywide efforts to protect immigrant rights in Orange County.

Voter and Civic Engagement

Korean Resource Center
A two-year grant of $400,000 for general operating support. This grant will support KRC’s efforts to empower Korean Americans, low-income immigrants, and people of color in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Additional Grantmaking

The Museum of Art and History at the McPherson Center
A 30-month grant of $400,000 to incubate OFBYFORALL to empower diverse Californians to enjoy and influence civic and cultural organizations across the state.