McCune Foundation Awards Social Justice Grants, Nov. 2014

The McCune Foundation awarded $360,000 for community organizing projects in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Fifteen groups received grants in November to support teams of parents, immigrants, teens, and other concerned residents in promoting beneficial changes in their neighborhoods.

“Citizens working together are making streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists, while others have led campaigns to ensure that immigrant parents receive interpretation services at their children’s schools,” said Sara Miller McCune, the Foundation’s president and co-founder. “The Foundation’s grants provide resources for groups to mobilize around the issues that most matter to them.”

Grant dollars provided by the Foundation will pay for salaries of community organizers, trainings, and other program expenses. In 2014, the Foundation awarded 27 grants and dozens of contributions totaling more than $800,000. Grassroots groups that meet the Foundation’s funding guidelines and that are interested in being considered for a grant may submit a letter of inquiry by the next deadline of January 16, 2015. Details on applying for a grant are available at

The McCune Foundation was established in 1990 by Sara Miller McCune and George D. McCune, the founders of SAGE Publications, Inc. in Thousand Oaks. The Foundation focuses its grantmaking in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties with the mission of being an agent of productive change in society by supporting the development of social capital in the region.

Grants Awarded in November 2014

The Abundant Table – $11,210 for Rooted Futures, Growing Change in Santa Paula, which engages and mobilizes high school students to advocate for systemic policy change for healthy meals in the Santa Paula Unified School District.

The ARC of Ventura County – $15,000 for People First of Ventura County, which engages persons with disabilities to be empowered to confront social inequities and implement systemic change.

Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) – $40,000 for general operating support with an emphasis on creating electoral voting power in low-income, minority neighborhoods and developing a base of grassroots leaders who lead organizing and advocacy campaigns for social, economic, and environmental justice in Ventura County.

Central Coast Future Leaders – $30,000 for youth leadership programs to empower youth in Santa Maria, Cuyama, and Guadalupe to become more active leaders in their homes, schools and communities.

Coalition for Sustainable Transportation (COAST) – $22,500 for Walking & Transit Needs of Working Families, to organize residents of Santa Barbara to advocate for pedestrian safety and improved bus service.

Community Action Commission – $30,000 for THRIVE Parent Academy, a parent-supported and inspired education project focused on improving community health, leadership development, well-being, and personal education to transform the community of Guadalupe through civic and educational engagement.

El Centrito Family Learning Centers – $30,000 for Padres Promotores de la Educación and Asociación de Padres which cultivates community leaders who organize parents in Oxnard schools to achieve equitable access to educational opportunities.

Just Communities Central Coast – $10,000 for capacity building to support the Language Justice Network.

La Hermandad Hank Lacayo Youth & Family Center – $30,000 for grassroots organizing and leadership training among working-class immigrants in Ventura County and Santa Maria to promote immigration reform and social justice for immigrants.

Los Padres Forest Watch – $10,000 for Farmers, Ranchers, and Residents for Clean Water, to empower residents and property owners in Fillmore, Santa Paula, and Piru to become more involved, broaden the base of support, and expand the diversity of voices calling for more responsible oil development in the Los Padres National Forest.

Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP) – $36,000 to engage and mobilize indigenous Oaxacan farm workers and immigrants to achieve greater immigrant rights and more just labor practices in Ventura County.

One Step A La Vez – $30,000 for youth committees in Fillmore and Piru working to expand the community’s voice for social change to address transportation needs, clean-up of a toxic Superfund site, and restorative justice practices for youth.

Ventura Climate Care Options Organized Locally (VCCOOL) – $22,000 for the bicycle advocacy program to organize and empower a diverse network of cyclists to advocate for bicycle route improvements and safer conditions for cyclists in Ventura County.

Ventura County Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice (VCCLUE) – $24,000 for a coalition of faith organizations that provides trainings and leadership development for congregants, students, and immigrants to mobilize in support of affordable housing and just policies for immigrants.

Westminster Free Clinic – $24,000 for SALUD (Students Advocating Life-Uplifting Decisions), a project to engage low-income youth to advocate for changes in the food options available at local corner markets and convenience stores in East Ventura County neighborhoods