The City’s We Are Santa Monica Fund, originally limited to COVID-19 community relief, expands today to permit donors to earmark their donations to advance a Black Agenda in Santa Monica. In addition, 10% of any donations that are not earmarked for a specific purpose will be allocated to support projects that are part of the Black Agenda.
On June 9, 2020, the Santa Monica City Council unanimously approved agenda item 13B: “Request of Councilmembers Himmelrich, Jara, and Morena that staff support community leaders creating a Black Agenda to address systemic racism in Santa Monica and that staff take action to eradicate racism within the City government and to implement the Black Agenda.” Then, on June 23 2020, the Council unanimously approved agenda item 13B, the request of Mayor Pro Tem O’Day and Councilmembers Davis and Winterer, that the We Are Santa Monica Fund be modified to permit it to accept donations to support the development and implementation of the Black Agenda, allow donors to earmark donations up to 100% for this purpose, and allocate 10% of any unrestricted donations for this purpose.
“Immediate community donations to the Santa Monica Black Agenda through the We Are Fund are a crucial good-faith first step,” said Mayor Kevin McKeown. “In the longer run, racial justice requires remedying historic inequities in the availability for Black community purposes of capital that other sectors of society took for granted. Our involvement now, at the beginning, will create opportunities that were denied before, and encourage our Santa Monica Black Agenda to flourish.”
Santa Monica’s Black community leaders have come together to create a Black Agenda to assist the City in owning its history and recognizing and addressing existing barriers by adopting an informed, proactive platform of forthright, sustained, and credible actions.
The Black Agenda will evolve from outreach, engagement and assessment within the Black community to provide a robust plan for empowerment, inclusion, and equity. The goal is a plan that will be a comprehensive blueprint for authentic change across a wide-range of areas; economic, health-mental, health-wellbeing, police reform, education, COVID-19 recovery, the arts, housing, and civic and political participation.
The We Are Santa Monica Fund is managed through the California Community Foundation (CCF), a 501c3 public charity. Contributions to the California Community Foundation represent irrevocable gifts subject to the legal and fiduciary control of the foundation’s board of directors. To learn more about the We Are Fund and to donate, visit www.calfund.org/wearesantamonica/.
If you are interested in getting involved in the Black Agenda, contact the Black Agenda Steering Committee, led by Dr. Karen Gunn, Robbie Jones and Barry Snell, at SantamonicaBlackAgenda@gmail.com.
For information on how to make a cash or in-kind donation to the City of Santa Monica for a particular use, please contact Debbie Lee at Debbie.email@example.com.
Submitted by Constance Farrell, Santa Monica Public Information Officer