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Black Equity Collective


The Black Equity Collective (Collective) is a community-public-private partnership with Black equity as its central, unifying force. Its focus is strengthening the long-term capacity and infrastructure of Black-led and Black-empowering social justice organizations in Southern California (Los Angeles County and Inland Empire).

The Collective was born out of the Black Equity Initiative (BEI), an effort that began in 2017. BEI supports 15 black-led-and-serving organizations in Los Angeles (13) and the Inland Empire (2) whose work addresses systemic racism targeted toward Black populations in the areas of education, criminal justice and workforce development.

The BEI’s theory of change is centered in the belief that progress on Black equity and racial justice must be part of any forward movement in the United States, and will only be achieved when philanthropic investments, public policies, and institutional practices boldly confront racial injustice. As the Initiative sunsets in 2021, its replacement—The Black Equity Collective—is building upon the BEI’s unwavering foundation of racial justice for Black people.

The Black Equity Collective's mission is to join funders and communities as partners in strengthening the long-term sustainability of Black-led social justice institutions.


Current Progress

The Collective launched its planning phase in April 2020, just two weeks after Safer-at-Home orders were enacted across the state. To accomplish the goals of the planning period, the Collective established two workgroups: operational framework and data stories. Since April, there have been nine meetings (seven workgroup meetings and two full committee meetings).

The planning phase has been supported by the following foundations: WHH Foundation, an Anonymous Foundation, Liberty Hill Foundation, California Community Foundation, The California Endowment, The California Wellness Foundation, Weingart Foundation, LA Charters, and one individual donor. The Collective is currently in its transition planning phase and will formally launch in January 2021. 


Core Competencies

The Collective focuses on its three core primary competencies:
  • Broker trust and relationships between public and private funders and Black-led social justice nonprofits to motivate and activate deeper investment in Black-led social change.

  • Raise money through a pooled fund and aligned giving to invest in the infrastructure building of Black-led social justice nonprofit organizations.
  • Convene and connect Black leaders across issue areas to foster and strengthen an interconnected ecosystem of Black talent, resources, and strategic partnerships.


Micro-Grant Program

Given the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black communities, several funders approached the Collective about leveraging its knowledge of the Black community to move dollars to organizations impacted by the pandemic.

The micro-grant program  launched in August 2020 across the Collective’s three-county regional span and prioritized funding for organizations that are both Black-led and Black-empowering, and did not receive PPP funding either because they were ineligible or did not have the capacity to apply. In October 2020, the 32 organizations listed below received a one-time $10,000 grant from the Collective: 


Students Deserve/Coalition for Educational Justice (CEJ)
Youth With A Purpose
EarthLodge Center for Transformation
Elite Skills Development
iDREAM for Racial Health Equity, a project of Community Partners
The Gailen & Cathy Reevers Center for Community Empowerment
Reclaiming America's Communities through Empowerment (R.A.C.E.)
Covered Community
Los Angeles Black Worker Center
Community Reflections Inc.
Omega Educational Foundation
South Los Angeles Community Development and Empowerment Corporation (SLACDEC)
Amazing Grace Conservatory
The Way Center of Truth, Inc.
Ohana Center
Mighty Little Giants, Inc.
Therapeutic Play Foundation
Project Joy, Inc.


Inland Valley Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Unstoppable Awards
A Deeper Love Foundation
Emerging Beauty Inc.
Power Speaks Louder, Inc.
Serving The People
Captivating The Culture
The Love Program
National Family Life and Education Center
BLU Educational Foundation
Curls, Coils & Crowns
Clay Counseling Foundation
Young Women's Empowerment Foundation
Diversity Uplifts, Inc.



The Collective is led by Kaci Patterson, Owner and Principal of Social Good Solutions, who serves as the Chief Architect of the Collective and has led the Black Equity Initiative since its inception. Southern California Grantmakers serves as the Collective’s fiscal sponsor. The Collective is currently governed by a 17-member steering committee of local Black philanthropic leaders, community leaders, and public sector representatives.

Kaci Patterson (on behalf of Black Equity Initiative)
Tamu Jones, The California Endowment
Alex Johnson, The California Wellness Foundation
Joseph Devall, Ballmer Group 
Karren Lane, Weingart Foundation 
Jai Phillips, California Community Foundation 
Kameron Green, Southern California Grantmakers 
Gloria Walton, SCOPE 
Jeffery Wallace, LeadersUp 
Gerri Lawrence, Community Coalition 
Felicia Jones, COPE 
Dina Walker, BLU Educational Foundation 
Dr. John Dobard, Advancement Project 
James Woodson, California Calls 
Lola Smallwood Cuevas, UCLA 
Raena Granberry, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health 
Dr. Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro, USC