Meet the foundations we honored at our 2016 NCRP Impact Awards event in Minneapolis
Founded in 1997 with the profits from the sale of the Group Health Association in Washington, D.C., the Consumer Health Foundation is committed to building a region and a nation in which everyone has an equal opportunity to live a healthy and dignified life. Through programs and partnerships with grantees, community and advocacy organizations, foundations and local governments, CHF is working to advance the health and well-being of low-income communities and communities of color in the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia.
CHF believes that to achieve health equity, we must also achieve racial equity and economic justice. The foundation currently focuses its advocacy grantmaking on health reform and economic justice. It also provides support for emerging and innovative approaches in two areas – community wealth building and racial equity. The goals of funding in the last two areas are to contribute to the creation of an equitable economy and advance racial equity in organizations, coalitions or alliances.
One such grantee, Bread for the City, has taken the racial equity support provided by CHF since 2012 and transformed not only their work but their organization. It is the first community clinic in the District of Columbia that is intentionally operationalizing a racial equity framework.
BFC provides low-income residents with comprehensive services including food, clothing, medical care, and legal and social services. BFC has long seen racism as a root cause of poverty as they’ve seen the health inequity, housing instability and income inequality their clients experience on a daily basis. Considered as a leader in advancing racial equity in the region, BFC’s racial equity work seeks to address institutionalized racism through education and trainings, policy advocacy and grassroots organizing.
It is also creating an organization whose staff, clients and partners have an understanding of racism and which advocates for policies that address racism and racial disparities. It is developing a racial equity plan and has hired a racial equity manager who will manage its Racial Equity Action Plan team and develop racial equity partnerships with other organizations. BFC sends staff to anti-racism and implicit bias trainings. It is creating staff affinity groups and has co-developed a racial equity toolkit that can be shared with other nonprofit organizations. In 2015, BFC co-convened a roundtable discussion on racial equity and the role of local governments where around 80 advocates and government leaders were educated on the elements of a racial equity approach to policymaking.
“CHF has been a tremendous thought partner around the racial equity lens that Bread for the City is incorporating in its direct service and advocacy work, connecting us to valuable contacts and resources,” said George Jones, Bread for the City president and CEO.
BFC staff has always engaged in advocacy, such as attorneys working to ensure fair access to justice for low-income residents or social workers and case managers who testify about the barriers their clients face. After the organization established an advocacy department in 2014, they were able to organize their clients to testify at D.C. City Council hearings and, along with partner organizations, successfully advocate for the Ban the Box policy, which prohibits employers from asking applicants to indicate in the application form whether or not the individual has been convicted of a felony.
Learn about previous winners of the NCRP Impact AwardsVIEW PAST WINNERS