Grounded in Healing – The Fund’s New Initiative

Guest Post – Jason Lacsamana, Director, Programs and Partnerships

When The Fund refined our focus areas at the beginning of 2023, we intended to create the most impact. As we launch our newest initiative, Community Healing and Resilience, we hope our impact will be meaningful. Systemic inequities such as racism, classism, and sexism are breeding grounds for violence and oppression that risk the health and safety of individuals for generations. Individual intervention is necessary for healing, but finding, funding, and implementing preventative strategies that fight harmful policies, procedures, and systems causing generational oppression, poverty, and collective trauma is critical.

In our past experiences at the Fund, we’ve found that community healing is essential for power building. Personal and intergenerational trauma and oppression have kept people and neighborhoods from coming together to improve their individual and collective environments through power building.

I am encouraged about the opportunities in the grounding year of the initiative. We will partner with several Southern California-based CBOs. Unidos Por Un Adelanto Mejor, a grassroots organization focused on addressing water quality issues in North Adelanto, is our first partner organization. Their immediate goal is to secure EPA resources to improve the water infrastructure in the community. Over the past year, they have collaborated with community partners and worked with the University of Pitzer to form the Water Justice Coalition.

Healing Trauma in Communities

While we already work alongside them through our Community Building Initiative, we are expanding the scope to include Community Healing and Resilience. Through this lens, we will examine how internal staff, organizational, and community healing contribute to the social impact field and how harm is produced within the nonprofit industrial complex.

In this Grounding Year, we will gain valuable research and a framework for capturing the impact of the power of community connectedness and healing that many in the social impact field are up against. Through a collaborative approach, the Fund worked to restructure our impact measurements to promote equity, justice, and community power. Furthermore, we are exploring non-westernized and traditional techniques to measure the impact that resonates and honors communities’ ancestral roots.

Above all, our goal at the Fund is to walk alongside with community, rooted in love, to learn and evolve together instead of placing all the pressure and the responsibility on the community. This has already been an exciting year for us. And as we get into the heart of this initiative, I am inspired by our partners’ work to disrupt and challenge systems to bring wholeness and healing to themselves and their communities.

If you aren’t already, please follow the Fund on LinkedIn to hear more stories of healing trauma in communities.