2016 Diversity Partner Grant: Criminal Justice

This fall, Washington Women’s Foundation’s Diversity Partner Grant Committee, co-led by members Ann Kumasaka and Donna Lou, will focus its learning and inquiry on the topic of criminal justice. The 30 members serving on this Committee will fund one or more not-for-profit organizations supporting communities that have borne a historical pattern of discrimination resulting in poverty, vulnerability to mistreatment and economic abuse, and continuing social intolerance. 

As with all committees at Washington Women’s Foundation, this Partner Grant experience provides the opportunity for peer-to-peer learning and skill building workshops, each designed to challenge our members to look beyond their personal perspectives. Participating members will:

  • Better understand systemic and institutional racism, especially within our criminal justice system.
  • Explore their own relationships to privilege and oppression.
  • Come to a shared understanding of the terms “race,” “prejudice,” “bias,” “social justice” and “social justice philanthropy.”
  • Become better allies and more informed philanthropists.
Photo of 2016 Diversity Partner Grant committee
2016 Diversity Partner Grant Committee – a record number of participants!

Why Criminal Justice?

Book cover for Just MercyIn WA Women’s Foundation’s 2016 Book Discussion selection Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, author Bryan Stevenson wrote, “Criminal justice in America sometimes seems more criminal than just — replete with error, malfeasance, racism and cruel, if not unusual, punishment, coupled with stubborn resistance to reform and a failure to learn from even its most glaring mistakes.” Read more about the Book Discussion here.

Racial profiling, the school-to-prison pipeline, and policies and practices that may seem race-neutral have contributed to a criminal justice system that disproportionately targets people of color and poor people. Nationally, an African-American person is 5 times as likely as a white person to be incarcerated. In Washington State, African-Americans are 5.5 times as likely; Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Native Americans are 3 times as likely; and Hispanics/Latinxs are 1.5 times as likely as whites to be in prison. The Committee will seek to better understand the institutional and systemic reasons for these disproportionate outcomes and ways not-for-profit organizations are working to address them.


Our Partner: Social Justice Fund Northwest

Logo of community partner Social Justice Fund NorthwestEach Partner Grant Committee benefits from the expertise of a fellow community grant maker, and we are excited to announce a new partnership withSocial Justice Fund Northwest (SJF). Like us, SJF is a member-funded, member-led grant making organization. SJF fosters significant, long-term social justice solutions throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Participating SJF members engage in a deep process of learning about race, class, fundraising and social change. SJF supports organizations that are led by people from the communities most impacted by injustice and inequality.

Join Us to Celebrate

Our Diversity Partner Grant Showcase will be held Tuesday, December 13, 10 – 11:30 a.m. This is a great opportunity to learn from fellow members, our partner grant maker and our grant award winner! Read more and register here.


Resources To Learn More

We have more resources available in the Washington Women’s Foundation offices – please contact us to receive more.

Through our groundbreaking model of women-powered, collective philanthropy, Washington Women’s Foundation has awarded $16 million in transformational grants that have enabled not-for-profit organizations to improve lives, protect the environment, advance health and education and increase access to the arts throughout Washington state.

All women are invited to join our strong and inclusive collective of informed women influencing community transformation. The challenges ahead of us are never as great as the power behind us. www.wawomensfdn.org

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