The Economic Inclusion Grant Round — part of SV2’s local Pathways to Opportunity focus — looked at approaches and organizations that are supporting economic rebuilding in just, equitable, and inclusive ways. As job displacement is accelerated by the pandemic, Partners learned about a range of needs and how various groups of workers are being disproportionately affected — and what interventions, including both direct services and advocacy, are working to get people back to work. Special thanks to our Funder Allies, The San Francisco Foundation and The Sobrato Foundation, who shared with Partners what they are learning about this rapidly evolving sector, as well as their insights about the organizations they nominated for SV2 to consider.
We are delighted to announce SV2’s newest Community Partners / Grantees: Braven and Mujeres Unidas y Activas!
Braven’s mission is to empower promising, underrepresented young people — first generation college students, students from low-income backgrounds, and students of color — with the skills, confidence, experiences and networks necessary to transition from college to strong first jobs, which lead to meaningful careers and lives of impact. Braven partners directly with universities and employers to offer an innovative two-part student experience. It begins with a 15-week credit-bearing career-acceleration course that students take during their sophomore or junior year (traditionally hybrid online and in-person, now fully online). After the course, Post-Accelerator Fellows receive additional opportunities to develop leadership and career-readiness skills, engage in an enduring professional network, and stay on track to securing strong internships and jobs. Across the entire Braven experience, partnerships with local employers, like Adobe, LinkedIn, Cisco, Salesforce, Deloitte, and others play a key role. For employers, these partnerships offer them access to rising diverse talent and provide employees with meaningful employee engagement experiences. And, for Fellows, these partnerships offer exposure to the workplace, access to professional networks, and a pool of strong internships and jobs.
Mujeres Unidas y Activas is a grassroots organization of Latina immigrant women with a double mission of promoting personal transformation and building community power for social and economic justice. MUA does direct service work (peer counseling, English classes, etc) and advocacy work (training and developing women to become leaders to their peers and to work in community organizing and policy work). The Executive Director, Juana Flores, came to the organization as a client, became a member and leader, and is now the senior executive. MUA conducts business in Spanish. MUA views their impact in terms of women who receive services, women who become leaders at MUA, and legislation and policies enacted with MUA’s advocacy efforts. They are committed to a collaborative and coalition approach with other organizations in their work. MUA helped create the Rapid Response Network which is a network of allies on call to respond to ICE and to ensure that people’s rights are respected. MUA started the Domestic Workers Alliance, which is now an independent national organization, but which is still tied to MUA. In this capacity, MUA was instrumental in passing the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights in California.
This Grant Round continued SV2’s application approach in which virtual “coffee chats” between small groups of Partners and nonprofit applicants took the place of written grant applications. After a highly engaged learning and diligence process, we concluded with an unprecedented situation: a tied vote — twice. Braven and Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) received equal numbers of votes, both in the initial vote, and then in the “run off” vote. The Board Committee has approved making unrestricted grants of $63,000 over two years to both Braven and MUA, along with three years of Beyond-the-Dollars support. SV2 will also make a $10,000 finalist grant to Juma.
Join us in welcoming these effective and impactful organizations to the SV2 community!