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Cal Wellness Announces $13.4 Million in Grants

Nearly one-quarter goes to those taking a stand for their own health

The California Wellness Foundation recently approved approximately $13.4 million in funding under its Advancing Wellness grants program. Almost a quarter of that funding went to help underrepresented groups raise their voices and advocate for policies that advance health and wellness.

“Wellness requires having some measure of control, some way to influence the policy decisions that affect your health, and the health of your family and community,” said Judy Belk, president and CEO of Cal Wellness. “We have deep respect for the voices of the people whose lives are at the center of every health policy — the ones who will be living with the effects of those policy decisions day after day. We are committed to supporting them through our grantmaking and by lifting our voice alongside them in advocating for equity and justice.”

Capitalizing on the momentum for common-sense gun laws created by youth in Parkland, Florida, young people across the country are standing up for their right to feel safe. Cal Wellness’ grants to Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, and Mobilize the Immigrant Vote support young people who are getting their message outand making their schools—as well as the places where they work, live and play—free from violence.

Foster youth (through a Cal Wellness grant to California Youth Connection) and homeless youth (through a Cal Wellness grant to SchoolHouse Connection) are also being supported in their efforts to communicate with policymakers about their health and education needs and advocate for policies that work.

In addition to youth-focused groups, people from underrepresented groups of all ages will learn leadership and policy advocacy skills to improve health in their communities through grants Cal Wellness made to: East Bay Community Foundationin Oakland; Inland Empowerment in Riverside and San Bernardino counties; Korean Resource Center and Southeast Asian Community Alliance in Los Angeles; and Engage San Diego. And subcontracted tech workers in Silicon Valley will fight for portable benefits with a grant made to Working Partnerships USA.

In addition to civic engagement, Cal Wellness continues its commitment to protect affordable health coverage, including oral health care benefits, through grants to Families USA and PolicyLink. A number of direct service grants also went to grantees within Cal Wellness’ priority areas.

In response to the Thomas Fire and subsequent mudslides, Cal Wellness joined individuals and foundations in coming to the aid of the people affected with a $100,000 grant to Ventura County Community Foundation and a $50,000 grant to United Way of Ventura County.

A complete list of Cal Wellness’ recent grants can be found here.

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