Updates from our Community Partners: Deepening Impact, Growing Capacity, and Developing Leadership

This past Spring, we checked in with our Community Partner Grantees and invited them to connect and share updates at a meeting in June. They continue to deepen impact and grow their organizational capacity, in the midst of ongoing crises and challenges. These inspiring changemakers and leaders are listening to communities they engage, adapting, deepening, and pivoting. All organizations received continuation of unrestricted funding from SV2. 

Here are some things these organizations are proud about and want to amplify:

  • Braven Bay Area – strong early progress by successfully working with the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering to implement Braven as a technical elective option, and with the new Data Science major to add Braven as a recommended elective for students in the major.
  • ICACase study co-authored between ICA and Firebrand Artisan Breads, a West Oakland-based baking company that has partnered with ICA over the last ten years, that examines how small businesses can create high quality jobs while scaling up. They also highlighted the 2021 ICA Annual Report.
  • Mujeres Unidas y Activas – 3 key policy victories at the local, state and national level respectively:
    • The City of San Francisco Domestic Worker Paid Sick Leave Ordinance will create the first ever mandated paid sick leave system in California.
    • The Domestic Worker Health and Safety Act will establish the first ever workplace health and safety guidelines for domestic workers throughout the State of California.
    • Changes to the Department of Justice rules regarding the grounds for asylum in the United States in July 2021. This victory could save the lives of tens of thousands of survivors of violence, including many MUA members, who will be protected from deportation to their home countries. This victory was reported in the New York Times, which featured the story of a MUA member who provided her testimony to the government. 
  • One Life Counseling – building and creating immigrant focus and mental health center that doesn’t exist in San Mateo County. Launched Una Vida
  • Safe & Sound – Center for Youth Wellness and Safe & Sound (merged) enhance each other’s strengths in improving the health and wellbeing of children and families. Launched Lunch and Learn series open to the community.
  • StreetCode Academynamed 2021 Nonprofit of the Year for California’s 13th Senate District StreetCode Academy Named Peninsula’s 2021 Nonprofit of the Year, selected as one of 40 organizations nationwide to receive a grant and partnership with the NBA Foundation, 100% staff team retention, and strengthened Ravenswood School City District partnership.
  • SV@Home – had another very successful Affordable Housing Month is past May. They uploaded the majority of the 50+ Affordable Housing Month events to the SV@Home website.
  • Upward Scholars – has an awesome and highly valued staff team! Also there are Upward Scholars’ small businesses which you can support.  

We’re also honored and delighted to welcome our newest Community Partners: Code Tenderloin, College is Real, Puente de la Costa Sur, and Redwood City PAL

Here are some more things we learned as we connect with all our Community Partners:

  • Based on community realities, programs and activities are becoming more deeply intersectional – e.g. education, job ready-ness, and mental health, environment and social justice, community organizing and workforce development, and housing and economic inclusion. 
  • Our Community Partners are also experiencing various challenges including the emotionally burdensome work of dismantling inequitable systems, expanding geographically and into new communities successfully, doing community engagement well in a hybrid format in the continued realities of COVID, retaining staff, sustaining team wellbeing, and having systems and processes that effectively keep up with growth. 
  • There is more collaboration and less “re-inventing the wheel”. 
  • Teams are growing and deepening (staff and board with diverse lived experiences), staff are being paid better.
  • Operational efficiency is improving, and impact measurement and sharing is more robust and intentional. 
  • SV2’s trust-based unrestricted funding, relationship building, and support has clearly contributed to these successes. 

We continue to be honored to be in community together to advance equity and social impact, and contribute to a Bay Area in which everyone can thrive.