Investing in Gender and Racial Justice Builds the Power We Need - Women's Foundation California
(Members of the YWCA of Mid-Peninsula Donor Advised Fund with staff of the YWCA of Silicon Valley and AACI)

April 24, 2018
Written by Rhiannon Rossi, Program Officer, Women’s Foundation of California

Here at the Women’s Foundation of California we work to invest in, train, and connect community leaders to advance gender, racial, and economic justice.  One of the ways we do this is through our partnership with the YWCA of the Mid-Peninsula Donor Advised Fund. The mission of the YWCA Mid-Peninsula is to eliminate racism and empower women and girls. The Donor Advised Fund, which serves southern San Mateo and northern Santa Clara counties and YWCAs in Northern California, was established in 2004, upon the closure of the YWCA of the Mid-Peninsula and the sale of its Palo Alto building. Since that time the YWCA Fund has awarded more than $2,700,000 to more than 50 organizations. This year the Fund awarded $135,000 to 10 organizations working to eliminate racism and empower the women and girls in the state of California. Three of the current grant partners address the serious issue of violence against women.

In California, 40% of women experience interpersonal violence. More than four in ten Black women experience physical violence from an intimate partner during their lifetimes.1 In the Latinx community, 1 in 3 Latinas have experienced domestic violence in their lifetime. And, as a result of anti-immigration laws Latinas are 1/2 as likely to report abuse vs survivors from other ethnic/racial groups.2 In the indigenous community, 84 percent of Native American women have experienced violence in their lifetime, with more than half of the cases being some form of domestic or sexual violence.3 And, 21 – 55% of Asian women in the U.S. report experiencing intimate physical and/or sexual violence during their lifetime.4 It is critical that women, girls, and queer and trans folks have access to services for those who experience intimate partner violence.

Three current YWCA Fund grant partners address these issues by providing culturally competent services for survivors of domestic violence.

In San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) offers the only emergency domestic violence shelter in Santa Clara County that focuses on the specific linguistic and cultural needs of Asian survivors. AACI is just one of two Asian-focused shelters located in the San Francisco Bay Area and one of only nine across the entire continental U.S. Maitri provides services to primarily South Asian survivors of Domestic Violence and their children. One of their programs – Legal Advocacy – provides linguistically and culturally specific legal services and translation services in Punjabi, Hindi, and Telegu. They also provide help with legal paperwork and make connections to pro bono attorneys, while addressing any accompanying immigration needs that are impacted by domestic violence. In Sonoma County the YWCA Sonoma County has established the first and only confidential, Safe House emergency shelter and domestic violence crisis hotline in Sonoma County. YWCA Sonoma County also runs the only year-round therapeutic preschool and childcare, for children impacted by trauma.

This is just a highlight of the amazing work being done by the YWCA of the Mid-Peninsula Donor Advised Fund grant partners. This year’s 10 organizations include not only those working with domestic violence survivors but also include partners who provide housing assistance, educational success programs for system-involved youth, immigration rights, and leadership development.

In addition to the 10 grants, the Fund also made a donation to the YWCA of Houston, whose building was damaged by Hurricane Harvey. The donation served as the seed funding to replace the YWCA’s damaged roof. Because of the support of the YWCA of the Mid-Peninsula Donor Advised Fund, the YWCA of Houston was able to secure additional support to cover the full replacement costs. See below for the complete list of YWCA grant partners.

Full Grant Partner List:
American Association of University Women Tech Trek STEM Camps – General Operating Support-$7,500
Art of Yoga Project – General Operating Support -$15,000
Asian Americans for Community Involvement-Asian Women’s Home- $15,000
Eastside College Prep – Girls Residence Hall-$15,000
Foundation for a College Education – Race, Gender, Identity, and Resiliency Program – $15,000
Human Investment Project – Self Sufficiency Program – $15,000
IGNITE – General Operating Support – $15,000
Nuestra Casa – Red Communitaria Promotora Program – $15,000
Ivy & Pearls Foundation – General Operating Support – $7,500
YWCA Sonoma County – General Operating Support – $15,000


  1. “Violence Against Black Women – Many Types, Far-reaching Effects” Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 07-13-2017,
  2. “31 Facts About Domestic Violence in the Latin@ Community” National Latino Network, 10-01-2016,
  3. “#NotInvisible: The Plight of Native American Women and Sexual Violence” Lakota People’s Law Project, 12-05-2017,


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