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BAYSIDE, CA —Chief Judge Abby Abinanti of the Yurok Tribe, a longtime advocate for the creation of tribal value-based tribal justice systems, is the newest board member for Humboldt Area Foundation (HAF).
"We are beyond thrilled to have Judge Abby join the Humboldt Area Foundation's board," says Mary Keehn, chairperson of the HAF board. "Her experience with state and tribal justice systems and her unique approach to community building are going to be tremendous assets as we move forward with the board's strategic vision. This will be a great benefit for our communities and a big step toward uniting the broad region Humboldt Area Foundation serves."
Abby Abinanti, Chief Justice of the Yurok Tribal Court and a Judge for Joint Family Wellness Courts, is the newest member of the Humboldt Area Foundation. Photo Courtesy Matt Mais / Yurok Tribe.
Abinanti built the Yurok Tribal Court and its many programs from the ground up. Rooted in traditional cultural values, the cutting-edge court seeks to provide justice and life-changing services to people often failed by the conventional criminal justice system. A retired San Francisco Superior Court Commissioner and lifelong supporter of Native American rights, Abinanti is currently the Chief Justice of the Yurok Tribal Court and a Judge for Joint Family Wellness Courts in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. In these roles, she has positively influenced the lives of many local community members.
“First, I want to thank everyone on the Humboldt Area Foundation’s board for their kind welcome. I am looking forward to working with the board to imagine new ways to support all members of our community. I am excited to begin taking actions that benefit our shared communities for the long term,” says Abinanti.
Del Norte County resident and HAF board member David Finigan said Abinanti’s background is ideal for the board’s strategic objectives.
"Her experience in the Del Norte County region and Tribal Lands are sure to bolster the Foundation's mission of leadership and inclusion,” said Finigan, who is also a board member for Wild Rivers Community Foundation, an affiliate of HAF. “I look forward to working with her to address vital community issues."
Abby Abinanti, Yurok Chief Judge, is an enrolled Yurok Tribal member. She holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of New Mexico School of Law and was the first California tribal woman to be admitted to the State Bar of California. She was a State Judicial Officer (Commissioner) for the San Francisco Superior Court for over 17 years, assigned to the Unified Family Court (Family/Dependency/Delinquency).
Abinanti retired from the Superior Court in September 2011 and, on July 31, 2014, was reappointed as a part-time Commissioner for San Francisco assigned to Dependency, and Duty Judge for that Court, where she served until 2015. She has been a Yurok Tribal Court Judge since 1997 and was appointed Chief Tribal Court Judge in 2007, a position she held in conjunction with her Superior Court assignment until 2015.
Vera Vietor established the Humboldt Area Foundation in 1972. Since then, more than $80 million in grants and scholarships have been awarded in Humboldt, Del Norte, Curry, and Trinity Counties. Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership, and inclusion to strengthen our communities.
For more information on services provided by the Foundation, please visit the Humboldt Area Foundation website at hafoundation.org or call (707) 442-2993.
Broadband internet access remains out of reach for many. But during the last 16 months, the Humboldt Area Foundation and the Wild Rivers Community Foundation, have been supporting tech access throughout the region with more than $623,000 in technology grants from the foundations’ COVID-19 Regional Response Fund.
Getting more folks connected to the internet is critical. Why? Access to the internet means access to work, access to school, health resources, and so many other things. It’s so deeply integrated into our society that those without access are at an immediate sociological disadvantage. In fact, in 2016, the United Nations added the freedom to express oneself on the internet to its Universal Declaration of Human Rights to include human right,
Earlier this month, the Pew Research Center shared its findings from the 2021 Mobile Technology and Home Broadband report. While the report finds that the majority of Americans are connected to high-speed internet, still 38 percent of rural households remain without reliable broadband internet. Thousands of those folks are living in Curry, Del Norte, Humboldt, and Trinity counties without advanced internet connections as the on-going COVID-19 pandemic transforms school and work life for many. HAF and WRCF are committed to closing the technology gap among families in need of tech access.
Within a week of California and Oregon’s 2020 statewide shelter-in-place orders, HAF and WRCF created the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, which grew to $3,397,339 thanks to generous contributions from our donors and funders.
The response money also included a special COVID technology fund, designed to support the community as work and school shifted online. Since its inception, HAF and WRCF have partnered with local school districts, Tribal governments, nonprofits, and individuals, with more than 63 technology grants distributed as of this writing.
Two things became clear as the foundations distributed the funds. First, in rural areas, people can be hard to connect to for many reasons, whether that’s due to technology access, remoteness, or personal choice. Second, communities of color suffer the most and local health officials have collected ample evidence that Native American and Latinx communities were particularly hard hit with a disproportionate number of positive COVID-19 cases. It seems communities most impacted by COVID-19 are often the same people who lack access to suitable internet technology.
