The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office will give out $50,000 in “Bend the Arc” grants this year to local organizations who are working towards racial equity.
Groups are eligible to receive up to $5,000 in grants to bolster their efforts in addressing racial discrimination and disproportionality in Santa Clara County. District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement that he chose to make the grant program an annual event after it showed great success in its first year, 2021.
“Last year, our office joined forces with groups in the community to improve racial equity together,” Rosen said. “By investing in the people who have been disproportionately victimized, we are making this County a place where everyone can thrive. I cannot wait to see what this year’s grant recipients will do.”
One of the 13 grants awarded last year was to a Gilroy culinary academy. The academy put its funding towards sessions for local youth in culinary arts training, resume building, food handlers’ verification, drug and alcohol prevention, financial literacy instruction, and more.
Another grant went towards L.E.A.D. Filipino to host learning sessions in racial equity, and another went to a group to fund 10 artists to paint murals for a walkable art corridor in East San Jose. Grants were awarded to groups of all sizes, including the NAACP and neighborhood associations in Cassell and Welch Park in San Jose.
The grants come from the district attorney's Asset Forfeiture Fund, which is money seized from gangs, drug traffickers, and criminal organizations. As a way to help repair the harm caused by those criminals, prosecutors re-invest the funds in the community.
Rosen announced a series of 26 social justice reforms in 2020, including the Racial Justice Grant Program. All of the reforms are intended to address racial discrimination and promote equity within the criminal justice system. The implementation of the reforms began in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.
The application deadline is May 6. The grant recipients will be announced June 1.