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$590,000 in Grants from KLA Social Equity Fund Focus on Removing Social, Economic Barriers

Aug 1, 2022 3 min read

KLA Foundation has awarded a second round of grants totaling $590,000 from the American Heart Association-KLA Social Equity Fund (SEF). Five nonprofits focused on removing social and economic barriers for people in under-resourced neighborhoods were selected from the Metropolitan Detroit and Silicon Valley/South Bay areas.

This year’s KLA SEF grants are part of a three-year program supporting community-led, long-term solutions to food and housing insecurity and access to healthcare and income equality among historically excluded communities. KLA SEF grants are awarded to community-based nonprofits led by people of color and/or operate in under-resourced neighborhoods.

“KLA has a major presence in California and Michigan, and every day our employees see tremendous need in their communities. It’s important for us to help elevate our communities by assisting local nonprofits that work to reduce barriers and empower the people they serve.”

Jen McCollum, executive director, KLA Foundation

Metro Detroit

JOURNi is a Black-led tech education and training organization that develops a talent pipeline for historically excluded Detroit youth and businesses. With KLA SEF grant funding, JOURNi will hire a staff member to focus on web and mobile development services for small businesses, according to Richard Grundy, chief executive officer, JOURNi.

“This huge step will help us become more sustainable as an organization while also offering more opportunities for young people to gain paid experience in the technology field,” Richard says.

Detroit-based JOURNi offers multiple resources, including youth-centered programming courses, to equip people with skills to jumpstart their careers and positively impact the city’s economy.

Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association’s B’Right Hub is a high-tech mobile and web-based solution based in Detroit created to improve service and delivery by maternal health groups, particularly parent clubs. KLA SEF grant funding will extend the reach and further development of the hub.

Nurturing Our Seeds works to strengthen sustainable food systems within communities of color in Detroit through urban agriculture, produce sales and distribution and agricultural apprenticeship. The KLA SEF grant will expand Nurturing Our Seeds’ capacity to increase access to healthy food across Detroit. 

South Bay | Silicon Valley

Fresh Approach creates long-term change in food systems by providing underrepresented communities with access to healthy food from local farmers and expanding knowledge on nutrition education. The KLA SEF grant will create new opportunities for collaboration between the food system and healthcare providers, according to Andy Ollove, food access program director.

“We believe that food-as-medicine interventions like our mobile farmers market and fruit and vegetable prescriptions should be a standard model for healthcare in hospitals around the country,” Andy says. “This funding will help us test and pilot the novel relationships between local farms, nonprofits and healthcare providers that are needed to create a new vision for health and food in the Bay Area.”

Fresh Approach’s mobile farm market brings fruit and vegetables to neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay area.

Latino Education Advancement Foundation (LEAF) works to decrease barriers for low-income Latinx students in the educational pipeline. The LEAF Center for College Success offers essential resources and support services to help students from the East San Jose Region through their key transition points to increase college enrollment and retention. With the KLA SEF grant, the organization will serve more students and offer opportunities for onsite socio-emotional program support.

Grants Help Local Nonprofits Drive Sustainable Change

“Each of the five local nonprofits recognizes the need in their communities, and through our strategic collaboration with the American Heart Association, the KLA SEF grants will help these organizations expand and enhance their services as they work to create sustainable change and transform their communities,” Jen says.

More than 90 nonprofits applied for the second round of the American Heart Association-KLA SEF grants. The five nonprofits receiving grants focus on key KLA Foundation priorities of affordable and healthy food, economic empowerment, housing and security and mental health. More widely, the foundation’s mission is to create a more equitable, inclusive and accessible world based on its three pillars – community enrichment, education and wellness, which are closely aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals focused on combatting poverty, eliminating hunger, gender equality and reduced inequities. 

Read more about the KLA Social Equity Fund in our previous article announcing the first round recipients.

Learn more about the KLA Foundation and its many ongoing projects by visiting our website.

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