Here are some recent highlight grants that HAF and WRCF have made to boost tech access and ensure our community members could make the transition to online working and learning:
● A recent $12,500 grant to the Wiyot Tribe will help residents connect to SpaceX’s satellite-based Starlink internet service. This satellite-based internet service will connect Wiyot community members who are otherwise unreachable by other Internet providers.
● The foundation supported the Hoopa Valley’s Tribal TANF with $5,000 for iPads and internet connectivity so expectant parents could continue to take Motherhood is Sacred/Fatherhood is Sacred parenting classes when quarantine restrictions meant meeting in person wasn’t an option.
● Over the last 15 months, more than 250 Chromebooks, iPads and other computers have been given to individuals and nonprofits.
As part of the foundation's 10 year strategic vision, HAF and WRCF are committed to addressing the issues around broadband internet access, and technology grants are just one way to achieve that goal. The Foundations’ strategic plan envisions “a thriving, just, healthy and equitable region,” which is supported by four goal areas:
● Racial Equity
● Healthy Ecosystems
● Thriving Youth and Families
● A Just Economy and Economic Development
When youth and families thrive, we all thrive. That’s why supporting ‘thriving youth and families’ is one of HAF+WRCF’s goal areas. In the early days of the pandemic, HAF and WRCF granted more than $23,000 to the Humboldt County Office of Education, the Trinity Alps Unified School District, and the Fortuna Union School District to provide dozens of hotspots and tech supplies to families throughout the foundation’s service region.
For too long, our neighbors in the underserved remote communities in Del Norte, Trinity, Humboldt, and Curry counties have been excluded from the current technology revolution because they can’t rely on a cellular phone, let alone a broadband internet connection. These disparities are even more drastic when it comes to access for Native communities. HAF and WRCF also consider addressing issues around racial equity as a top goal, and recent grants are ensuring underserved communities can close technology gaps.
Organizations like Central De Pueblo and the Seventh Generation Fund work closely with our BIPOC community members, but like many nonprofits, these groups saw many challenges as they grappled with COVID. HAF and WRCF helped these groups meet basic technology needs with a $9,000 grant for tech and office supplies to support this online transition. Other groups that serve historically marginalized populations have received funding for telehealth technology, remote work stations, and much more (Read more about the transitions and challenges these nonprofits faced during the pandemic in our State of the Sector Report).
Of course, the technology gap won’t close with the end of the pandemic. HAF and WRCF remain committed to addressing these technology and connectivity needs through innovative partnerships with our local community members, especially when closing the technology gap can help create “a thriving, just, healthy and equitable region.”
On Thursday, Nov. 29 2018 members of Humboldt Area Foundation’s Social Justice Donor Circle met and unanimously agreed to make four grants of $40,000 each to: Applied Human Centered Design 2019 Boot Camp & Clinics, McKinleyville Alliance for Racial Equity Leadership Initiative Program, Cooperation Humboldt, and California Kitchen Inherent Food Sovereignty Project. This final decision was met with applause.
“We at Cooperation Humboldt are absolutely thrilled with the generous gift from HAF's Donor Circle. It has already allowed us — just over one month in — to obtain our first physical space, and to establish regular hours,” said Cooperation Humboldt co-founder Tamara McFarland.
The group plans to spend the next year planting fruit trees, installing food gardens, launching a tool library and hosting more events and skill shares.
“The seed money we received from the Donor Circle has truly empowered us to spread our wings in 2019 and we could not be more excited about all the exciting projects we have in store,” added McFarland.
The Social Justice Donor Circle began in the spring of 2017 at the initiative of a donor at the Humboldt Area Foundation. The donor wanted to pull together locals who would commit to building a donor community and pool funds for collective grant making in the region. The Circle, supported by HAF, consists of 17 anonymous donors who have met and learned about social justice philanthropy. Members have expressed optimism about their grantee’s projects and said they are looking forward to the next round of grant making in 2019, as well as learning “the needs in our community and the ways that [they] as donors can positively effect change."
The McKinleyville Alliance for Racial Equity Leadership Initiative will use its grant to develop a leadership cohort to promote racial equity in McKinleyville’s schools and community. California Kitchen Inherent Food Sovereignty will sponsor weekly community meals in Hoopa to build community, revive traditional food uses, and work together on community issues. Applied Human Centered Design, facilitated by HAF Community Strategies Director Jen Rice, will use processes that have proven successful in Del Norte in promoting social health to foster new levels of collaboration amongst child and family agencies in Humboldt.
