Through the strategic equity planning process, Orange County Grantmakers has developed an equity framework which is the basis for our equity commitments and goals. We understand that issues surrounding equity are complex and will constantly evolve. This equity framework is meant to anchor strategic decisions in a shared understanding of equity, while at the same time providing space for continued growth and development. The framework includes an identification of root causes of inequity, drivers of equity, our evolving definition, and a perspective on collective strategies.

Orange County Grantmakers (OCG) envisions an Orange County where philanthropists and nonprofits work together as partners to achieve equity for our most impacted communities.

Orange County Grantmakers advances equity by creating strategic alignment and cultivating transformational relationships and leadership among OC philanthropists and nonprofits.

Equity Framework: From Inclusion to Justice

Orange County Grantmakers recognizes that equity requires the alignment of systems and relationships to move from inclusion towards justice.


Impacted communities gain access and/or opportunities to participate in decisions that affect their lives



Impacted communities gain a non-token seat at the decision-making table


Impacted communities gain the authority and resources to set their own priorities and make their own decisions


Equity Framework: Advancing equity from direct services to systems change advocacy

Strategies must be aligned to impact root causes of inequity, and there is a role for everyone.

Making systems work equitably (e.g., policies to increase the amount and accessibility of affordable housing)

Building capacity to navigate existing systems (e.g., how to navigate affordable housing programs)

Addressing immediate needs (e.g., by providing rental assistance or legal representation)

Root Causes
of Inequity

Increasing impact from individual to community

of Inequity

OC Grantmakers makes the following commitments to advance equity

OCG will apply these commitments to strategic planning and ongoing programing decisions. OCG will work with philanthropists to consider how they might apply these commitments within their own varied spheres of influence, including personal and institutional.

Orange County Grantmakers invites philanthropists to join us on our journey to create a more equitable Orange County through:

8 Equity Goals

Goal #1

Create Power Sharing Spaces with the Nonprofit Community

Goal #2

Align OCG Affiliate Groups Around The OCG Equity Commitments

Goal #3

Serve as a Hub for Funders to Connect to Organizations doing Equity Work

Goal #4

Target Outreach for Capacity Building and Training to Geographies and demographics of highest need.

Goal #5

Advance Equity Internally and Externally by Integrating a Focus on Equity, Justice and Systematic Racism Into all our Programming

Goal #6

Promote Best Practices

Goal #7

Engage with Native Nations

Goal #8

Develop a Sustainable Leadership Pipeline for Bipoc Foundation Leaders and Staff

How do we build a compassionate and inclusive America in an age of distrust? WAJAHAT ALI knows from personal experience that when we come together to be the superheroes of our own stories, we can create honest social change. The beloved TED speaker has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and The Atlantic about our urgent issues—immigration, politics, parenthood—with boldness, hope, and humor. His memoir Go Back to Where You Came From, one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Year, follows his life as a Muslim Pakistani-American on a surprising, emotional, and challenging quest for the good life. Iconic journalist Katie Couric says that “we are all so fortunate to be on the receiving end of his intellect, his humanity, and his heart.”

Wajahat Ali

“With wit and charm, Ali delivers a masterful meditation on growing up brown in America...he gives us a clear-eyed affirmation of the country America could be.” — Mara Gay, New York Times

Wajahat Ali uses his platform to fight tirelessly for the social change we need in our country—and he isn’t afraid to get personal while doing it. The Daily Beast columnist and former New York Times writer, TED speaker, award-winning playwright, and Peabody-nominated producer of the documentary series The Secret Life of Muslims offers us his experiences of triumph over hardship as a beacon of hope and resilience in the face of life’s impossible situations. From his experiences of Islamophobia growing up as a Muslim Pakistani-American to his two-year-old daughter’s liver cancer diagnosis, Wajahat is living proof that when we share our authentic stories, we build the America we wish to live in.”

In his memoir Go Back to Where You Came From: And Other Helpful Recommendations on How to Become American, Wajahat teaches us how to create our own superhero origin story, invest in hope for the future of America, and enact real social change. The book was called “biting and funny and full of heart” by NPR. Representative Ilhan Omar called Wajahat’s work “hilarious” and “deeply moving”, and legendary writer Dave Eggers said it was the book he’d “been hoping Wajahat Ali would write for ten years—hilarious, stylistically fearless, deeply humane.”

Wajahat is also the author of The Domestic Crusaders—the first major play about Muslim-Americans in a post-9/11 world. He was the lead researcher and author for the Center for American Progress’s seminal report “Fear Inc., Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” and served as a national correspondent for Al Jazeera America, where he told stories about communities and individuals often marginalized or under-reported in mainstream media.

As Creative Director of Affinis Wajahat Labs, he worked to create social entrepreneurship initiatives to support and uplift marginalized communities. He also worked with the US State Department to design and implement the “Generation Change” leadership program to empower young social entrepreneurs. Wajahat initiated chapters in eight countries, including Pakistan and Singapore. For his work, he was honored as a “Generation Change Leader” by Sec. of State Clinton and recognized as an “Emerging Muslim American Artist” by the Muslim Public Affairs Council. 

He has given keynote speeches around the world such as TED, The Aspen Ideas Festival, Google, the United Nations, and The New Yorker Festival. His writing appears regularly in the New York TimesThe Atlantic, the Washington Post, and The Guardian. He’s a Senior Fellow at The Western States Center and Auburn Seminary and co-host of Al Jazeera’s The Stream.