Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center in Kearny Mesa. Courtesy of Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente, which has 4.6 million members in Southern California, has announced a $100 million initiative to address systemic racism in the community.

They argue that the cycles of stress and trauma caused by racism lead to poor health outcomes. The campaign includes $75 million in loans and grants to support Black- and minority-owned small businesses.

“The tragic murder of George Floyd and so many others have reverberated around the world, pushing us to demand overdue change to a status quo that keeps communities of color in the margins and holds us all back as a society,” said Greg A. Adams, chairman and CEO of the Oakland-based health care company.

“As a country, this is a moment to define who we are and what we stand for,” Adams said. “We must take strong action to stop the physical, psychological, economic and social impacts of inequity and systemic racism so that we can create healthier communities where everybody, regardless of their skin color, can feel safe and thrive.”

The company’s efforts will include:

  • a $60 million loan initiative with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. The aim is to support Black- and minority-owned businesses for long-term economic success;
  • $15 million in grants to provide coaching, professional services and networking, along with COVID-19 recovery/growth capital, for Black- and minority-owned businesses;
  • $25 million in grants to build on the company’s Adverse Childhood Experiences research and trauma work, and to support grassroots efforts to end systemic racism;
  • an “internal equity analysis and redesign of the company’s core talent systems, paired with science-based strategies” to address unconscious bias in the hiring process.

– City News Service

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