The San Diego Foundation – Black Community Investment Fund

Since 1975, The San Diego Foundation has dramatically improved the quality of life for San Diego residents through donors, volunteers, and visionary leaders.

The Black Community Investment Fund, co-founded by the San Diego Foundation and the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce, increases racial equity and generational wealth for Black San Diego people through education, employment, entrepreneurship and housing.

Watch the video above to learn more about the Black Community Investment Fund’s innovative efforts, or read the full transcript we’ve provided below (lightly edited for clarity).

Pamela Gray Payton, Vice President, Head of Impact and Partnerships, SD Foundation (00:02) – The San Diego Foundation inspires sustainable philanthropy to create community solutions. So we are essentially a community foundation that works directly with philanthropists who want to deposit money with the San Diego Foundation to contribute directly to nonprofits in our area. Or, they come to us and ask us to help them find non-profit associations to support causes that interest them.

(00:27) – In 2020, the San Diego Foundation, largely in response to the social unrest we were seeing across the country, launched a program in conjunction with the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce, called the Black Community Investment Fund. The Black Community Investment Fund is intended to be a supportive resource to help build generational wealth within Black communities in San Diego.

(00:52) – With this initiative, we decided to focus on four disparities based on a lot of data collected to really understand what are the key areas that, if we were to make investments, could really impact the improving the life trajectory for Black San Diegans and really helping them build generational wealth.

(01:12) – And so the conclusion was that there were four things we could focus on, which were education, entrepreneurship support, workforce support, and professional training. And then the fourth concerned home ownership.

The San Diego Foundation, Black Community Investment Fund

Ritha Rowe, new owner (01:26) – All the living space is upstairs… For our family, the opportunity to buy a house was life changing. If you do what you’re supposed to do, you’ll work and stay out of trouble. And you know, you just want to have a little piece of something that’s yours. And so by getting the grant, we now have our first place.

polypropylene (01:48) – There are fewer blacks as a percentage of San Diego’s population who own their homes than any other minority group. And so we thought if we were to invest in a program that actually helped increase homeownership for Black San Diegans, that would have the long-term effect of helping build and increase generational wealth in the region.

Tyshawn Cook, new owner (02:10) – So this is my kitchen. When it comes to generational wealth, my thoughts have been: buy property, buy more property, sell or rent. You know, it comes from my dad, mostly. It wasn’t too long before I bought this place bought a place. Well, he did. Why can’t I do it? So I brought my little brother here. In fact, he’s living with me right now. I want him then to follow in my footsteps.

polypropylene (02:35) – Anyone interested in learning more about the program can contact the San Diego Foundation, which is

RR (02:44) – On behalf of our entire family, I truly express my gratitude. Because in 2021 we had our very first Christmas of our own and that was due to people paying it forward.

For more articles on Black History Month, visit

Jill E. Washington