OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 18, 2021 – Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest integrated, nonprofit health system, has awarded $8.15 million to support dozens of nonprofit and community based organizations whose programs address systemic racism and its accompanying trauma on individuals and communities of color. These grants are part of the $25 million commitment Kaiser Permanente announced in June 2020 to promote health equity and break the cycle of racial inequities, injustices, and stresses that lead to poor health outcomes for its members and communities.
This first set of grants, awarded to 39 organizations in 8 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, support established national and regional community based organizations led by people of color, addressing racial and social justice or trauma, including the lifelong impacts of adverse childhood experiences.
In Northern California, a total of $975,000 in grants will help 3 community based organizations work to end systemic racism and the resulting trauma experienced by people of color.
“It is fitting that we announce these grants on the day when our nation honors Martin Luther King Jr. and his vision of a just and equitable society,” said Yvette Radford, vice president, Kaiser Permanente Northern California External and Community Affairs. “These investments will support our community partners in organizing, advocating, and advancing policies and practices that foster racial equity and justice, healing, and the opportunity for every individual to thrive.”
The following Northern California organizations will each receive $325,000 over the next 24 months, as part of Kaiser Permanente’s $8.1 million investment:
- Faith in Action Network (PICO California): Leveraging its organizing expertise and deep connections with Black faith leaders, congregations, and directly impacted communities, PICO will work to dismantle systemic racism, reconstruct public safety systems, and help heal, protect, and save Black lives.
- Public Health Advocates (PHA) in Stockton: Working with youth leaders, PHA will educate students on the impact of trauma, develop a campaign to reduce mental health stigma, and create safe healing and support spaces. The organization will work to address racist policies and practices with bi-weekly education and leadership training of youth to help them understand the relationship between public policy, trauma, and health outcomes.
- RYSE Inc.: Young people of color in Richmond and West Contra Costa County will be engaged in RYSE’s leadership pipeline to build the next generation of leaders grounded in racial and social justice. They will work with adult stakeholders to help shape racially just policies and practices.
“This funding sends a message of hope to our youth that they are critical to this movement and have the power to make positive change,” said Tanice Wallace, program manager for Public Health Advocates’ Faces of Resilience program, which will receive additional funding through Kaiser Permanente’s racial equity grants. “Our program helps young people understand the roots of structural racism, then we offer them tools and the opportunity to work toward racial equity in their communities.”
In addition, in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, an estimated 1,700 Kaiser Permanente employees in Northern California will take part in the organization’s 17th Annual MLK Day of Service. Due to COVID-19, all volunteering will be done safely and virtually. Projects range from making calls and writing letters to seniors and others who are isolated by the pandemic to creating blankets, masks, and wellness journals for people in need.
Kaiser Permanente Northern California is also donating a 1,000-square-foot mural to the Black Cultural Zone at Oakland’s Liberation Park, where it will soon be permanently installed. Two local Oakland artists created the dynamic and colorful piece of art, which depicts images that reflect the Black community and culture.
About Kaiser Permanente
For 75 years, Kaiser Permanente has been committed to shaping the future of health and health care — and helping our members, patients, and communities experience more healthy years. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Since July 21, 1945, Kaiser Permanente’s mission has been to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.4 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health.