Statewide Initiatives


Unfortunately, undocumented Californians are locked out of access to affordable, quality health care. Despite the success of the Affordable Care Act, more than 1 million undocumented Californians remain uninsured. The California Endowment believes that ALL Californians should have access to health coverage, regardless of their immigration status.

That’s why in 2013, The Endowment launched #Health4All to find a statewide solution so that all Californians have access to affordable, quality health coverage. Our health care system works best when everyone participates—a system that excludes anyone, hurts everyone.

What We’re Doing

  • We launched a public education campaign to inform Californians about the economic and social contributions of undocumented Californians and promote access to affordable, quality health care for everyone.
  • We provide residents and grassroots organizations with the resources they need to fight to retain and expand access to safety-net health care services for the remaining uninsured.

Our Results

  • Based on the outreach work of journalist, filmmaker and immigration advocate Jose Antonio Vargas and others, popular news outlets such as ABC’s Good Morning America, the Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker and The Associated Press pledged to use undocumented in place of “illegal immigrants.”
  • Over 115,000 Californians have joined the campaign through petitions, social media, and partners.
  • More than 40,000 pieces of mail in support of #Health4All were returned in reaction to our direct mailing to targeted community households.

Get Connected!

Get Covered! / Asegúrate

A big part of being healthy is having access to care, whether it’s emergency treatment or preventive care. When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in 2010, The California Endowment saw an opportunity for millions of Californians to gain access to health coverage. In 2013, California’s state legislature embraced the ACA and expanded Medi-Cal to millions of Californians.

The Endowment believes that Health Happens with access to health coverage. The Affordable Care Act helps put consumers back in charge of their health care. Our job is to educate communities about the benefits of enrolling in health coverage and how to take advantage of their benefits. We aim to help enroll communities that are most in need, including Latinos who make up 64% of the uninsured in California.

What We’re Doing

The first step in changing behavior is creating awareness. Through our research, we understood that in order to reach our target audience—low-income Californians, Latinos, and youth—we had to disseminate our education and outreach campaign through trusted messengers like news personalities.

  • We launched a Spanish-language media partnership with Univision, Telemundo, and La Opinion to educate Californians and build awareness.
  • The Endowment developed relationships with ethnic media like California Black Media, Voto Latino, Valley PBS, and New America Media to produce educational pieces on health coverage in order to reach traditionally underserved communities.
  • Funding enrollment assistance at county levels and Medi-Cal enrollment assisters.
  • Ensuring business owners and HR professionals are educated and have what they need to connect employees to coverage.

Our Results

  • Within the first year of implementing the ACA, over 2 million Californians enrolled in Medi-Cal, surpassing our original four year goal. An additional 1.4 million enrolled in Covered California, and with over 3.4 million gaining access to health coverage, California cut its uninsured population in half.
  • The largest gains in health coverage in California have been in the Latino community— nearly 52 % of Latinos reported enrolling in coverage in the past year.
  • The amount of people who have encountered the Univision Asegúrate/Get Covered campaign has increased by almost one quarter—from 39% to 63% from 2013-2014.
  • In 2014, 64% of Californian Latinos had seen a PSA or were aware of the Asegúrate/Get Covered campaign.

Get connected!

Sons and Brothers

California’s future is in color. The young men and women who make up our state’s increasingly diverse population are tomorrow’s innovators and leaders. According to the 2010 census, 70 percent of Californians under 25 identify as people of color, a group that still struggles with inequality.

“Sons & Brothers” is a $50 million, 7-year plan by The California Endowment to help all young people of color reach their full potential, because when our sons and daughters succeed, we all succeed.

Our agenda, which is informed by the community as well as the best data available, focuses on education, literacy, and youth empowerment. We have many partners, from the White House to community organizations to young people, themselves.

Together, we will provide opportunities to our most vulnerable youth, and in doing so, increase the overall health, safety and prosperity of all Californians.

For more information visit our Sons & Brothers Key Readings page.

Get connected!

More info about Sons & Brothers

Building a State of Resilience

Childhood should be a time for children to grow, develop, and dream, but for too many California kids, it’s a time of violence and pain. An adolescent health survey found that more than 50 percent of California youth have experienced one or more types of trauma early in their lives. Traumatic experiences frequently involve physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, but even witnessing violence in a home or neighborhood can leave lasting emotional scars.

Children who experience trauma struggle in school and in later life. Research shows that trauma is a leading predictor of school attendance, academic failure, and suspensions. Adults who were repeatedly exposed to trauma are also more likely to suffer from depression, engage in binge drinking, and have a heart attack.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Children can heal and rebuild their resilience if trauma is recognized and addressed. That’s why The California Endowment supports social-emotional health approaches in schools that emphasize positive behavior and empathy, show children how to calm themselves when they are anxious, and teach ways to resolve conflicts peacefully.

And if the effects of trauma weren’t addressed during childhood, it’s not too late to help adults dealing with trauma. Savings from the implementation of Proposition 47 will be used to provide more mental health care and drug treatment services. This will help adults build up the resilience they never had the chance to develop as children.

What We’re Doing:

  • Investing in the development of school-wide models that teach educators, school staff, and students about the impact of childhood trauma, along with strategies for healing and building resilience.
  • Working with counties and community advocates to ensure savings from Proposition 47 implementation are used for important services like providing mental health care and drug treatment services.

Get connected!

Click for more info about Building a State of Resilience

Social-Emotional Health

Too many children are forced to live surrounded by violence, neglect, and lack of institutional support. They struggle in their school work and have difficulties developing close relationships with peers, which often results in them falling off the path to success.

Research has shown that even one suspension in the 9th grade doubles the chances of a high school student dropping out. Children should be held accountable for misbehavior, but we need to embrace a common-sense approach that helps kids learn from mistakes while keeping them in school.

