$10 million funding to 31 grassroots-based organizations announced by Susan McClatchy
The James B. McClatchy Foundation (JBMF) proudly announces a portfolio of over $10 million in funding to 31 grassroots-based organizations in California’s Central Valley.
JBMF intends for these grants to support a multicultural democracy centering multilingual learner students and families, build community-powered local journalism and advance the next generation of inclusive leaders.
These Sunrise Grants purposefully exceed the 5% minimum giving that governs non-profit foundations and are part of JBMF’s commitment to give away its financial resources by 2030. In doing so, JBMF hopes to spur additional philanthropic investments throughout the Central Valley– a region historically under-supported by philanthropic participation.
“We know that decades-long structural inequities that have led to generational poverty and limited access to opportunity in the Central Valley cannot be fixed overnight,” said Priscilla Enriquez, Chief Executive Officer of the James B. McClatchy Foundation, “That is why the Foundation has decided in its sunset to elevate the Central Valley, invest all our resources in the people and places where change needs to be made, and leverage our sunset to ignite greater investments from philanthropy.”
These “Sunrise Grants” are to build and activate inclusive leadership for the future of the Central Valley. Despite Valley residents’ incredible resourcefulness and resilience, the lack of direct investment in nonprofits and their leaders has resulted in a fatigued and frustrated nonprofit ecosystem. JBMF’s support seeks to correct this underinvestment by dedicating its sunsetting funds towards cultivating a new generation of leaders.
As Adrian Ruiz, Executive Director at YDN and a founding member of Nueva Epoca, a leadership initiative focused on next-gen Latinx leaders, describes, “Funding inclusive leadership for the next generation of diverse stakeholders as civic leaders and decision-makers in their communities strengthen the local ecosystem and fuels local democracy and advocacy for the hopes and dreams of many Central Valley communities who are the future agents.”
In addition, JBMF continues its investment in the Foundation’s legacy work in impact media journalism. Awarded grants support various initiatives, including training and capacity-building programs for local journalists from underrepresented communities, flexible operating support for community organizers, and deep investments in grassroots media channels prioritizing diverse voices. Related, JBMF earlier invested in the journalism nonprofit, the Central Valley Journalism Collaborative (CVJC), as a sustainable answer to preserving local journalism.
“Local journalism is the lifeblood of democracy, and it plays a critical role in informing the public and holding those in power accountable,” said Misty Avila, Chief Impact Officer of the James B. McClatchy Foundation. “We believe Central Valley residents deserve access to reliable information and that local media must reflect the communities’ diversity and the languages they speak.”
“California’s Central Valley is a unique region with diverse communities and complex challenges. It is essential that the voices of all residents, particularly those historically marginalized, are heard and included in the democratic process,” said Danielle Bergstrom, Executive Director at Fresnoland Media. “This funding will help strengthen local journalism and support community-based organizations working to build a more inclusive and equitable public policy.”
This first set of transformational Sunrise Grants reflects the Foundation’s intentional direction in its sunset. It plans to release its strategic sunset plan in the coming months, with its north star of achieving a true, multiracial democracy in California’s Central Valley.
Susan has been closely associated with her late husband James McClatchy’s projects and visions which she has continued to pursue since his death in May 2006.
In 1981, she and James began attending meetings of the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA), which is dedicated to the defense and promotion of press freedom in this hemisphere. Susan has been an active member since 2006 and serves as a special advisor to the Chapultepec Committee.
In 2015, IAPA honored Susan with its Presidential Award for her “vital support” for freedom of expression. She and James co-founded the Central Valley Foundation (CVF) in 1994 (now The James B. McClatchy Foundation) and she serves as Board Vice-Chair. She was a founding member of the Northern California Council of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NCCNMWA); served as Board secretary and newsletter editor, from 1991 to 1995. In that capacity, she helped showcase women artists through educational outreach programs and headed the 1995 exhibition: New World [Dis]Order, along with an accompanying exhibition catalog. The exhibit opened in San Francisco, CA., traveled to Washington D.C. and ended in Fresno, CA.
In 2008, Susan also initiated and produced the Anna Richards Brewster Art exhibition, American Impressionist which toured the U.S. at the Hudson Museum in Yonkers NY, the Butler Museum in Youngstown, OH, and closed at the Fresno Metropolitan Museum.
Susan has initiated and published two family history books: one about five generations of the McClatchy family and a second about five generations of her own family. She continues to be active in the arts, theater, and music world in the Sacramento area, and the national environmental world.