Women's Foundation California | The Culture Change Fund - Women's Foundation California

The Culture Change Fund

no gender justice without culture change

“In the space of “ideas” is where we can radically change systems. And that is, how do we completely re-envision our society?”

— Favianna Rodriguez

In 2020, we’ve continued to make powerful strides despite a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, wildfires and election season. We’ve strengthened our commitment to culture change work with over $900K in funding to grant partners.  Whether it’s a coloring book that imagines a gender just future or a journalist series on sex positivity and the arts, culture is essential. We’re proud and believe this work is more necessary than it’s ever been. Culture is the force that moves us forward.

What is The Fund?

We believe it’s time to address how our nation understands gender and change how the public thinks about wide-ranging issues from racism, abortion, contraception, pay equity, closing the women’s wealth gap, income security, and gender-based violence, and harassment.

“The national conversation on sexual assault and harassment brought by the #MeToo movement and unconstitutional abortion bans in nine states has shown that this problem cannot be fixed with policy alone.”

Surina Khan, CEO of The Women’s Foundation of California

By focusing on culture change, the Fund’s goal is to create broad public support for a new way of thinking that centers gender, racial, and economic justice at the heart of the solution to any systemic problems. 


The Fund will focus on financing three key areas.

  • A data-driven narrative research project called Story at Scale, which will conduct audience research and create, test, and deliver a story strategy that can advance gender justice across a variety of issue areas. Story at Scale employs a collaborative research process and is designed for practical use by advocates, artists, and campaigners in all of their communications and organizing efforts.
  • Creating a community of practice and learning where funders, activists, artists, and researchers working at the intersection of gender justice and social change work can share information and contribute to a living library of ongoing resources. Funders and activists can advance collective understanding about narrative and culture change strategies, as well as share best practices.
  • Providing direct grants to partner organizations and campaigns from the most impacted communities who are engaging in cultural organizing to advance their gender justice efforts, or are interested in utilizing these strategies.

Culture Change Fund Grant Partners

  • Center for Cultural Power — $100,000
    To support artists and serve as a bridge between social  movement and the creative sector by advancing their newly launched Disruptors Fellowship program, supporting 10 emerging television writers of color who identify as transgender, non-binary, disabled, undocumented, and/or formerly undocumented and commissioning and testing content across genres.
  • Grow Progress $123,000
    Integration of Story at Scale research data into the Grow Progress software platform.  Data to be available for use by organizations and others who seek to explore audience persuasion research and message testing.
  • Forward Together — $50,000
    To support the planning of a long-term residency program for transgender or non-binary artists of color or Indigenous artists, and to support the  creation and dissemination of artwork as part of campaigns to advocate for mass releases and commute the sentences of survivors of domestic and sexual violence during COVID-19.
  • Harness $100,000
    To serve as a bridge between social movements and entertainment artists by building out the programmatic strategy for the Gender Justice + Entertainment Hub, including providing information and support to leaders in the entertainment industry to integrate a gender lens into their content and company culture.
  • IllumiNative — $150,000
    $100K To implement the Indigenous Futures Project, a multi-year research, advocacy and power-building initiative to develop  an arsenal of new, cutting-edge data to push back on the erasure and bias that underlies Native peoples’ experience today while charting a community-driven equity agenda for tomorrow. 
    $50K  In collaboration with California Native Vote Project, IllumiNavite will provide immersive narrative change training to Native young people and communities, and will engage Native organizations in developing narrative frames driven by community needs and priorities.  
  • The League $300,000
    Through the design and implementation of Essential Campaign, The League will focus on transforming narratives around women of color leadership, with a special emphasis on Black women’s leadership.
  • She Se Puede $50,000
    A civic engagement project designed by and for Latinxs to mobilize the influence and political power to lead our communities and the nation forward. The project uses the Story at Scale platform to develop narratives and messaging by and for Latinxs.
  • She the People $100,000 
    To produce a 6-part docuseries following founder, political strategist Aimee Allison and four dynamic, innovative community organizers on a mission to mobilize one million women of color across America under the threat of systemic political injustice and the health and economic crisis of the coronavirus to vote in 2020.

Community of Learning

January-February 2021

Culture Shift 101

All Sessions are held 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PST 

  • Thursday, January 14:  Elements of Cultural Strategy  
  • Thursday, January 21:  Building a Cultural Strategy
  • Thursday, January 28: Stories of Cultural Strategy
  • Thursday, February 4:  Workshopping your Cultural Strategy 

4-30 min Optional Discussion Session: immediately following each session

Culture Shift 101 is open to all Culture Change Fund funding partners, including staff and board members, as well as grantee partners.

Spread the Word

Check out our social media toolkit and join our culture change movement.


Have questions? We have answers. Find out more about The Culture Change Fund here

Media Coverage

The Court of Public Opinion, Kings say Case Closed, but Will Sexual Assault Accusation Shadow New Coach?

California Gender Justice Funders Launch $10 Mil Culture Change Fund

Building Gender Justice Through Culture: A New Fund Takes Shape