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McCune Foundation Awards $330,000 in Social Justice Grants

The McCune Foundation awarded $330,000 for community organizing projects in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Twelve groups received grants in May to support teams of parents, grandparents, immigrants, teens and other concerned residents in creating beneficial changes in their communities.

“Inequality continues to be a problem, but citizens can play important roles in creating more equitable communities,” said Sara Miller McCune, the foundation’s president and co-founder. “Our grants help parents and youth have a stronger voice at schools and help engage farmworkers, seniors, and bus riders in improving local services.”

Grant dollars provided by the foundation will pay for salaries for community organizers, trainings and other program expenses. In 2013, the foundation awarded 30 grants and dozens of contributions totaling more than $800,000.

Grassroots groups that meet the foundation’s funding guidelines and that are interested in being considered for a grant may submit a letter of inquiry by the next deadline of July 11. Details on applying for a grant are available online by clicking here.

The McCune Foundation was established in 1990 by Sara Miller McCune and George D. McCune, the founders of SAGE Publications Inc. in Thousand Oaks. The foundation focuses its grantmaking in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties with the mission of being an agent of productive change in society by supporting the development of social capital in the region.

Grants Awarded in May

» Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) — $50,000 to bring about grassroots power, meaningful policy reform and systemic change in Santa Maria, Guadalupe and Santa Barbara with a focus on leadership development.

» Coalition for Sustainable Transportation (COAST) — $20,000 for the Alliance for Sustainable & Equitable Regional Transportation (ASERT), a transportation coalition which builds grassroots power for transit users in underserved communities of Ventura County.

» Families ACT! — $30,000 for community organizing led by individuals and families dealing with mental health and substance use disorders to improve mental health services in Santa Barbara County.

» Foodbank of Santa Barbara County — $21,500 for the Community Leadership Training & Food Security Advocacy Project, to build leadership among Santa Barbara County residents to mobilize for increased food security and an equitable food system.

» Foundation of the Santa Barbara Regional Health Authority — $16,000 for the Lompoc Promotores Network, which trains promotores to identify and mobilize around community issues affecting the Latino community in Lompoc.

» Fund for Santa Barbara — $25,000 to provide technical assistance services and capacity building workshops to nonprofit organizations in Santa Barbara County.

» Future Leaders of America — $36,000 for core support of programs that develop Latino youth activists in Oxnard, Santa Paula, and Santa Barbara to impact the community through civic engagement.

» Kincares — $18,000 to convene and support grandparents in advocating for improved services for children being raised by their grandparents in Santa Barbara County.

» Just Communities Central Coast — $50,000 for core support, with an emphasis on staff support for youth, parents, and educators in North Santa Barbara County and Ventura County who are mobilizing to close the achievement gap and improve social and academic outcomes for all students.

» Pacific Pride Foundation — $25,000 for LGBTQ Advocacy programs that train and engage activists in support of equal rights and a safer community for LGBTQ residents in Santa Barbara County.

» Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition — $25,000 for Connecting Our Community to organize activists to bring safe bicycling infrastructure to the South Coast of Santa Barbara County.

» Teachers for the Study of Educational Institutions — $15,000 for Teaching FAIR, a collaborative of teachers, administrators, community members, and UCSB professors which is developing K-12 curriculum that is culturally relevant and meets the mandates of the FAIR Act to teach about the contributions of various ethnic groups, persons with disabilities, and LGBT persons.

— Claudia Armann is executive director of the McCune Foundation.

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