Happy Lunar New Year, happy Black History Month, and happy 2022!
The new year symbolizes a fresh beginning — a time of opportunity, renewed commitments, and enthusiasm. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the days are beginning to feel warmer and lighter, and we’re looking into the future with hope. For Metta Fund, this new year marks an exciting time for our organization’s future, and today, we are proud to announce our new Mission, Vision, and Values statements, as well as a formal Racial Equity Commitment. Taken together, these statements provide the guiding framework for Metta Fund’s strategy.
Vision: We envision inclusive and healthy communities where all can thrive and age with dignity and joy.
Mission: Through grantmaking and community partnerships, Metta Fund works to advance the health and wellbeing of older San Franciscans.
- Community leadership– we seek out leaders who are deeply connected to their communities and who use that wisdom to elevate their community’s needs and to disrupt the status quo.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – we hold at our core the commitment to fostering justice, challenging racist systems, and centering equity in all aspects of our work. We are compelled to confront injustice and seek to address structural racism, inequity, and power imbalances.
- Partnership – we closely collaborate with nonprofits, philanthropic organizations, government, and community leaders to advance equity in aging. We build trusting relationships through shared values, mutual commitments, and continuous dialogue.
- Respect – we respect the intrinsic value and dignity of every person, honor differences, and seek to bring cultural humility to all we do.
- Responsive Learning – we endeavor to listen and learn and to model openness and transparency. We recognize that we must adapt and respond to the emerging needs of communities.
- Voice – we speak up and stand alongside our partners to advocate for change. We strive to be allies and to use our voices in spaces of power to center the lived experiences of those who have often been left out. We push back against narratives that undermine equity.
Racial Equity Commitment
The following reflects the core of our commitment to racial equity:
- Understanding and naming root causes of racial inequities
- Acknowledging historical traumas stemming from systemic racism and grounding our work in that history so that we better understand how past social policies have led to current conditions affecting communities of color
- Committing to disaggregating data by race and place to identify groups and places where an intervention is most likely to create the biggest impact
- Partnering with community and ensuring that those directly affected by structural racism are centered in decision-making
- Using a racial equity lens across governance, financial investments, and organizational administration
- Regularly promoting the contributions of communities of color, and promoting racial equity, in our communications platforms
- Providing regular learning and training for Metta Fund board and staff, including explicit training on structural and historic racism and its impact on systems, policies, and outcomes
While this work began last year, the events of the past two years underscore the need for courageous action to ensure that all of us can age with health, justice, and joy. We look forward to working – together with our partners – to deliver on our updated mission.
Thank you to the many individuals who generously provided us with their time, feedback, and insights. We are especially appreciative of the grant partners, community partners, and civic leaders who participated in focus groups and interviews. Your perspectives guided and informed this new vision for Metta Fund.
While we have plenty of hard work ahead of us, we are encouraged by the stories of progress that came from 2021 — such as the Care Can’t Wait coalition, pushing for significant investments in America’s caregiving infrastructure, or the historic public-private partnership that brought to fruition the Master Plan for Aging, a comprehensive blueprint for cross-sector collaborations to create a California for All Ages by 2030.
Today, we have a historic opportunity to address the needs of our rapidly growing population of older adults – how we respond will truly shape everyone’s outlook. At Metta Fund, we’re excited about capturing this momentum and setting our sights on a bold and just vision for the future. We hope you’ll join us in our collaborative efforts of advancing equity in aging, because everyone deserves to thrive and age with dignity and joy.
Janet Y. Spears, Chief Executive Officer
Kimberly Brandon, Chair, Board of Directors