Yesterday, Washington Women’s Foundation members announced five recipients of $100,000 grants from the Foundation’s Pooled Fund and five $5,000 Merit Award winners, totaling $525,000 in grants. In the 24 years since the Foundation’s inception, our members have influenced transformation in communities across Washington State by collectively granting over $17 million.
Our focus this year was to support and collectively invest in organizations that are reflective of and embedded in the communities they serve, draw on the strengths and assets of these communities, and are accountable to these communities in order to achieve the long-term goals of increasing equity and reducing disparities. We are delighted to introduce you to this year’s WA Women’s Foundation Grantees and Merit Award Winners!
2019 POOLED FUND GRANT AWARD WINNERS
Arts & Culture: Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA)
DNDA’s mission is focused on integrating art, nature, and neighborhood to build and sustain a dynamic Delridge. DNDA offers a variety of services to meet this goal, from affordable housing to early learning and outdoor education. Our grant will go to their capital campaign titled Elevate Youngstown, to provide urgent structural upgrades to the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, a Southwest Seattle community hub that houses key community-based organizations, including Arts Corps, Totem Star, REEL Grrls, and The Service Board.
Unloop enables people who have been in prison to succeed in careers in the technology industry through education, training, and support. Unloop provides training both in prison and once individuals have been released. Our grant will help support Unloop Studio, their in-house development shop, training incarcerated individuals in coding and software development to create a viable career pathway for formerly incarcerated people in tech in King County.
Environment: Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition
The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group (DRCC/TAG) works to ensure a cleanup of the Duwamish River that is accepted by and benefits the community and protects fish, wildlife, and human health. DRCC is involved in all aspects of the superfund site cleanup plans for the Duwamish River, working to ensure the cleanup meets community standards by restoring environmental health and protecting the fishers and families who use the river as well as reflecting the priorities, values, and will of the people who live and work in the region. Our grant would provide general operating support to strengthen DRCC’s programs.
Health: Cierra Sisters
Cierra Sisters’ mission is to break the cycle of fear and empower African American women and women from underserved communities with knowledge to detect, treat, and overcome breast cancer. Each year, over 100 Cierra Sisters community volunteers provide culturally relevant breast cancer education, support, and direct services to thousands of women in their community. Our grant will help Cierra Sisters build organizational capacity and hire staff, including a new Volunteer Coordinator to oversee the volunteers who annually support marketing, fundraising, and outreach efforts as well as provide in-home visits and transportation.
Human Services: Chief Seattle Club
Chief Seattle Club works to provide a sacred space to nurture, affirm, and renew the spirit of Urban Native Peoples. Chief Seattle Club serves over 1,400 club members, with over 100 members visiting the club for support every day. Services include hot food, medical, mental health, and traditional wellness support, housing assistance, legal aid, trauma-informed job training programs, a day center with showers and laundry, and a Native art program and gallery. Our grant will support their capital campaign to build a mixed-use facility adjacent to their current location in Pioneer Square, Seattle. The project is called ?al?al, which means “home” in Lushootseed.
2019 MERIT AWARD WINNERS
Washington Women’s Foundation presented a $5,000 Merit Award to each of our other five finalist organizations in recognition of the time, effort and goodwill they invested in our rigorous grantmaking process. This year’s Merit Award Winners are:
Arts & Culture: Mari’s Place for the Arts
Mari’s Place for the Arts fosters creativity and self-confidence in over 800 low-income, vulnerable children and teens, ages 3 through 17, through weekly high-quality art, music, dance, and cultural experiences for little or no cost to participants. Mari’s Place for the Arts provides youth with a safe and encouraging environment where they can explore and develop their abilities in a variety of subjects. Based in Everett in Snohomish County and serving children mostly from Everett, Marysville, Mukilteo, and Lake Stevens, Mari’s Place is an all-volunteer, community-led organization.
Para Los Niños (PLN) organizes Latino families to transform communities and create academic and life success for every Latino student. PLN is a grassroots community organization founded by members of the community it serves—the growing immigrant, Spanish-speaking population in South King County. Programs include Aprendamos Juntos (Learning Together), Descubriendo Nuestra Cultura (Discovering Our Culture), and The Leadership Academy. Program goals are lessening the achievement gap for Latino students, building Latino leadership, and empowering Latino families.
Environment: Puget Sound Sage
Puget Sound Sage improves the lives of all families in the Puget Sound by building power for shared prosperity in our regional economy. It combines research, innovative public policy, and community organizing to advance racial equity, a stronger democracy, good jobs, affordable housing, accessible transit, and a healthy environment. Puget Sound Sage has helped shape some of the region’s most dynamic policies for climate, economic, and racial justice and is the go-to resource for coalition building and policy expertise on these issues.
Health: Somali Health Board
The Somali Health Board’s mission is to reduce health disparities in King County’s Somali community. They do this through meaningful partnerships, education for providers and community leaders, and provision of culturally appropriate and relevant services, and they engage their community every step of the way. Somali Health Board’s programs are comprehensive, and range from peer-based nutrition workshops to education on the benefits of vaccines for immigrant communities.
Human Services: Casa Latina
Casa Latina works to advance the power and well-being of Latino immigrants through employment, education, and community organizing. Their vision is that the Latino community participates fully in the economy and democracy of this country. Their Education Program, