Kaiser Permanente has donated $500,000 to five nonprofit and community organizations that work to address systemic racism, the nonprofit insurance provider announced on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
"In recent days, weeks, and months, the conversation about race and ending systemic racism has intensified in our state and nation. We are grateful to Kaiser Permanente for engaging not just in conversation but action, enabling us to help support and advance our work in a real and meaningful way," said Timothy Tyler, the pastor of Denver’s Shorter Community AME Church.
In addition to Shorter Community AME, Kaiser also donated to the BIPOC Alliance of Larimer County, Pikes Peak United Way, Creative Strategies for Change and Young Aspiring Americans for Social and Political Activism.
The company indicated it will seek the input of racial and social justice experts to evaluate the impact of the grants. In June, Kaiser announced it would provide $100 million through various means to address the hurdles that have historically existed between Black communities and health.
“We have always been this organization, I think, that has been a beacon for peace, justice, social equality,” Greg A. Adams, the chairman and CEO of Kaiser, told the San Francisco Business Times last year.
“There's a story about Sidney Garfield, our physician co-founder, going to Henry Kaiser and saying, ‘Our medical societies are really complaining and we're having problems because we have white patients and black patients who we're treating together in the same room,’” said Adams, who is Black. “And Henry said to him, ‘Well, is there a different treatment protocol?’ And he said, ‘No.’ and Henry said, ‘Well, end of discussion.’”