Partnerships April & May 2023
San Joaquin Valley residents rally at
Equity on the Mall in Sacramento
On April 26, almost 1,500 residents, leaders and advocates from the San Joaquin Valley convened at the State Capitol in Sacramento for Equity on the Mall.

Valley Rising was their unified call for health and racial equity, and economic and racial justice for all Valley residents.

We are grateful for the participation and commitment of San Joaquin Valley residents, community partners and elected officials. We are firmly committed to advancing racial, social, health and economic equity in the San Joaquin Valley. We know that issues such as environmental rehabilitation, immigrant rights, expanded educational opportunities, affordable housing, living wage employment, sensible land use, Internet access and quality health care all intersect and significantly impact health and wellness.

In the coming days, we will post event photos, videos and the 2023 San Joaquin Valley Health Fund Policy Platform on the Equity on the Mall webpage.

The San Joaquin Valley Health Fund and The Center at Sierra Health Foundation thank all participants for joining us at Equity on the Mall. We are certain this annual event highlighted the community-driven agenda for the San Joaquin Valley. Together, we created a space for community leaders, nonprofit leaders and elected representatives to come together and talk about what matters to Valley residents. We look forward to next year!
On April 26, San Joaquin Valley residents convened at the State Capitol in Sacramento to advocate for health and racial equity, and economic and racial justice for Valley residents.
Photos courtesy of Sierra Health Foundation staff.
Media highlights
Pictured above, Chet P. Hewitt, President and CEO of Sierra Health Foundation, interviewed by Sacramento television station, KCRA News.

Pictured to the right, Matias Bernal, a partner of the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund and Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Education & Leadership Foundation in Fresno, speaks to the media.

Photos courtesy of
Sacramento news station ABC10 featured a story highlighting Equity on the Mall. Watch the clip titled Equity on the Mall: Thousands of San Joaquin Valley residents rally at State Capitol for equity.

More clips will be available on the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund, Equity on the Mall webpage in the coming days.
Policy Brief: Pandemic changes to Medi-Cal and its implications for California's immigrant farmworkers
An adult man is getting the COVID-19 vaccine in the San Joaquin Valley.
Throughout the pandemic, farmworkers contributed to the state's economy and food supply as essential workers. Although many farmworkers work outdoors, tasks such as packing cherries or leafy greens often took place indoors. Whether indoors or not, farm work often involved crowded conditions where contracting COVID-19 became more likely. And, because farm work is physically demanding, extended illness and long-COVID posed threats to worker livelihood.

Last year, a Public Policy Institute of California report found that cost or lack of insurance is a farmworker's greatest barrier to accessing care and being uninsured has been a particular liability during the pandemic.

Pandemic changes to Medi-Cal made it easier and possible for low-income Californians to stay enrolled and to access expanded services - improvements that helped many immigrant farmworkers. However, the upcoming end of the public health emergency will reverse some of these changes, as advocates push to keep others permanent. Sierra Health Foundation supported the publication of this PPIC brief with more findings.
From pandemic to recovery: national magazine highlights the work of Sierra Health Foundation
Last month, The Chronicle of Philanthropy - a national publication that helps the public better understand the contributions nonprofits and foundations make to society - published two articles titled, "The Post-COVID Nonprofit: Burnout, Chaos, and the Grinding Hunt for Staff and New Revenue" and "How the Pandemic Left Some Nonprofits Stronger Than Before," highlighting the work of Sierra Health Foundation and its role during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both articles, written by Drew Lindsay, outline how nonprofits across the country are shifting their focus from addressing the COVID-19 pandemic to recovery and what that means for staffing, funding and the future.

Chet P. Hewitt, President and CEO of Sierra Health Foundation, shared insightful commentary on the topic.
Do you have asthma? Posters tell a story
Inside the Capitol building in Sacramento, you may spot an array of posters. They are a diverse collection of photos and stories highlighting the Asthma Mitigation Project - a collaboration of 28 funded partner organizations that provide culturally and linguistically appropriate home-based asthma remediation services to Medi-Cal populations with disproportionately high rates of asthma across California.

The posters are a result of a photovoice project, a community-based storytelling method of participatory research that uses photography and personal stories to reflect the lives, understanding and actions of community members themselves.

Intended to promote positive social change, the recent display includes reflections from home visitors and program participants from funded partners across California who participated in the project between December 2022 and April 2023.

In the coming weeks, all posters will be available on The Center's Asthma Mitigation Project webpage.
Kings and Queens Rise coed basketball league: How the Sacramento Kings help the youth
Pictured above, local youth participate in last year's basketball summer league.
Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Kings.
Last month, television station ABC10 aired a segment featuring the Sacramento-based free basketball clinic nonprofit Ball Out Academy, which offers youth support and mentorship in underserved communities.

