Akonadi Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder is solely focused on racial justice in Oakland, California. Unsolicited applications are accepted for some programs, but not for others.

FUNDING AREAS: Racial justice

IP TAKE: This is one of the most targeted and specific foundations in the Bay Area. It’s a great place to turn to for funding for small events like healing clinics, festivals, community gatherings, and public art projects.

PROFILE: The Akonadi Foundation is based in Oakland, California, and was founded in 2000. Its mission is racial justice, toward which it has awarded over 1,300 grants totaling more than $30 million since its establishment. A majority of these grantees have been in the Bay Area, but others are based elsewhere in the country. In 2012, the foundation shifted grantmaking to focus solely on Oakland.

The foundation’s two main programs are the Arc Toward Justice, which concentrates on youth of color ages 14-24, and the Beloved Community Fund, which supports public arts and cultural events in Oakland. The Arc Towards Justice Fund aims to stop the criminalization of youth of color, to end the school-to-prison pipeline, and to foster overall wellness. This fund was launched in 2013 and gives grantees one-year operating support grants up to $75,000. At times, this fund closes its doors to new applications so it can focus on current grantees. Previous grantees for this invitation-only fund include the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network, and Black Organizing Project.

The Beloved Community Fund prioritizes racial trauma and healing, representations of youth of color that defy stereotypes, and structural effects of police brutality and racial inequality. All of these free arts and culture events must take place within the Oakland city limits. For this fund, the foundation awards project-specific grants between $2,000 and $15,000. In a recent year, the average grant was about $7,300 with around $565,000 awarded for the year. You can take an online eligibility quiz and receive a link to an online application to complete for this program.

Another funding venture is the So Love Can Win Fund, created as a rapid response fund to counter racial inequality and hate against local communities of color. This fund has awarded one-time grants of $3,000 to $5,000 to neighborhood collectives, spiritual practitioners, frontline activists, and other groups and individuals working to negate the impact of hate groups. In its inaugural year, the fund awarded 38 grants totaling $91,000.

The Akonadi Foundation is led by Lateefah Simon as president and has six other staff members. A good contact for grantseekers is Iris Garcia, Akonadi’s learning and impact program officer, at Iris@akonadi.org.

The staff can be reached at 510-663-3867, and the foundation’s address is 436 14th Street, #1417, Oakland, California 94612. General email inquiries can be submitted via online form. You can keep up with this funder through its blog.

LINKS: