First 5 Santa Barbara County Offers Grants to Address Social Justice, Equity

Grants Intended for Groups That Support Children from Newborns up to 5 Years Old

Wendy Sims Moten, Executive Director of First 5 Santa Barbara County. | Credit: Daniel Dreifuss (file)

The First 5 Santa Barbara County Commission for Children and Families (First 5 SBC) is offering grants to nonprofits, schools, and institutes of higher learning that serve children from birth to 5 years old, their families, and those that care for them. Grants include projects that specifically aim to address social justice and equity.

“Systems often are the holders of inequities,” said Wendy Sims-Moten, Executive Director of First 5 Santa Barbara County. “We must do more than close gaps and point to disparities. We must look critically at all facets of our organizations as we strive in all of our work to achieve social and race equity, a state in which all children have the same opportunity to reach the potential we know they have.”  

First 5 has set aside $45,000 for “Capacity Building” grants that are intended to support short-term organization-wide change efforts. The grants can be as much as $15,000 and are intended for building leadership or staff capacity for organizations through professional development activities, such as training, conferences, or certifications. 

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These activities must be in the areas of equity and/or social justice and align with the commission’s strategic plan and First 5’s Social Justice and Racial Equity Statement. The deadline for these applications is Monday, June 6, 2022. 

The commission will also award up to six “Look Ahead Innovation” grants in the amount of $2,500 for opportunities to investigate equity and social justice issues that may have potential to create a change in practice or operational procedures within an organization or community. Applications may be submitted to the commission at any time during the fiscal year, but funding is limited and all projects must be completed by June 1 of the fiscal year awarded.  

Express grants are available for one-time projects or material that help community-based organizations maintain, expand, or improve their ability to serve children and families from birth through age 5. Grant applications must align with the indicators outlined in the First 5 SBC strategic plan. Applications may be submitted once a year for up to $10,000. 

For more information on how to apply, visit

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