Kenneth Duncan - who founded the Academy in 2019- started the organization out of a desire to give back to youth, just like other mentors who helped him as a child.

With the support of the Sacramento Kings, the Academy launches a summer league and partners with The Center at Sierra Health Foundation's Build.Black.Coalition, Black Child Legacy Campaign and My Brother's Keeper Sacramento.

The 2023 league is scheduled to launch this summer.

Watch the full clip at
Workshop inspires Black youth to pursue careers in medicine
Black students had the opportunity to learn about careers in the medical field through an evening of interactive workshops with Black doctors and other youth throughout Sacramento County last month.

During a "High School Bioskills" Workshop hosted by Nth Dimensions and sponsored by The Center at Sierra Health Foundation's Black Child Legacy Campaign and My Brother's Keeper programs, youth were all ears and hands-on at the Sacramento Youth Center as they heard Black doctors share their career journeys and what inspired them to pursue a career in medicine.

Learn about more programs on the Nth Dimensions website.

Photo courtesy of Nth Dimensions.
Working together for a better future
The California Funders for Boys and Men of Color held an advocacy mixer last month, convening legislators, philanthropic partners and community advocates who are driving policy changes for boys and men of color, including our partners at the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color and their youth advocates.

Held at Camden Spit and Larder in Sacramento, the convening was intended to shape a common agenda to guide a better future for boys and men of color in decision-making, resources, networks and voices throughout California, with the end goal of removing systemic barriers and creating pathways that enable boys and men of color to achieve their greatest hopes and dreams.

At a special convening held on April 28, the California Funders for Boys and Men of Color brought together the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Regional Action Committee at American River College to discuss and update a regional strategy aimed to improve the lives of boys and men of color in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley regions. A similar meeting held at the San Francisco Foundation and facilitated by Greg Hodge convened the Bay Area-Northern California Regional Action Committee to discuss centering place-based strategies that aim to reach 250% of the federal poverty level for boys and men of color.
Pictured above, community advocates and partners convene at Camden Spit and Larder.
Photo courtesy of Brooke Anderson.
A warm welcome to a new member
Pictured above, ECMC President Jacob Fraire.
Photo courtesy of the ECMC Foundation.
California Funders for Boys and Men of Color is excited to share the addition of their newest member, ECMC Foundation.

The Los Angeles-based, nationally focused foundation works to improve higher education for career success among underserved populations through evidence-based innovation.

ECMC Foundation’s Men of Color Initiative, which is working toward systemic change for Black, Latinx, Southeast Asian and Native American men to feel supported on college campuses and have better outcomes in higher education, is perfectly aligned with the network’s work in advancing opportunities for boys and men of color.

ECMC President Jacob Fraire brings decades of experience advancing transformational change through postsecondary education to help more students from underserved backgrounds achieve economic mobility.

Nominate a changemaker securing economic equity for the Here to Lead Campaign
From the Bay Area to Southern California to Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley, boys and men of color are creating jobs and new career paths, securing economic equity and forging pathways to economic freedom. These leaders are shaping California into a state where everyone belongs — and showing that those closest to the problems are best equipped to create real and lasting change. We want to share these stories to unlock even greater economic opportunities.

Through the #HeretoLeadCA Campaign, California Funders for Boys and Men of Color feature leaders who are influencing structural and policy changes to increase economic opportunity in their communities. #HeretoLeadCA is a multimedia storytelling initiative that celebrates the leadership, power and voice of multigenerational AAPI, African American, Latinx and Native American boys and men of color. #HeretoLeadCA is inclusive of transgender, gender expansive and 2S/LGBTQIA+ stories.

Help us highlight the brilliance and power of boys and men of color and share their stories!

Nominate someone you know who is making a difference in their communities by May 24.

Pictured above, Nilda Valmores speaks at APIDA Fest.
Photo courtesy of
“Hate crimes can cause trauma to folks that slow them down in achieving their educational goals, and thus their personal goals. And let’s be real, immigrants are often victims of hate crimes.”

Our teammate Nilda Valmores shared her personal story at Sacramento State Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Fest, where students and organizations gathered to support the #StoptheHate movement.
Pictured above, our teammate Palvinder Kaur was a panelist leading a discussion on "Funding Land Back" at the Northern California Land Back Symposium. The event was co-hosted by Save California Salmon and the Native American Studies department at Cal Poly Humboldt.
Last week, the National Action Network (NAN Sacramento chapter) held the 'Building Bridges' Conference featuring a panel discussion led by Sierra Health Foundation's Amaya Noguera, Program Officer for the Community Responsive Wellness Program.

The focus of the discussion titled Mental Health State of Emergency was on reducing barriers to mental health and wellness services, as well as how to improve access and quality of behavioral and mental health services in communities of color primarily in Sacramento's Black communities.

