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  • Writer's pictureRise Together

Rise Together 2023 Grants

In the fall of 2023, Rise Together leaders celebrated $320,000 in grants awarded to advance work towards racial equity locally. Throughout three granting cycles, the Community Foundation Santa Cruz County has now awarded $1.1 million to the coalition thanks to generous donations to the Rise Together Fund for Racial Equity by community members from all walks of life.  

The grants, in addition to sustaining the impactful work started the previous year, will also launch new projects. These projects, born from the dreams and aspirations of our leaders, hold the potential to bring about significant positive change in our community, a testament to the power of collective action and shared vision. 

If you want to support these projects, please donate directly to the organizations leading this work. If you are excited to see the Rise Together group and grantmaking process grow, please donate to the Rise Together Fund

2023 Rise Together Investments, totaling $340,000: 
Amah Mutsun Land Trust (AMLT) 
To help Tribal Members’ travel expenses within Mutsun and Awaswas territories to enable participation in local events and Tribal events such as stewardship of Native plant gardens, tribal gatherings, and ceremonies. 

Aztecas Youth Soccer 
To support clubhouse rent, soccer equipment, uniforms, shoes, warm-ups, and league fees.  

Black Surf Club Santa Cruz 
To program capacity and help cover essential expenses such as staffing, storage space, and program costs. To promote mental, physical, spiritual, communal healing through surfing, education, advocacy, and wellness.  

CA Film & Cultural Center 
To support the film archive project, skilled teachers for Young Adult Film School, free meal deliveries and instruction, and facilitated groups, resources, and growth opportunities for youth and young adults identifying as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and/or neurodiverse. 

Campesina Womb Justice 
To prepare and fund campesinas to attend a Mixteco doula program to prepare them for offering support at Watsonville Community Hospital. The goal is to pay campesinas to attend the workshop and then to work in their communities as promotoras de salud integrating indigenous Mixteco maternal health knowledge and traditions. 

Community Action Board Santa Cruz County 
To support CAB emerging leaders of color by connecting them to professional coaches, writing coaches, leadership development opportunities, self-care strategies, and supporting their individual professional career pathways. We’ll invest in Leaders of color and leaders serving communities of color and elevate their confidence, leadership and ultimately increase how they impact the low-income community through their work. 

Estrellas de Esperanza 
To bring visiting folkloric dance teachers from Mexico to Watsonville and purchase outfits for the dances learned last year on the Rise Together funded trip to Veracruz.  

Housing Santa Cruz County 
To hold community conversations about affordable housing, increase storytelling efforts for fundraising purposes, and provide professional development support for staff.  

Positive Discipline Community Resources 
To sustain the ability to provide 100% free tri-lingual parent coaching and be of service to flood impacted Pajaro families with children 0-5 years old through advocacy and efforts (providing shared leadership through the Pajaro Disaster Long Term Recovery Alliance as well as participating in County led Pajaro Recovery and Resilience meetings). 

Santa Cruz Community Health Centers 
To support the development of a Patient Advisory Council and the JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity) team of the health centers to continue supporting BIPOC patients and staff.  

Santa Cruz County Black Health Matters Initiative 
To support staffing and data collection related to Youth Ambassadors programming and development. Funds will also go directly to outdoor SCCBHMI county and state park activities and data collection for adults in 2024.  

Santa Cruz Local 
To support Noticias Watsonville, the Spanish-language division of Santa Cruz Local's newsroom. In 2024, Watsonville area residents will vote for a county supervisor, city council representatives as well as local ballot measures. We want to make sure Spanish-speaking residents in the Pajaro Valley have free, nonpartisan, independent information about the candidates and measures. We will also inform residents how to participate in the election. We will press the candidates on the issues we hear from Pajaro Valley residents. 

To support the development of sustainability plans and projects to mentor the new executive director, professional development for our instructors, and leadership restructuring that is more reflective of our Indigenous values. 

Tannery World Dance & Cultural Center 
To provide operational and programming support during the build up to a major capital campaign for new dance studios to support the 6,500 program participants. 

UC Santa Cruz University Library – Community Archives Program 
To build trust and connection through programming to help preserve stories and community memory. 

Watsonville Film Festival 
To support Cine Se Puede, a program for emerging Latine filmmakers, to hold workshops in the community, and provide and educational outreach opportunities. 
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