“Creating Change, Not Charity”

Vision: The Social Justice Fund for Ventura County envisions a world where each person lives as a part of an inclusive community that provides them equitable access to resources and opportunities to be safe, healthy and happy.

Mission: The Social Justice Fund for Ventura County creates systemic change that leads to equitable access to opportunities and resources through education, convening, and grant making.

 

Theory of Action:

Injustice is supported by culture, systems and institutions that can reinforce some of our worst attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. When such discrimination hardens into policy, systems and structures it provides institutional justification for unequal rights, unequal access to education, unequal pay and unequal ability to live and work in a safe, healthy environment.

Over the 10 years of the Social Justice Fund for Ventura County we have been fortunate to work with thousands of donors, community stakeholders, and organizations working on the front lines for social justice. We have learned that in order to truly create systemic change we must support efforts focused on:

  1. Educating and building awareness about the prevailing issues in social justice and training on best practices to overcome them.

  2. Convening stakeholders and providing a platform to magnify the impact of those leading the charge in the social change movement

  3. Grantmaking to grassroots organizations for strategic support and fostering deeper connections between donors and practitioners

These Three Pillars are the core of our theory of action and produce the greatest sustained impact in achieving our vision.

To do so, our members must work together to:

  • Train and develop the social justice leaders of today and tomorrow

  • Educate the community on the inequalities that exist and what they can do to help

  • Foster partnerships with key organizations and fundraisers

  • Fund solutions that make a real difference

 

Our Values

SJF values voices – of our donors, our community, those who don’t feel they have one, and those who have finally found theirs. We endeavor to live by the ideals of a true democracy, and hold our organization up to principles founded in social justice:

  • Fairness

  • Equal treatment

  • Human rights

  • A voice in the decisions that affect the community

  • Access to the opportunities to create a quality life

 

Our Approach

The difference between “charity” and social justice (or social change) philanthropy is that charity, although important, helps people but does not necessarily change the conditions in communities that cause the problems in the first place. Social justice philanthropy reduces the need for charity and social service programs.

Social change philanthropy values and respects the wisdom and experience of local communities in all their diversity and affirms their power to organize, unite and build social movements for change. It invests in grassroots organizations that work to expand the opportunities for those with the least educational, economic, social or political resources.

We invest in community organizing – the process of bringing people together and helping them develop their voices, realize their power and collectively act to create real change in their lives and communities. This is an investment in the human spirit – the rousing, can-do attitude for which Americans are famous.

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