The hybrid conference drew approximately 50 local and state leaders and decision makers. Some attended in person, while others connected virtually. The conference also featured NAN Founder and President, the Rev. Al Sharpton, and Dr. Tecoy Porter, Sacramento NAN Chapter President.
Pictured above from the left, Amaya Noguera leads a panel discussion (bottom left) at the
NAN Building Bridges Conference.
Photos courtesy of
May is Asthma Awareness Month

We're happy to share that through a partnership between the Regional Asthma Management & Prevention (RAMP) and the Bay Area Air Quality Management Air District, a fact sheet for community residents titled Asthma, Smoke & Air Purifiers is now available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Arabic and Vietnamese.

The purpose of this fact sheet is to educate community members about ways they can mitigate the effects of wildfire smoke on their asthma.

For more information visit RAMP's webpage.
The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), in partnership with The Center at Sierra Health Foundation, has $12 million in funding available to support prevention and education activities.

Organizations may apply for up to $250,000 to support programs addressing opioid use, stimulant use and polysubstance use in communities of color.

Funding will be used to increase community understanding of opioid, stimulant and polysubstance use, reduce stigma and increase access to treatment services through referrals and partnerships.

Applications are due by May 15 at 1 p.m. (Pacific Time).

The Center at Sierra Health Foundation and the State of California’s Department of Health Care Services are pleased to announce the COVID-19 Mitigation Project Round Two funding opportunity.

With contracts up to $500,000 over 18 months, providers will expand services to offer education on COVID-19 testing, implement on-site COVID-19 testing, collaborate with community partners to prevent infectious disease transmission, expand COVID-19 response services to those connected to the behavioral health system, and support the maintenance of healthy environments. A total of $9.5 million is available.

Applications are due by June 15 at 1 p.m. (Pacific Time).

You can apply via our online application.
The Center is pleased to announce a funding opportunity through the Youth Suicide Prevention Media and Outreach Campaign. As part of the California Health and Human Services Agency’s Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative, and in partnership with the California Department of Public Health, this program supports the implementation of a data-driven, targeted, community-based youth suicide prevention media campaign alongside community-level suicide prevention projects.

Funding is focused on youth populations disproportionately impacted by suicide, including Black/African American youth, Native American or Alaskan Native youth, and Hispanic or Latinx youth. The project encourages applications that recognize the impact of intersectionality and other social factors as potential contributors to increased suicide risk (e.g., an emphasis on youth who may experience more than one form of oppression or marginalization such as identifying as Two-Spirit (2S)/LGBTQ+ or involvement in foster care).

With grants up to $500,000 over two years, the goal of the funding opportunity is to reduce suicide, suicide attempts and self-harm behavior in youth disproportionately impacted by suicide. Grantees will serve youth under the age of 25 directly and involve youth allies (e.g., parents, caregivers, educators) when appropriate based on youth input.

Applications are due by June 6 at 1 p.m. (Pacific Time).

New Elevate Youth California Capacity Building cohort joins statewide network
Congratulations to 44 Elevate Youth California community partners joining the program’s Capacity Building Cohort 3! With grants up to $400,000, the awarded grassroots organizations will implement community-driven projects for substance use disorder prevention for youth ages 12 to 26. The partners will focus on youth social justice, peer support and mentoring in low-income communities of color, including Tribal communities and LGBTQ communities. Cohort 3 funding totals $16.69 million, bringing the Elevate Youth California investment to almost $206 million for 246 community partners in 53 counties. 

Past is Prologue: Uncovering our past holds the key to a better, more inclusive tomorrow
Communities across America are grappling with big questions about racial inequality. How do we effect lasting change? Join us for this insightful, hopeful talk. Civil rights attorney and author Michelle Coles will unpack how social justice and systemic change must stem from a thorough understanding of our past.

The policies that were created during slavery continue to harm Black people today. But the Black statesmen and their allies who fought for racial equality after the Civil War left a profound legacy that positively impacts us right now. Ms. Coles will draw on her deep knowledge of the criminal justice system and American history to help us solve the social ills that stem from our countries’ past failures so that we can build the world we want to see.

Thursday, May 25
2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. PDT
Virtual event

The Fresno Center in partnership with Stop the Hate, a program funded by the California Department of Social Services and managed by The Center, will host a Hmong American Day celebration this Saturday, May 13.

The event is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to wear traditional Hmong clothing.

There will be family and kids' activities including live entertainment, art exhibits and much more!

For more information about the celebration, contact Cyndee Loryang at 559-344-4498.
Clare Leary, Receptionist
Jenna Haywood, Program Officer
Persiasymone Simmons, Program Assistant
Virginia Hunley, Receptionist

Katy Pasini, Senior Communications Officer
Join our team to advance health and justice!
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Sacramento Office
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San Joaquin Valley Office
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