Two BIPOC women hold and speak to a baby for Roots


Location: Oakland, CA
Founding: November 2019
Founders/leadership: Priya Iyer, founder


Birthing people of color are twice as likely to experience perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMAD) compared to White women. One reason this problem persists is that the Western mental health model in the United States was not designed by and with BIPOC communities. Exacerbated by income, untreated PMADs cost $14 billion annually; and they affect not only the birthing parent but are passed down across three generations. 

Roots mission is to prevent postpartum mood disorders for BIPOC, low income birthing people, and build a legacy of generational mental wellness. Roots believe every birthing person, starting with BIPOC, low income communities in America, should have access to culturally reverent peer education and support around mental wellness during pregnancy and postpartum.

Roots’ mission is driven by domestic birth inequity, and a critical component of this is perinatal mental health. Roots use a text based adaptation of the Mothers and Babies curriculum. The tools and skills taught in this curriculum could prevent up to 50 percent of the episodes related to postpartum depression. 

The goal is to work with 120 BIPOC, low income birthing people in the next nine months by hiring and training three BIPOC peer support specialists and partnering with Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), for their initial pilot starting in April 2022. 

five kids and one adult using objects at table in a classroom setting with a banner that reads

STEM Funders Network

Location: Georgia
Region: National
Founding: 2012 
Founders/leadership: Errika Moore, executive director 

STEM Funders Network (SFN) helps grantmakers leverage their considerable social and economic influence to create equitable access to STEM learning experiences for underrepresented populations — from cradle to career. By transforming and strengthening the STEM philanthropic ecosystem, SFN is leading a collaborative movement that elevates grantmaking standards through informed, intentional investments.

STEM Funders Network members are a diverse mix of private, family, community, and corporate foundations working together to increase the knowledge and expertise of grantmakers investing in STEM, leveraging their collective resources to influence the philanthropic industry positively, and collaborating on high impact projects to create collective impact. 

SFN Believes:

  • Talent is ubiquitous, but unfortunately, opportunities are not. We believe every individual should have an equitable opportunity to engage in high-quality STEM experiences across the learning continuum that will enhance their ability to succeed in a STEM career or other chosen path.
  • We are a driving force for positive change. Our innovative efforts pave the way for new behaviors that support equity in and access to STEM opportunities from early childhood to early career, starting with funding organizations whose considerable power can lead to systemic transformation.
  • Our work is critical to eradicating racial and social injustices that prohibit individuals from achieving full access to STEM learning opportunities that can improve their lives.
  • Initiatives and activities of the STEM Funders Network are informed by research and will be evaluated for effectiveness and impact to measure change.

Supported by the Executive Steering Committee, members come together collectively to identify and pursue overarching strategies, policies, and opportunities that can positively impact the STEM equity ecosystem. Initiatives represent opportunities that reflect multifunder support over the past few years and leverage resources, ideas, and leadership. Each member decides on whether to collaborate with other members on an initiative and how they can collectively support it.

Check out STEM Funders Network’s upcoming events.