FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 2015
Breanna M. Cardwell
The California Wellness Foundation
Funding supports innovative and timely work
At its March 2015 meeting, the Board of Directors of The California Wellness Foundation (Cal Wellness) approved 75 grants totaling almost $9.5 million. As the second docket under the Advancing Wellness grants program, funding supports Cal Wellness’ commitment to addressing health disparities and promoting equity through advocacy and access. Grants were approved under all four portfolios and allocated throughout California, specifically for geographic regions and communities that have high levels of need and lower levels of capacity.
Highlights include three grants to support the effective implementation of Proposition 47. On Nov. 4, 2014, Californians approved Proposition 47, the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, which promises to improve community safety and position California as a leader in right-sizing our criminal justice system. Grants will help currently and formerly incarcerated people (mostly low-income people of color) take advantage of increased access to health care services, housing, education and employment as a result of the new law.
Another grant supports advocacy for “Green Zones,” a cutting-edge policy innovation to revitalize low-income communities of color by reducing health impacts from air pollution and creating incentives for green economic development.
Also approved for funding is an innovative endeavor using art as a tool to raise awareness of the growing cycle of incarceration among boys and men of color in California. This grant will support Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s production of Tony and MacArthur Fellowship winner Anna Deavere Smith’s “Doing Time in Education: The California Chapter” this summer.
A subset of grants providing core operating support and technical assistance to many of Cal Wellness’ long-time community partners who may be impacted by the Foundation’s transition to Advancing Wellness was also approved. This transition strategy is part of a one-time fund that was distributed over the course of two Board dockets in December 2014 and March 2015.
The California Wellness Foundation is a private independent foundation created in 1992 with a mission to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention.
On Oct. 1, 2014, Cal Wellness introduced its Advancing Wellness grants program designed to promote equity through advocacy and access. The grantmaking focuses on three interconnected portfolios: Bridging the Gaps in Access and Quality Care; Promoting Healthy and Safe Neighborhoods; and Expanding Education and Employment Pathways. The program also includes the Opportunity Fund to support innovation in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors.
Since its founding in 1992, Cal Wellness has awarded 7,690 grants totaling more than $912 million.