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Grants aim to mobilize Alameda Co. voters

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A racial justice advocacy group announced this week that it is making available $265,000 in grants to support six racial justice organizations to mobilize voters to get to the polls in Alameda County.

Akonadi Foundation President Lateefah Simon, who also serves on the BART board of directors, said in a statement:

“Progressive philanthropy must play a key role in supporting electoral activism in communities of color this November and beyond.”

Simon said:

“Our Movement Action Fund grantees are galvanizing the new majority across Alameda County to vote and hold elected officials accountable during this critical time in our democracy.”

The Akonadi Foundation, which is based in Oakland and was founded in 2000, said the six organizations receiving the grants have been working to mobilize voters for years and this year are aiming to reach 75,000 people of color and young people in districts with historically low turnouts, including districts in East and West Oakland.

The foundation has awarded a total of $530,000 in grants through the Movement Action Fund this year.

The new grants will support Oakland Rising, the Urban Peace Movement, the Fam1st Family Foundation, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment Action, Filipino Advocates for Justice, and Faith in Action.

Carroll Fife, director of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, or ACCE, said:

“Our communities of color are under attack in every election.”

Fife added:

“ACCE leaders believe that when we are engaged and organized, not only can we defeat their attacks but we can advance strong policies that materially benefit our communities.”

The Akonadi Foundation said mobilizing voters is important because mid-term elections historically have lower turnout than presidential elections and voter participation in communities of color is typically lower than in white communities.

The Akonadi Foundation says its mission is to support the development of powerful social change movements to eliminate structural racism and create a racially just society.

The foundation has given more than 1,600 grants totaling $35 million to nonprofit organizations across the country, but primarily in the Bay Area.

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