2020 Covid Response Grants - California

CA Grantee Organization: Housing Now! California

Housing Now! California is a broad and diverse movement building power to make housing affordable and to combat the displacement crisis that is disproportionately impacting working class communities of color. Led by tenants, the Housing Now! coalition of 86 local and state organizations includes allied landlords, realtors, and dozens of community, faith, and labor organizations. Housing Now! California believes that everyone should have the opportunity to live in a safe, healthy, affordable home.

With support from Convergence Partnership, Housing Now! is developing a mid-term vision and priorities for housing policy and power-building infrastructure needs in California that centers racial justice and health equity; engaging members in thinking about needs specific to recovering from the health and economic impacts caused by the Covid-19 pandemic; and deepening work to integrate the needs of communities in California's inland regions into statewide policy development and coalition infrastructure.

San Joaquin Valley, CA, Grantee Organizations: Cultiva La Salud; Dolores Huerta Foundation; Radio Bilingue; Faith in the Valley; Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability

  • Cultiva La Salud is dedicated to creating health equity in the San Joaquin Valley by fostering changes in communities that support healthy eating and active living. 
  • Dolores Huerta Foundation inspires and organizes communities to build volunteer organizations empowered to pursue social justice by recruiting, training, and empowering grassroots leaders in low-income communities to pursue social justice through systemic and structural transformation. 
  • Radio Bilingüe is the leading Latino public radio network and content producer for the nation’s public broadcasting system. Its mission is to serve as a voice to empower Latinos and other underserved communities.

With support from Convergence Partnership, these three partner organizations are working together to support coordinated advocacy and community engagement to ensure identified San Joaquin Valley school districts are providing healthy and desirable school meals while schools are physically closed or offering distanced learning, as well as advocating for local, regional, and national equitable school meal policy change.  The partnership also includes consulting services by University of California Nutrition Policy Center Stanford School of Medicine. 

Faith in the Valley is a faith-based grassroots community organization in California’s Central Valley representing families in Fresno, Kern, Merced, Stanislaus, and San Joaquin counties. Their work is led by volunteer leaders who are among the people most impacted by equity issues: low-wage workers, young people, immigrants, and the formerly incarcerated.

Convergence funding is supporting grassroots leaders to educate decision-makers and public officials around the impacts of Covid-19 on low-income communities, such as the housing and evictions crisis, and the need for resources and policy change. These grassroots leaders are also working with other community partners to address Covid-19 impacts in Merced and Stanislaus counties. 

Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability is an advocacy and legal strategy organization that fundamentally shifts the dynamics that have created the stark inequality that impacts California’s low-income, rural regions. Through community organizing, research, legal representation, and policy advocacy, they impact land use and transportation planning, shift public investment priorities, guide environmental policy, and promote the provision of basic infrastructure and services. Based in the San Joaquin and Eastern Coachella Valleys, Leadership Counsel works alongside the most impacted communities to advocate for sound policy and eradicate injustice to secure equal access to opportunity regardless of wealth, race, income, and place.

Convergence Partnership funding is supporting Leadership Counsel to engage and empower impacted community members to educate decision-makers and their staffs on issues related to Covid-19 impacts in vulnerable communities, such as worker safety, housing protections, availability and access to Covid-19 testing, and transparent public decision-making in Tulare and Madera Counties.