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Press Release

The James Irvine Board of Directors Approves $17.4 Million in Grants on September 30, 2020

October 2, 2020

Vaishalee Raja,
Senior Communications Officer

SAN FRANCISCO (October 2, 2020) – The James Irvine Foundation Board of Directors approved 22 grants totaling $17.4 million this week. The grants included support for the Foundation’s three initiatives focused on working Californians (Fair WorkBetter Careers, and Priority Communities), including a regranting program to a collaboration of community organizations in San Bernardino that seek to engage residents and workers in low-wage jobs to improve economic conditions and create quality jobs for residents living and working on low incomes.

The full list of board-approved grants includes:


Better Careers

Anti-Recidivism Coalition
A two-year grant of $800,000 to expand career pathways and economic mobility for formerly incarcerated individuals through high-quality workforce training programs that include civic engagement components.

Bitwise Industries Inc.
A two-year grant of $1 million to support Geekwise Academy to launch cohorts, offering financial support and specialty courses to train unemployed and underemployed workers in the Bay Area and San Joaquin Valley for middle-wage jobs in the tech industry.

Entangled Institute
An 18-month grant of $650,000 to pilot a digital platform that connects unemployed frontline workers in California to resources that increase their skills and/or place them into better quality jobs, through an entity such as SkillUp Coalition.

Jobs to Move America
A two-year grant of $750,000 to create high-quality, family-sustaining manufacturing, infrastructure, and new technology jobs, and develop pre-apprenticeship and training programs that create career pathways into those jobs for systematically excluded Californians, including those with low incomes, people of color, women, and re-entry workers.

Los Angeles Brotherhood Crusade
A two-year grant of $800,000 to support Los Angeles Brotherhood Crusade’s career training, job placement, and supportive services programs for young adults with multiple barriers to quality jobs.

Taller San Jose Hope Builders
A two-year grant of $800,000 for general operating support to increase career pathway opportunities for low-income young adults in Orange County, expand recruiting capacity, and strengthen organizational infrastructure.

Workshops for Warriors
A two-year grant of $750,000 to support and expand Workshop for Warriors’ advanced manufacturing training program and job placement for young veterans in San Diego and Imperial counties.

Fair Work

Community Partners
A two-year grant of $800,000 to improve access to quality jobs, reduce employment discrimination and other barriers to employment, and to strengthen staff and financial operations, through an entity such as the Los Angeles Black Worker Center.

Maintenance Cooperation Trust Fund
A two-year grant of $600,000 to expand leadership programs and industry engagement to address the challenges facing California janitorial workers earning low wages.

Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project
A two-year grant of $600,000 for general operating support to train and engage indigenous leaders and workers in the Oxnard and Santa Maria area.

National Day Laborer Organizing Network
A two-year grant of $600,00 to support day laborers in California through organizing, leadership development, advocacy, and high-impact litigation.

Priority Communities

Accelerator For America
A one-year grant of $400,000 to support ongoing Opportunity Zone learning in the Inland Empire.

Community Foundation for Monterey County
A one-year grant of $1 million for regranting to two organizations supporting revolving micro-loan funds and entrepreneurship training programs to increase access to capital, technical assistance, and education for low-income entrepreneurs of color in Salinas.

Inland Empire Community Foundation
An 18-month grant of $2.7 million to support regranting to a collaborative of community-based organizations in the development of a plan that improves economic conditions for low-income residents in San Bernardino, through an entity such as Just San Bernardino Collaborative.

Protecting Immigrant Rights

Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
A two-year grant of $400,000 to continue developing the leadership skills of immigrant youth across California, through an entity such as California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance.

National Day Laborer Organizing Network
A two-year grant of $500,000 to promote the implementation of California’s pro-immigrant laws and strengthen the civic engagement capacity of immigrant communities through a statewide immigration coalition.

National Immigration Law Center
A two-year grant of $400,000 to support immigrants in California by protecting and advancing policies that promote their integration and safety through capacity-building, litigation, education, and advocacy.

Regional Access Project Foundation Inc.
An 18-month grant of $400,000 to protect the rights of immigrants in the Coachella Valley.

University of Southern California
A two-year grant of $500,000 to increase access to data and tools that support groups in California working to expand immigrant protections and benefits.

Additional Grantmaking

Youth Radio
A two-year grant of $500,000 to develop a multimedia campaign that will teach young adults with low incomes journalism and content creation skills as they highlight the work of organizations across California working towards racial and economic justice.

Urban Institute
A two-year grant of $2 million to support the launch of WorkRise, a national research-to-action network that aims to fill critical knowledge gaps about how to increase economic security, resilience, and mobility for all workers.

Liberty Hill Foundation
A one-year grant of $500,000 to support five grassroots members of the Los Angeles Community Land Trust Coalition to strengthen and scale community ownership of land and housing strategies in Central, East, and South Los Angeles.