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$2M Initiative Launched to Lift Economic Justice Efforts in Orange County

SANTA, ANA, Calif. (February 20, 2024) Led by Charitable Ventures (CV) and funded by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation, the OC Economic Justice Initiative aims to lift the efforts of emerging nonprofits focused on bringing economic justice to marginalized communities in Orange County. The initiative will involve direct grant support, capacity building, regional conversations with key stakeholders and other funders, and an effort to map and align the region’s current economic justice landscape.

The OC Economic Justice Initiative will focus on identifying and supporting both local Native-led and BIPOC-led organizations, to thoughtfully and intentionally engage in work that focuses on economic justice, and on healing and rebuilding disinvested communities. Additionally, the initiative will offer capacity-building and coaching tailored to the needs of emerging organizations, and support a thorough landscape analysis of economic justice efforts in the region. Charitable Ventures is partnering with social impact experts James Alva, Principal of Adelante Partners, and Jack Toan, Principal of JT Consulting Group, to support the initiative.

Orange County’s diverse communities have long grappled with structural barriers to economic opportunity, entrenched in the very history of the region. Regional research highlights glaring disparities for communities of color across various indicators, including income, employment, education, housing, and health. According to a recent report on such disparities, Beyond Equity, Native Americans have the highest unemployment rate (10%) in Orange County, followed by African American (8%), Latino (6%) and then API (5%).

“I’m thrilled that Charitable Ventures was selected by The James Irvine Foundation to be the steward of this catalytic investment in the region’s economic justice work,” said Anne Olin, President and CEO of Charitable Ventures. “There is a lot of good work happening in this space, but it is happening at the ground level, without a lot of visibility or support. How we define economic justice, how we align our efforts and priorities, how we support emerging leaders in the field – can make a huge difference in the visibility and impact of these efforts.”

The initiative will engage a wide range of stakeholders, including tribal leaders, nonprofit organizations, regional funders, and community leaders, with a goal of sharing findings and learnings from the investment and effort in Spring 2025.

Full press release available here.