SLO awards $150,000 to nonprofits for DEI programs

December 14, 2023


The San Luis Obispo City Council last week awarded a combined total of $150,000 in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) grants to eight local nonprofits for programs the city says will contribute to a sense of belonging for underserved and underrepresented communities in SLO.

City officials received 26 applications for the grants requesting a combined total of more than $500,000 in funding this year. In September, a subcommittee of the SLO Human Relations Commission reviewed the applications and narrowed the list of recommended organizations. Then in October, the commission approved the recommendations, sending them to the city council. 

On Dec. 5, the city council unanimously approved the “high-impact” DEI grants. The city will distribute the funds early next year, awarding:

  • $40,000 to the Diversity Coalition to increase training opportunities intended to create more diversity on the boards of directors for local nonprofits
  • About $40,000 to San Luis Obispo County UndocuSupport to create 14 multilingual “how to” videos with English captioning covering seven important topics for Spanish and Mixteco-speaking immigrants and community members
  • $20,000 to the GALA Pride & Diversity Center for the SLO Queer Cultural Revitalization Project, including funding for 11 events to increase networking opportunities and activities that highlight different aspects of queer culture
  • $16,800 to RACE Matters for four monthly therapy or clinician-led discussion groups to create health equity and wellbeing for diverse community members.
  • $10,000 to SLO Hillel to host engagement and learning opportunities by bringing a speaker under the organization’s Jews of Color Speaker Series
  • About $9,500 to SLO Museum of Art to cover two exhibits showcasing artists from historically underserved and excluded communities and free public programming for the entire community
  • $8,000 to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) to increase support for Latino/Latinx/Hispanic and bilingual volunteers and to increase training opportunities for staff and the board of directors
  • $6,000 to the History Center of SLO County to increase exhibits and lecture accessibility to Spanish-speaking community members

“The San Luis Obispo community continues to embrace diversity, ensure equity and practice inclusion, and nonprofits are at the forefront of those efforts,” said Nestor Veloz-Passalacqua, the city’s diversity, equity, and inclusion manager. “In smaller communities like ours, the impact of every nonprofit and individual is more pronounced. This DEI work will help build bridges between different groups, ultimately fostering a sense of belonging, unity and shared identity in San Luis Obispo.”

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

$150,000 with about $130,000 going to compensation of the varies entities, but at least officials can all claim to be on the right side,or is that the far left side?

the Council must feel so good about themselves for the noble spending of other people’s money.. more tax and fee increases and freebies to follow.

I’d say about two of those awards were worth it. The rest are, well, you fill in the blanks.