California funders including Liberty Hill Foundation, The California Endowment, The California Wellness Foundation, Rosenberg Foundation, and Sierra Health Foundation, are pooling resources to support grassroots organizers through a rapid response fund administered by Liberty Hill Foundation.
The purpose of this fund is to address the root causes that led to the events in Ferguson, New York, and Los Angeles and accelerate the momentum created by organizers on the ground.
The Rapid Response Fund for Racial Justice provides grants of up to $10,000 to organizations in California that are organizing to advance racial justice and develop strategies to advance lasting systemic change. Funded work will include but not be limited to efforts that uplift the value of Black lives and address police accountability, criminalization, and violence on people of color. Generally, groups will be allowed only one Rapid Response Fund for Racial Justice grant during the year.
The fund, thus far, has raised nearly $150,000 from foundations and nearly $20,000 from individual donors. Eleven organizations in Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay Area have been funded, supporting leadership development, media and outreach campaigns, organizer training, organizing and mobilizing efforts, coalitions, and strategy development.
One organization is hoping to advance its successful efforts to right racial profiling in the Antelope Valley of LA County. Located at the western tip of the Mojave Desert, the key cities of Lancaster and Palmdale have been subjected to years of racial profiling and efforts to dismantle Section 8 housing in order to decrease the influx of Blacks and Latinos into the region.
The Community Action League, NAACP, and others in the region waged a Section 8 racial discrimination lawsuit in Palmdale which they won after the Justice Department investigated their claims and found horrific stories of racial discrimination, as seen in this video – Liberty Hill fights for change in the Antelope Valley.
Liberty Hill supports their effort for their successful campaign, and The Community Action League recently received another grant from the Rapid Response Fund for Racial Justice for efforts in Lancaster.