Skip to Content

Portfolio Priorities In the News

Each week, we collect news relating to each of our four portfolios. Read on to learn more.

Feb. 24, 2021

Community Well-Being 

Equity in Access 

Economic Security and Dignity 

  • Without government assistancetotal personal income would have been lower in 2020 than 2019 in nearly every state. Total personal income grew most in the second quarter of 2020 due in large part to robust government assistance. California is among the seven states where government transfer payments increased by at least 50% compared to 2019.   
  • One indicator that government aid during the pandemic may have mitigated some financial hardships from the COVID-19 recession is the steady improvement of credit health in 2020. However, communities of color continue to experience worse credit outcomes during the pandemic and credit measures do not capture the experiences of the approximately 10% of adults who have no credit file.  

Leading for Power and Change 

Feb. 17, 2021

Community Well-Being

  • A report by the California Budget and Policy Center makes the case for a statewide declaration naming racism as a public health crisis. The report reveals that the pandemic has uncovered how the disproportionate impact on communities of color is a result of racist systems strategically designed to favor particular subsets of the population.

Equity in Access

Economic Security and Dignity

  • A Public Health Institute (PHI) study shows that efforts by the California Department of Social Services, coinciding with federal relief efforts, helped to mitigate food insecurity during the pandemic. Infrastructure and partnerships built by PHI to reach hard-hit communities can serve as a model for other counties and states looking to address inequitable food assistance systems.

Leading for Power and Change

Feb. 10, 2021

Community Well-Being

  • In an essay funded by Cal Wellness, a food bank director highlights the outsized importance of food banks in rural communities such as the San Joaquin Valley where farmworkers and others in the food industry are in need of food. Food distribution has evolved, and in some cases has taken employees out into the fields to distribute food where food is cultivated. In other cases, employees have distributed PPE and water in neighborhoods with poor water quality.

 

Equity in Access

  • The California Health Policy Survey provides insights on Californians’ top health care priorities for this second pandemic year. Survey respondents appear to be concerned about access to and cost of health insurance, controlling the spread of COVID-19, and ensuring there are enough health care providers in the state, among other concerns.

 

Economic Security and Dignity

 

Leading for Power and Change

  • First 5 LA is spearheading a new long-term park development project, Link, to add open space to underserved communities and to promote civic engagement. First 5 LA received additional funds for the project from private foundations and plans to leverage revenue generated by a parcel tax approved by voters in 2016.

 

Feb. 3, 2021

Community Well-Being

  • Homicides, aggravated assaults and firearm assaults rose significantly in 2020 even though strict stay at home orders were in place for a significant part of the year. The Pandemic, Social Unrest, and Crime in U.S. Cities report shows that the pandemic suppressed homicide rates at first and that links between a crime spike following racial justice protests are uncertain.

 

Equity in Access

 

Economic Security and Dignity

  • In the last year the question of reparations has reemerged as a topic of conversation among scholars, economists and policymakers. Reparations are one way to acknowledge the enormous cost of slavery to Black Americans. However, questions often emerge about how this would work in practical terms—to learn more check out the upcoming webinar: Remaking the Economy: Reparations and Closing the Racial Wealth Gap.

 

Leading for Power and Change

  • February is Black History Month and the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) has put a forward-looking spin with a focus on celebrating Blackness. Black Futures Month will celebrate and uplift Black artists, creators and organizers by telling stories. To kick it off, M4BL released an Afrofuturist short produced collaboratively with Root Story Films which imagines a future when all Black people will be free. Check it out here.

Jan. 27, 2021

Community Well-Being

Equity in Access

  • This 8-minute podcast tells the story of a community hospital serving a vulnerable population in South Los Angeles; the hospital has triple or quadruple the number of COVID-19 patients of nearby hospitals. The outsized impact is a result of inequities in the health care system that have been prevalent in the community for many years.   

Economic Security and Dignity

  • An equity-centered framework for a national subsidized employment program has been released by the Heartland Alliance. The framework calls on the Biden/Harris administration to develop an inclusive recovery that works for people who have repeatedly been left out of the labor market.   

Leading for Power and Change

  • A report from the Nonprofit Finance Fund outlines how outcomes-based funding can advance racial equity. Among the seven recommendations is the call to promote the nonprofit sector as a source of innovation and partnership and engaging with impact investors in innovation and capacity building.

 

Jan. 22, 2021

Community Well-Being

  • Conditions that contribute to violence—poverty, unemployment, lack of available resources, isolation, hopelessness, and loss—have intensified during the pandemic and are further compounded by the recent surge in firearm sales. Results from the 2020 California Safety and Wellbeing Survey show violence concern trends during the pandemic year.

Equity in Access

  • Promotoras, community health workers, are using a peer-to-peer approach to combat vaccine misinformation and conspiracy theories among Spanish-speaking communities. This approach exemplifies the value of the promotora model to address health care access disparities.

Economic Security and Dignity

  • Building an equitable economy requires addressing the shortcomings in nonstandard workplace arrangements such as temporary and contract work. The Reimagining Workplace Protections report offers policy frameworks that will be essential to protect all untraditional workers.

 

Leading for Power and Change

Jan. 13, 2021

Community Well-Being

  • Exclusionary zoning perpetuates racial residential segregation and a series of briefs has uncovered the most segregated and most integrated places in the Bay Area. Land-use policies, such as single-family zoning, impede the development of affordable housing which makes racial integration feasible.