About Humboldt Area Foundation:
Vera Vietor established the Humboldt Area Foundation in 1972. Since then, more than $80 million in grants and scholarships have been awarded in Humboldt, Del Norte, Curry and Trinity Counties. Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership and inclusion to strengthen our communities.
For more information on services provided by the Foundation please visit the Humboldt Area Foundation website at hafoundation.org or call (707) 442-2993.
Just about everywhere she looks throughout Humboldt County, Wiyot Tribal Administrator Michelle Vassel sees need. There’s a lack of well-paying jobs and rampant food insecurity. There’s a lack of skilled trades labor and affordable housing. And for the Wiyot people, who lived in approximately 20 village sites scattered around Humboldt Bay before first contact, Vassel sees a lack of autonomy over their ancestral territory.
But now, on the near horizon, Vassel also sees a solution to some of the region’s most entrenched problems: Dishgamu Humboldt. Named after the Wiyot word for love, Dishgamu Humboldt is a first-of-its kind community land trust, a partnership between the tribe and Cooperation Humboldt that those involved feel will have a transformational impact on the area.
“I think what excites me most is just working on the concept of place-based healing, and looking at building together as a community and coming together as a community and working on the long-term vision for the place that we all live,” Vassel said, stressing that the project is truly about taking immediate action toward a long-term vision. “We’re looking at multi-generational. We’re looking past 10, 20, 30 years. We’re looking at 100 years, 200 years, 250 years.”
Read the Full Article at the Community Voices Coalition webpage »
BAYSIDE, CA (APRIL 3, 2020) – The first grants from the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, totaling $195,920, are going to eighteen organizations in Humboldt, Trinity, Del Norte and Curry counties to help our communities deal with the effects of the coronavirus.
The COVID-19 Fund was launched on March 20, by Humboldt Area Foundation and its affiliate the Wild Rivers Community Foundation in Del Norte County. With additional support from The California Endowment and The California Wellness Foundation, the fund started with $150,000. During the first two weeks, over 55 individual contributions and donor pledges have grown the fund to more than $285,000.
“Every one of our board members has given to the fund,” said CEO Bryna Lipper. “We live in a generous community and think $1 million is within our reach. It will help thousands of people,” Lipper said.
To encourage giving to the fund, HAF is taking no administrative fees, with 100% of every gift going to grants.
HAF’s areas of focus in awarding grants from the fund includes seniors, people with compromised immune systems, homeless, first-responders and Native communities.
In making the grants, HAF is using a streamlined review process that does not burden area nonprofits during this difficult time with a lengthy application process.
Sara Dronkers, Director of Grantmaking and Nonprofit Resources said, “Our team is reaching out daily to area nonprofits, public agencies, businesses, civic leaders and Native communities from Garberville to Weaverville to Hoopa, Crescent City and Brookings, Oregon to help us target our grants to charitable organizations on the front lines of service.”
Grants from the COVID-19 Fund are just one tool HAF is utilizing to meet the current crisis. Other resources being mobilized include loans to nonprofits, grants from other funds, fundraising from partner foundations and community leadership activities to bring partners together for action.
The first grants made from the fund (as of April 2) are:
· United Indian Health Services, $18,200, to get food and meals to 1,300 elders in local Native communities during the coronavirus and during a gap in federal funding.
· The Wiyot Tribe, $1,000, for extra hygiene, cleaning and pet supplies for elders.
· The Yurok Tribe, $20,000, to provide additional hygiene packages, food delivery and firewood to tribal members, including 900 elders and 500 at-risk youth.
· 211 Humboldt, $2,000, to the Mother Women Rising Support Group for extra help for clients as a result of the coronavirus.
· Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives, $5,000, for additional general operating support for homeless services resulting from the coronavirus.
· Arcata House Partnership, $4,000, for facility improvements to maintain health, safety and physical distancing during the coronavirus.
· Cooperation Humboldt, $5,000, for their COVID-19 Response Coalition and $2,000 for the Humboldt Parent Hive Childcare Co-op.
· Del Norte Mission Possible, $10,000, for increased program and management support needed to address the coronavirus.
· Eureka Rescue Mission, $10,000, to help meet an increased demand for services resulting from the coronavirus.
· Family Resource Center of the Redwoods, $10,000, for its food pantry facing increased demands during the coronavirus.
· Food for People, $18,000, to respond to increased COVID-19 related demands on the organization.
· Gold Beach Senior Center, $10,000, to help with increased food distribution needs in Gold Beach and Port Orford, Oregon due to the coronavirus.
