CZI Joins Other California Philanthropies in COVID-19 Relief Fund to Support State’s Undocumented Community

Apr 23, 2020

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Photograph by Nikom Khotjan / EyeEm | Getty Images.
Photograph by Nikom Khotjan / EyeEm | Getty Images.

Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR), in partnership with California philanthropies including the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, announced the launch of the California Immigrant Resilience Fund, seeking to raise $50 million to provide cash assistance to undocumented Californians and their families, who are ineligible for COVID-19 federal relief and state safety-net programs. The fund was set up as part of a public-private partnership with Governor Gavin Newsom, who announced a separate $75 million state-financed immigrant relief fund, the first of its kind in the nation.

CZI is providing $1.5 million to the Resilience Fund, which will deliver immediate direct relief to undocumented families in response to COVID-19 and is also intended to support the well-being and resilience of California immigrant communities over the long term. A $500,000 portion of the award will support immigrant families and communities in the Bay Area, where CZI is headquartered.

“The economic impact of COVID-19 on immigrant communities has been devastating, especially for immigrants without status who call California home.  A large portion of our community —including  farmworkers, domestic workers, and others who perform essential roles — have no access to federal relief funding or other forms of assistance,” said  Mike Troncoso, CZI’s Vice President and head of justice and opportunity for CZI.  “We thank Governor Newsom for his leadership and are grateful for the collaborative spirit in which partners across our state have responded to this enormous area of need.”

Representing nearly 10 percent of California’s workforce, undocumented immigrants and their families are among the most vulnerable to acute harm and suffering due to the coronavirus public health crisis. Thousands serve on the frontlines as essential workers in healthcare, food and grocery supply chains, and sanitation roles.

Nearly two million children enrolled in California schools live in a household with an undocumented parent. CZI’s education partners report a skyrocketing demand among families to cover shelter,  food, and other basic needs in a time of extreme financial insecurity.

“The COVID-19 crisis has amplified the critical need to support the safety and mental health of our students,”  said Sandra Liu Huang, head of education for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.  “By reducing some of the stress and instability that many California families are facing, we hope to help parents and caregivers continue to focus on keeping children safe, healthy, and connected to their education.” 

The Resilience Fund launched with more than $6 million in initial contributions. Lead philanthropies include Emerson Collective, Blue Shield of California Foundation, CZI, The California Endowment, The James Irvine Foundation, Open Society Foundations, California Wellness Foundation, Sunlight Giving, the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, the Marin Community Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and the Akonadi Foundation. The fund is also accepting online donations from the general public at www.immigrantfundca.org

In addition to its support for the Resilience Fund, CZI is collaborating with health agencies, schools, and community organizations in its regional response and will continue to support the evolving needs of the community in response to COVID-19.  

For more information about how CZI and our grant partners are responding to COVID-19, visit https://chanzuckerberg.com/covid-19/.

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About the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Founded by Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg in 2015, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is a new kind of philanthropy that’s leveraging technology to help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease, to improving education, to reforming the criminal justice system. Across three core Initiative focus areas of Science, Education, and Justice & Opportunity, we’re pairing engineering with grant-making, impact investing, and policy and advocacy work to help build an inclusive, just and healthy future for everyone. For more information, please visit www.chanzuckerberg.com.