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McCune Foundation Awards $330,000 in Grants for Social Justice Projects

The McCune Foundation has awarded almost $330,000 for community organizing and social justice projects in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Fifteen groups will receive grants to support foster youth, parents, immigrants, teens and other groups of concerned residents in creating beneficial changes in their communities.

“Our aim is to provide financial resources to community groups that empower residents to solve issues of inequality,” said Sara Miller McCune, the foundation’s president and co-founder. “With our support, parents and youth have a stronger voice at local schools, streets are becoming safer for pedestrians and cyclists, and services for immigrants are improving.”

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 Jan. 13. Details on applying for a grant are available 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 November 2013

» The ARC of Ventura County — $10,000 for People First of Ventura County and Project R: Rethink, Reconsider, Respect, initiatives led by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to advocate on their own behalf.

» California Center for Cooperative Development — $19,000 to the Lompoc Cooperative Development Project to develop worker cooperatives in Lompoc.

» California Youth Connection — $20,000 for Creating Leaders from Within which provides leadership development, communications workshops, and civic engagement opportunities to current and former foster youth so they can improve policies and practices in Ventura County’s foster care system.

» Central Coast Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) — $40,000 for general support to build grassroots power to realize social, economic, and environmental justice for the people of Ventura & Santa Barbara Counties through policy research, leadership development, organizing and advocacy.

» Central Coast Future Leaders — $20,000 for youth and family leadership trainings to empower youth and families in Santa Maria, Cuyama, and Guadalupe to become more active leaders in their homes, schools and communities.

» Coalition for Sustainable Transportation (COAST) — $22,500 for Walking & Transit Needs of Working Families, to organize residents of Santa Barbara’s Eastside to advocate for pedestrian safety and improved bus service.

» Cuyama Valley Family Resource Center — $24,000 for Cuyama Planning for the Future, to build leadership and partnerships, especially among parents, youth, and other citizens who are emerging as the driving force in making decisions and developing creative responses to local needs.

» El Centrito Family Learning Centers — $25,000 for Padres Promotores de la Educación Project which trains, organizes, and empowers Oxnard parents to address educational inequities in their children's schools and take leadership roles in the community.

» Just Communities Central Coast — $8,500 for the Parent Involvement through Dialogue and Action project to engage and mobilize parents in Fillmore, in partnership with One Step a La Vez.

» La Hermandad Hank Lacayo Youth & Family Center – $25,000 for grassroots organizing and leadership training among working-class immigrants in Ventura County and Santa Maria to promote immigration reform and social justice for immigrants.

» Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project —– $30,000 to develop community leadership among indigenous Oaxacan farm workers to identify problems faced by the Mixtec community and implement campaigns or programs to create systemic change in Ventura County.

» One Step A La Vez — $28,000 for youth committees in Fillmore and Piru working to expand the community’s voice for social change to address transportation needs, clean-up of a toxic Superfund site, and implement restorative justice practices in law enforcement and schools.

» Ventura County Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice (VCCLUE) — $22,000 for a coalition of faith organizations that provides trainings and leadership development for congregants, students, and immigrants to mobilize in support of affordable housing and just policies for immigrants.

» Ventura County Community Foundation — $20,000 for the Social Justice Fund for Ventura County which engages social justice leaders, donors, and grassroots groups in creating awareness and mobilizing resources for social justice issues.

» Westminster Free Clinic — $15,000 for Youth Advocacy for Better Food, a project to engage low-income youth to advocate for changes in the food options available at local corner markets and convenience stores in East Ventura County neighborhoods.

— Claudia Armann is executive director of the McCune Foundation.

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