The Philanthropic Case for Inland California

The COVID-19 pandemic and the global movement for racial justice following the murder of George Floyd have exposed the large and pre-existing health, racial, economic, and regional disparities across our state. The challenges of the current moment underscore the critical importance of maintaining our focus on driving greater equity and inclusion throughout our state – particularly as we enter the important stages of economic and social recovery and rebuilding.

In the spring of 2020, the Governor’s office and regional partners held seven virtual listening sessions across the Central Valley and Inland Empire with the crucial community and nonprofit stakeholders. The goals of these convenings were to engage with local voices and hear from community leaders about the needs and opportunities for investment in inland California, with particular sensitivity to how COVID-19 and recent events have exposed underlying challenges. This research was conducted by Freedman Consulting and The Center for Social Innovation, in collaboration with the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom (including Kathleen Kelly Janus, Maria Herrera, and Molly Wiltshire), and Sierra Health Foundation.

The insights presented below are based on 7 listening sessions with over 100 nonprofits and 55 residents across the Inland Empire and Central Valley – including sessions held in Hmong, Spanish, and Punjabi; new and existing surveys of nonprofits (370 combined respondents); literature and data reviews; and input and feedback on findings and recommendations in consultation with cross sector partners and community stakeholders.