SDG member The San Diego Foundation and the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce have announced the launch of The Black Community Investment Fund, a new fund aimed at increasing racial equity and generational wealth for Black San Diegans. The fund is seeded with resources from several SDG members, including a $1 million commitment from The San Diego Foundation, $250,000 from San Diego Gas & Electric, $75,000 from Wells Fargo and $25,000 from Cox Communications.
Today, we’re taking a closer look at what the fund will prioritize and the four key pillars of economic prosperity it will target.
Co-founded by the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce (CSDBCC) and The San Diego Foundation, and led by an advisory council of San Diego leaders, the fund will prioritize and invest in community-led, innovative efforts that increase racial equity and generational wealth for Black San Diegans. Grantmaking will focus on four key pillars impacting economic prosperity among Black San Diegans: education, employment, housing and entrepreneurism.
- EDUCATION: The education pillar will target projects that address systemic educational challenges within schools and complementary to schools, as well as provide scholarship support.
- EMPLOYMENT: The employment pillar will support projects that create workforce training programs in emerging fields and aid with paid internship programs and driving diversity in underrepresented fields.
- HOUSING: The housing pillar will support initiatives across the spectrum of housing interventions that drive at building generational wealth and achieving homeownership among Black San Diegans.
- ENTREPRENEURSHIP: The entrepreneurship pillar will lead efforts to support new entrepreneurs and provide mentorship and financial support in partnership with the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce.
“All San Diegans should have the opportunity to fulfill their highest potential, yet COVID-19 and the events of 2020 have deepened the racial inequities that exist in our community and nation,” shared Mark Stuart, President & CEO of The San Diego Foundation. “By co-creating the Black Community Investment Fund, The San Diego Foundation is taking an intentional, sustained approach toward racial equity in the region so every San Diegan can thrive, prosper and feel like they belong.”
The launch of the fund comes just weeks after the CSDBCC raised $1 million for San Diego Black-owned small business COVID-19 relief through the Black Business Relief Fund, supported by SDG. For CSDBCC’s President and CEO, Donna DeBerry, both demonstrate important steps along a broader equity journey.
“In the centuries-long fight for racial equity, the challenges and opportunities for philanthropy are immense,” stated Donna DeBerry, President & CEO of the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce, a co-founder of the Black Community Investment Fund. “The Black Community Investment Fund is a significant step in our region’s history as we continue to promote and prioritize equity in every thread of the fabric of our society.”
To support the education pillar of the Black Community Investment Fund, The San Diego Foundation also announced the Dr. Wilma Wooten Courage Scholarship, which honors the courage, conviction and valor of San Diego County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten.
The Dr. Wilma Wooten Courage Scholarship, funded by SDG member Alliance Healthcare Foundation, The David C. Copley Foundation, San Diego Gas & Electric and The San Diego Foundation, will provide scholarships to San Diegans who are pursuing a degree in health sciences and come from communities traditionally and currently underrepresented in higher education, especially students who are the first in their families to attend college.
To learn more about the fund or the scholarship, and to join in supporting, please visit here.
To view the full press release, visit here
To view a video of the press conference, tune in here