Equity in Access

  • A reproductive health equity researcher has found that the mortality rate for Black babies is cut significantly when they are delivered by Black doctors. The research provides empirical evidence to describe the impact of a doctor’s race on health outcomes such as infant mortality.
  • Are you interested in learning more about the history and impact of racism on health care, medicine and science?  Check out this virtual event on Thursday January 14th presented by USCF Office of Alumni Relations and the UCSF Office of Diversity and Outreach.  

Economic Security and Dignity

  • Social insurance is not a common concept among Americans but the impact of the pandemic has many rethinking the concept. Social insurance are the policies that are put in place to protect and support workers and their families, including unemployment insurance, rental assistance, paid leave and subsidized health insurance. Check out Rethinking social insurance: policies to protect workers and families to learn more about how increasing resources during the pandemic has been beneficial to families in need, and the economy.
  • While average personal income was higher in every state in 2020 compared to 2019 due to supplemental unemployment payments, poverty jumped at a higher rate than it has in forty years. The regions hit hardest by poverty are those with large immigrant populations or with ineffective unemployment systems. Over 45% of people in Riverside, California said they are unable to pay for routine expenses such as rent and food.

 Leading for Power and Change

  • American democracy has been tested this year and shown all of us the cracks and fragility of our institutions and processes. How can philanthropy play a role in rebuilding democracy and our democratic institutions?  Check out this article from the Stanford Social Innovation Review exploring this question at this important moment.

Jan. 7, 2021

Community Well-Being

  • The California Department of Aging released the Master Plan for Aging Playbook designed to assist in building environments that promote an age and disability-friendly state.

Equity in Access

Economic Security and Dignity

  • A study by the Urban Institute examines an idea that is gaining traction among health care leaders across the country – investing in housing is investing in health. The study profiles interventions that integrate housing and health services for low-income people.
  • Millions of Americans continue to face a looming eviction cliff and the crisis underscores the widening racial inequality in housing. Governor Newsom has announced plans to extend the eviction moratorium, which is currently set to expire at the end of the month, though it is unclear for how long.

Leading for Power and Change


Dec. 16, 2020

Community Well-Being

  • Reimagining Justice during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic highlights how Americans are thinking differently about incarceration as a result of the pandemic. The pandemic has underscored the importance of centering human needs at the heart of innovation.
  • As of December 14th, 119 incarcerated youth have tested positive for COVID-19, including nearly 50 new cases in just the last few weeks. With a population of less than 800, this means that about 15% of youth at the Division of Juvenile Justice are known to have tested positive. To learn more, check out: COVID-19 Cases Surging in CA Youth Prisons.  

Equity in Access

Economic Security and Dignity

Leading for Power and Change

 


Dec. 9, 2020

Community Well-Being

  • The federal government backs mortgages in communities facing grave dangers such as wildfire, hurricanes, and flooding due to climate change. With a congressional mandate to increase homeownership among people from underserved backgrounds, lenders such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac face the reality that Climate Change Could Spark the Next Home Mortgage Disaster.

Equity in Access

Economic Security and Dignity

  • Consistent with Dr. Manuel Pastor’s remarks during last week’s learning session, PPIC’s report on Income Inequality and Economic Opportunity in California outlines how the pandemic-induced recession is hitting communities of color and women particularly hard. The report offers some policy interventions that can be used to promote a more equitable economic recovery.

 Leading for Power and Change

  • Do you want to understand a bit more about the history of liberation efforts of indigenous Americans in the U.S.?  Check out this “explainer” from National Geographic focused on the radical history of the Red Power movement’s efforts to fight for the sovereignty of Native Americans.

Dec. 2, 2020

Community Well-Being

Equity in Access

  • As a result of the pandemic, the connection between race and health outcomes has become crystal clear this year. The country’s reckoning with racism as a result of the killing of George Floyd is now pushing the medical education system to reevaluate the use of race in the diagnosis of illness and disease to help doctors spot racism in health care.
  • Despite numerous attempts to eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) and some significant victories, including this summer’s Supreme Court ruling, a federal judge recently ruled that the new DACA rules are invalid as Chad Wolf was not legally serving as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security when he signed rules limiting applications and renewals.  

Economic Security and Dignity

  • 2020 has laid bare the vast inequities that exist in the United States with huge gaps in income, education and access to health care becoming increasingly evident. Check out Is Inequality Inevitable? from the podcast Bill Gates and Rashida Jones ask Big Questions, featuring economist Raj Chetty and Compton Mayor Aja Brown.
  • Top retailers have seen staggering profits during the pandemic as frontline workers face unprecedented risks on the job. A comprehensive report from the Brookings Institute shows how most large retailers are providing negligible compensation to workers despite a windfall of profits. Some frontline workers have been given a one-time bonus or received temporary hazard pay while others saw an increase in compensation; on average, workers had only a 10% increase in hourly wages that were already too low to meet basic needs.

 Leading for Power and Change

  • There is much to still be learned about the recent elections and the efforts to engaged communities in the electoral process. A new report from the USC Equity Research Institute looks at our multiracial future from a Black-Latino lens with a  focus on coalition building. Check out what was learned from four vastly different places based on their regional specificities in Bridges/Puentes: Building Black-Brown Solidarities Across the U.S.
  • Youth are increasingly being cited as essential to power building efforts in California and some regions are beginning to expand their efforts significantly. Check out 99 Rootz: Building a Youth Movement in the Central Valley a case study by Veronica Terriquez and Angelina Santiago.
Back to top