McCune Foundation Awards Social Justice Grants, Dec. 2015

MICOPCampaigns to boost educational opportunities, create safer streets, and improve working conditions for farm workers will all get a hand up with $340,000 in grants from the McCune Foundation. Fifteen groups in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties received grants in November to empower teams of parents, immigrants, youth, and other activists in promoting beneficial changes in the community.

As the Foundation celebrates its 25th year, we recognize that more work is needed to create a just and fair society,” said Sara Miller McCune, the Foundation’s president and co-founder. “The Foundation’s grants provide resources for groups to mobilize around the important issues of today.

Grant dollars provided by the Foundation will pay for salaries of community organizers, trainings, and other program expenses. In 2015, the Foundation awarded 30 grants and dozens of contributions totaling more than $800,000. Grassroots groups that meet the Foundation’s funding guidelines may submit a letter of inquiry by the next deadline of January 15, 2016. 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 2015

The Abundant Table – $10,000 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 Santa Paula schools.

The ARC of Ventura County – $15,000 for The Co-Advocates of Ventura County and Project R: Rethink, Reconsider, Respect, which engage people with disabilities and develop their leadership skills to confront social inequities and implement systemic change.

California Public Interest Research Group Education Fund $5,000 to train and develop student activists at UC Santa Barbara who will investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public, and offer opportunities for civic participation.

CAUSE – $35,000 for general operating support to build grassroots power to realize 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) – $20,000 for Eastside Walks, to organize residents of Santa Barbara’s Eastside to advocate for pedestrian safety and improved bus service; and for Safe Routes for Seniors, to advocate for improved pedestrian safety for senior citizens.

Community Partners – $12,000 for Justice for My Sister Collective’s expansion to Oxnard with the Promotoras Storytelling Project, which will engage female survivors of sexual and domestic violence to speak out against violence.

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.

Food & Water Watch – $15,000 for two community organizers in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties to mobilize residents and organizations concerned with fracking and similar oil and gas extraction practices.

Fund for Santa Barbara – $25,000 to provide technical assistance services and capacity building workshops to nonprofit organizations in Santa Barbara County.

Guadalupe Kids Come First Foundation – $30,000 for THRIVE Parent Academy, a parent-supported and inspired education project focused on improving community health, leadership development, wellbeing, and personal education to transform the community of Guadalupe through civic and educational engagement. An additional grant of $5,850 was awarded to send a team of Guadalupe Union School District officials to the Institute for Equity in Education.

La Hermandad Hank Lacayo Youth & Family Center – $25,000 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.

Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project – $35,000 to develop community leadership among indigenous Oaxacan farm workers, youth, and other immigrants who work to achieve just working and living conditions and improved educational opportunities.

One Step A La Vez – $28,000 for youth committees in Fillmore and Piru working to expand the community’s voice for social change to address transportation systems, needs of LGBTQ youth, affordable housing, and to reduce school suspensions, expulsions, and youth incarceration.

Transitions-Mental Health Association – $20,000 for Lived Experience Advocacy Development (LEAD), which engages people in Santa Maria and Lompoc who have experienced mental illness in political advocacy related to mental health issues.