· Healy Senior Center, Redway, $15,000, to maintain and expand program operations and staffing for senior services during the coronavirus.
· Humboldt Bay Firefighters Local 652, $15,300, to purchase reusable medical Personal Protection Equipment jackets for first responders needed to protect them and the public during the coronavirus.
· Humboldt Family Services Center, $6,000, for virtual counseling for struggling families sheltering in place during the coronavirus.
· Southern Humboldt Housing Opportunities, $12,420, for two weeks of motel rooms for homeless people made vulnerable during the coronavirus and additional meals for other homeless individuals.
· Transitional Residential Treatment Facilities, $20,000, to support the shelter in place operations for 25 mentally ill individuals.
· Trinity Community Food Outreach, $10,000, for an additional food storage unit for the county’s food bank in Weaverville, along with funds for seven pantries to purchase perishables not available through government programs.
Contributions, small or large, can be made to the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund online at hafoundation.org/Giving/COVID19 or by mailing checks to HAF at 363 Indianola Rd, Bayside, CA 95524. For more info call (707) 442-2993.
Donors and nonprofits who are interested in seeing their charitable money work for social good have a new way to invest. Humboldt Area Foundation is now offering a Socially Responsible Investment Fund (SRI) which focuses on investments that address climate change, sustainability and other social issues.
“HAF has been evaluating the possibility of a Socially Responsible Fund for over a decade,” said Humboldt Area Foundation Executive Director Patrick Cleary.
Cleary explained that socially responsible investing has historically generated lower returns than traditional investments, creating a “conundrum” for donors who would then have less money to offer in grants and scholarships. That, combined with a lack of consensus on what “socially responsible” meant, gave HAF’S staff and Investment Committee much to research before deciding on the best strategy.
“The approach we settled on after much research was to focus the fund on investments which address environmental and climate change issues, which resonated with our donors,” said Cleary. “In addition, we were able to construct a portfolio that appears to be competitive on return with our long-term pool, so hopefully donors will not have to accept lower returns. The reaction from our fund holders has been positive enough for us to reach a large enough threshold to launch the fund.”
The investment option is broadly consistent with the investment policy established by HAF for its long term investment pool, but invests with fund managers whose security selection and portfolio construction processes focus on companies with high sustainability ratings, positive economic development, attention to renewable resources and good governance. Holdings in the pool will be regularly reviewed to assure they are meeting sustainable investment practices.
“At HAF we incorporate the tenets of our Mission statement in all we do,” said Finance Committee Chair Charlie Jordan. “Our investment strategy is yet another way that is true. By investing in socially responsible funds we seek funds that provide both financial returns and social and environmental good to bring about a positive change.”
Because this is a new offering, there is no historical track record on investment performance, but simulations show that the proposed fund mix for the SRI would have performed slightly better than HAF’s long term pool over the last three years and matched HAF over the trailing five years, with somewhat higher volatility. The underlying investment costs of the funds are very comparable to the fees on HAF’s Long Term Investment portfolio.
“Some of our donors would like to direct their donations into an investment vehicle that more aligns with their values,” said Investment Committee Chair John McBeth. “HAF is lucky to have Angeles Investment advisors on our team, and with their help we have developed a Socially Responsible Investment Portfolio to address this complex issue.”
Investing in the Socially Responsible Fund is at the option of the donor or nonprofit. Individuals interested in learning more should contact Patrick Cleary at (707) 267-9902
July 16, 2019
I am honored to write this letter to you as I enter my twelfth and final year on the Board of Directors of Humboldt Area Foundation. This is an exciting time at HAF. As we look forward to this new chapter, we are fully engaged in the upcoming transitions. On August 1, 2019, we welcome Bryna Lipper as our new Chief Executive Officer. Her previous work in philanthropy includes co-founding the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities. Bryna has an impressive range of skills, experience and expertise to guide HAF to the next level. We enthusiastically welcome her into her new role at HAF.
As we moving forward, I am also reflecting on the many milestones HAF has achieved in the past six years under the leadership of Patrick Cleary as Executive Director and with the help of our community partners. We have compiled a list of some of those accomplishments which you can find below. HAF’s future success will be built on the strong foundation that was set during his tenure, and we are glad he will continue his work at the Foundation in a new role as Director of Community Prosperity and Investment.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I full-heartedly thank Patrick for his years of dedication, his deep commitment to the mission of the Foundation and for the many significant accomplishments as Executive Director.
Our future is looking very bright!
Kathryn Lobato, Board Chair, Humboldt Area Foundation Board of Directors
Here are some of our major accomplishments since 2013:
Click image to view or download Humboldt Area Foundation's 2019-2020 Donor Yearbook.
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