Santa Barbara Education Foundation joins those demanding changes to policies and practices that continue to perpetuate bias and racism in our public institutions. Public schools, with their inherent diversity, can be powerful engines of social change when sufficiently supported.

As an organization that supports public education, we believe that ensuring equitable and inclusive opportunities for students is critical to achieve and sustain positive systemic change. We are committed to working with Santa Barbara Unified School District, its families, students, and our entire community to continue supporting and fostering programs that address gaps and help marginalized and under-resourced youth access opportunities to thrive in our community and beyond.

To bridge the immediate need in the time of COVID, Santa Barbara Education Foundation is pleased to partner with the Student Online & Academic Resource (SOAR) campaign to raise funds to enable Santa Barbara Unified School District families continued access to essential tools for remote learning.

While all of the programs we support provide important and otherwise unavailable educational opportunities for all Santa Barbara Unified School District students, the following programs are particularly designed to bridge gaps for under-resourced youth and produce a measurably positive impact for members of our community who suffer most from implicit and systemic biases:

  • Academy for Success
  • Program for Effective Access to College (PEAC)
  •  Mission Scholars
  • Padres Unidos/Parents United
  • Condor Circle
  • Literacy Project
  • Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID)

Consistent with the efforts for systemic change, our board will continue to develop a diverse and inclusive environment. We commit to these values and will implement the following:

  • Implicit Bias training for all Santa Barbara Education Foundation board members.
  • Implicit Bias training for all Santa Barbara Education Foundation staff.
  • Commitment to hiring Santa Barbara Education Foundation staff that reflects our community.
  • Encourage the Santa Barbara Unified School Board to participate in implicit bias training.
  • Conduct ongoing or annual assessments of our commitment to ensure relevance.

Our funding priorities will be considered through a lens of equity, asking programs as part of the application process how they will address historically marginalized groups of students. In addition to informing Santa Barbara Education Foundation of the list of groups that are being served, programs will also be required, as part of the year-end reporting, to inform the foundation as to the progress (or lack of progress of those groups).