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Families Lead California: Building the Influence and Power of Families to Lead

The Heising-Simons Foundation is pleased to announce a new initiative of the Foundation’s Education program to help build the power of families to lead their children’s learning, and to influence systems and policy change.

The Families Lead California initiative has two goals: to support community-based organizations that strengthen the pipeline of diverse parent leaders, and to build their power to influence system and policy changes that reflect the priorities of families with children ages 0-8.

The initiative recognizes that parents know what their children need to thrive, and it is through their leadership that systems will become accountable and responsive to diverse families. This guiding principle has never been more salient, given that communities across California continue to grapple with the compounding effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic recession, and continuing racial injustice.

Community-based family engagement and leadership organizations based in California that engage parents of children ages 0-8 are invited to apply for this funding opportunity. Emergent organizations and organizations led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are encouraged to apply.

For full guidelines, please click here. To access the online application, please click here. Applications are due March 2, 2021, at 5pm Pacific Time. If you have questions that are not answered in the guidelines, please send them to [email protected].

An informational virtual session for interested organizations will be held on February 16 at 11am PT. To register, please click here.

Successful applicants will be offered multi-year, unrestricted support where possible. In addition, the cohort will have opportunities to:

  • Strengthen organizational effectiveness and sustainability;
  • Co-create a network based on expanded parent voice and leadership; and,
  • Share and design strategies to support family leadership in their homes and communities, and to build parents’ power to participate in creating systemic and policy change.