For students who need more support, guidance counseling and mental health services on school campuses can make a real difference.

What We’re Doing:

  • Supporting pilot projects like restorative justice and positive behavioral interventions and supports which promote alternatives to suspensions and expulsions—projects that hold kids accountable while keeping them in school and teaching them responsibility and respect.
  • Investing in building the momentum for common-sense school discipline in the Central Valley through a new Leadership and Learning Network, including a $1 million grant fund for school districts.
  • Promoting a national conversation about mental health care and working to ensure that troubled students and adults can get help before they endanger themselves or others.

Get connected!

Click for more info about Social-Emotional Health

14 Places: Building Healthy Communities Hub Sites in California

Building Healthy Communities has a simple strategy: work on a local scale to create broad, statewide impact. Where we live, our race, and our income each play a big part in how well and how long we live. We need to reshape the places that shape us—our neighborhoods. Parents want to raise their children in neighborhoods with safe parks and quality schools, but many Californians don’t get to choose where they live. Because the differences between neighborhoods is linked to differences in health outcomes, The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities initiative includes a deep investment in place. The following report, which covers the first five years of The California Endowment’s 10-year strategic plan Building Healthy Communities, documents progress, lessons learned and key changes.

The 14 Sites

Building Healthy Communities partnered with 14 places in the state representing California’s rich diversity. The criteria for partnerships is described in the next section. Click on these links for more information about each of the 14 sites:

  • Boyle Heights
  • Central Santa Ana
  • Central/Southeast/Southwest Fresno
  • City Heights
  • Del Norte County Adjacent Tribal Lands
  • Eastern Coachella Valley
  • East Oakland
  • East Salinas (Alisal)
  • Long Beach
  • Richmond
  • Sacramento
  • South Los Angeles
  • South Kern
  • Southwest Merced/East Merced County

See the amazing work in all of the Hub sites!

Encouraging Enrollment Through the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Encouraging Enrollment Through the Affordable Care Act (ACA)A recent UCLA study showed that nearly 5 million uninsured Californians can gain access to prevention-based coverage in 2014 through federal health reform, but many people eligible for Medi-Cal, the state’s public insurance program, haven’t enrolled. We aim to educate key communities about the benefits of the ACA and, by doing so, increase the number of children and adults enrolled in affordable health coverage. We’re focusing on Latinos and lower income Californians, who represent approximately 92% of the state’s total eligible but uninsured population. For more information on The California Endowment efforts please visit the following link:

There is also an Affordable Care Act Library developed by The California Endowment you can review by visiting the following link:

What is The California Endowment Doing?

  • Reaching out to lower-income and Latino families to make them aware of the benefits of the ACA and connect them with enrollment information and assistance.
  • Educating young Californians aged 18-26 about new provisions under the ACA.

What is Healthy Richmond Doing?

We are launching an Action Team that will focus on the Affordable Care Act. This group is comprised or organizations that will have an impact on the outreach and education to residents who are eligible for Medi-Cal or Covered California and/or advocating for those who will remain uninsured.

If you are interested in the work of this Action Team – Affordable Care Act please contact:

Roxanne Carrillo Garza at

Wanda Session at

Alvaro Fuentes at

The California FreshWorks Fund

Healthy food. Closer to home.

What is The California Endowment Doing?

The California FreshWorks FundThe California FreshWorks fund is a private-public partnership loan fund that has raised $272 million to invest in bringing grocery stores and other forms of healthy food retailers to underserved communities. The availability of healthy foods where we live has been proven to influence healthier long term eating habits. For more information, please click on the following link:

What is Healthy Richmond Doing?

The California Endowment in conjunction with Emerging Markets (part of the FreshWorks team) is working with the Community Housing Development Corporation (CHDC) with initial planning/scoping for a healthy food market in North Richmond.  Emerging Markets has offered to do a market study pro bono and will provide assistance in outreach to potential operators after the planning phase is complete.

Common-Sense School Discipline Restorative Justice

Common-Sense School Discipline Restorative JusticeCalifornia schools are suspending and expelling students at alarming rates, even for minor offenses like tardiness or talking back. Instead of sending students away, schools should focus on preventing problems in the first place and keeping kids in school. To learn about Common –Sense School Discipline efforts throughout the state, please visit the following link:

What is The California Endowment Doing?

  • Building momentum for positive school discipline in the Central Valley through a new Leadership and Learning Network, including a $1 million grant fund for school districts. Apply online for a Central Valley School Discipline grant (send questions to The deadlines for applications will be extended by one week. Applications are now due December 7, 2012.
  • Supporting pilot projects to promote alternatives to harsh discipline that hold kids accountable but keep them in school to teach them responsibility and respect.
  • Supporting youth advocacy efforts that make the case for safe and supportive school environments that help keep students in the classroom and help them succeed.

What is Healthy Richmond doing?

The Restorative Practices for Schools project is led by the Catholic Charities of the East Bay and seeks to transform the ways in which we respond to behavior and value relationships as a means of improving the life and educational outcomes of our children and youth.

This project works with Richmond and West Contra Costa Unified School District schools to empower schools to shift from punitive disciplinary processes that disconnect students from their school community (suspensions, expulsions) and fuel the school to prison pipeline, and instead adopt alternative strategies that promote personal accountability, social/emotional learning and school connectedness and engagement.  In Academic Year 2012-13, this project provided restorative practices training, technical assistance and on-site coaching services to 9 WCCUSD schools including Richmond High, DeAnza High, DeJean Middle School, Ford Elementary and North Campus Alternative High School. For more information from our Healthy Richmond Partner, please contact Millie Burns, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the East Bay at