Civic Wellbeing Partners

Civic Wellbeing Partners is a startup non-governmental organization fiscally sponsored by the Santa Monica Bay Human Relations Council with roots inside Santa Monica City government.

We partner with residents, local organizations, and a network of national and international wellbeing thought leaders and practitioners to increase civic engagement and social infrastructure.

The ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis have underscored that the advancement of civic wellbeing is needed more than ever before. Recent social unrest calling for racial equity, justice, and accountability demands an understanding of pervasive inequities. In measuring and improving wellbeing together, in a multidisciplinary way, we address barriers, envision new realities, and ultimately drive to better outcomes.

Wellbeing Microgrants

The Wellbeing Microgrants program empowers Santa Monica residents to take direct, small-scale action intended to advance new policies and spark conversations (http://santamonicawellbeing.org/microgrants). Designed in 2018 with the nationally-recognized Cities of Service, Wellbeing Microgrants quickly developed a proven track record.

This funding enables us to award three new cohorts, systematize program evaluation, and develop new training and capacity-building.

We use findings from our innovative Wellbeing Index to prompt microgrant applicants. We ask them to consider local strengths and challenges across issues of economic opportunity, place and planet, health, learning, and community. Awardees develop and lead the solutions based on their unique skills, expertise, and networks. We provide assistance throughout, connecting microgrant leaders to a cross-section of local entities – government, non-profit, business, and community leaders – who act as allies and microgrant force-multipliers.

This round, the Wellbeing Microgrant leaders are:

Lead NameProject Description
Paula GoldmanSMHopes: An Archive of Hopes & Dreams
Patricia McCallKeeping Kansas Clean
Gabriela PaniaguaEmpower Santa Monica through Youth Entrepreneurship
Chelsea LawsonSustainability Education at the Pico Farmers Market
Nailah MuiedNubia’s Spoken Word Workshop
Mark Vickers-WillisCritical Conversations
Daniel ThurmondPlanting Beds at the Pico Roots Community Garden
Casey Fienberg & Kim HansenBooks for Kids
Samara McCardellNicotine Anonymous
Kalina SilvermanBig Talk for the Community
Ebony TaySounds and Words- An Evening of Transcendents

To get connected with any of these great projects through June 2022, please email cityofwellbeing@gmail.com.

The Wellbeing Index

The Wellbeing Index was created in 2014 from Bloomberg Philanthropies $1m government innovation prize, (http://santamonicawellbeing.org/about/wellbeing-index).

The Index provides a baseline for understanding what contributes to wellbeing and how the city and community can work to improve it. By understanding more about what makes us thrive, we can work together on making meaningful changes in our community.

The index combines data we have, determines what new types of data we need to gather, and integrates in new ways all of the available information. It brings together a variety of data from City measures, an extensive resident survey and social media in six distinct yet connected categories of what research shows drive wellbeing.