After San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced last year that the city would direct $120 million to the city's African American community, Breed said Thursday the city has developed a plan for distributing the funds and ensuring it reaches the families who need it the most.
The initiative, called The Dream Keeper Initiative, aims to use the funds over the next two years to promote things like youth development, economic opportunities, arts culture, workforce development, homeownership and community organizing.
"We know that to actually see true lasting change we need to focus on helping entire families -- from early education for kids, to job training and workforce support for their parents, and serve communities that have been systematically harmed by past policies," Breed said in a statement.
"To make these decisions, we've listened to the African-American community about what's worked and what hasn't and we are committed to actually delivering on the promises that are made but all too often aren't kept. It's not enough to say that Black Lives Matter. We must listen to Black voices, commit the resources, and create the programs that will actually right past wrongs and get people resources and services so they can build their futures here in San Francisco and know that their City has their back," she said.
"This initial investment to improve outcomes for the Black community and overturn years of disinvestment and inequitable resource distribution is just the first step in righting the wrongs of history," Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton said. "We now have to continue to prioritize communities that have never had a chance to build true wealth."
Breed, along with Walton, first announced the plan to reinvest $120 million into the African American community back in June 2020 as part of a nationwide movement to redirect government funds from law enforcement, following the in-custody death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
Decades of racist policies and disinvestment in the city's African American community have historically hindered Black residents' ability to access the most basic needs, including health care, financial stability, and housing.
Despite accounting for just 5% percent of the city's population, Black San Franciscans account for 35% of the city's homeless. Additionally, 19% of the city's Black children live in poverty.
Under the latest plan, which was developed with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, $60 million will be used to fund the first year of the initiative. In addition to things like arts, youth development, workforce training and support for Black-owned businesses and first-time homeowners, a significant portion of the funding will also go toward increasing diversity within city departments by creating pipelines for employment opportunities, Breed's office said.