MacKenzie Scott Supports Health Leads Strategy to Build Racial Health Equity in U.S. with $8M Investment

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Scott’s gift will serve as foundation of new fund for community-based organizations and workforces 

(Boston, MA and Oakland, CA) – Health Leads, a national non-profit working to address the root causes of racial health inequities, today announced it has received an $8 million investment from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Scott’s contribution will support the organization’s work to build collaborative, community-led networks of health, invest in local services and public health organizations and workforces, and expand efforts in internal staff sustainability. 

Health Leads will use Scott’s gift to build on its existing philanthropic and private-sector partnerships and expand internal capacity to launch a new fund designed to increase access to resources for community-based organizations, set to launch in early 2023.

“As we have seen more clearly than ever throughout the pandemic, local non-profits, service organizations and workforces are best positioned to understand what their communities need to combat racial inequities and improve the living conditions that impact health,” said Health Leads CEO Alexandra Quinn. “Scott’s gift supports our strategy to work with partners to reinforce the role of community-based organizations with funding, power and resources to both provide critical health-related resources while rebuilding systems and policies.”

Scott joins a range of philanthropic partners who facilitate Health Leads’ work, including national initiatives like the Vaccine Equity Cooperative, Community-Based Workforce Alliance and Equity-Oriented Primary Care Innovation Collaborative, and regional initiatives aiming to improve systems around affordable housing in the Bay Area, maternal health in New York and food security in Massachusetts.  

To ensure staff are equitably compensated for their critical work, Health Leads will also commit a portion of the investment to the implementation of the results of a comprehensive internal pay equity audit and plans to continue benefits like flexible/remote schedules and four-day work weeks. 

“The non-profit sector is critical to health and well-being in this country, but while there is an increasing focus on health equity, funding does not typically enable key efforts like pay equity. Non-profit staff, particularly Black, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI and other staff of color are consistently undervalued and underpaid,” said Quinn. “We now can accelerate our pay equity efforts. But it shouldn’t depend on a large grant to pay employees more equitably. We hope other philanthropies follow Scott’s lead to better enable the care and compensation of grantee staff.”

To learn more about Health Leads’ fund to support community-based organizations, reach out to Aziza Musa, Vice President of Philanthropic & Business Partnerships, at


About Health Leads

Health Leads is an innovation hub that seeks to unearth and address the deep societal roots of racial inequity that impact our health. The organization works nationally and locally across the U.S. to build partnerships and redesign systems so that every person, in every community, can live with health, well-being, and dignity. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.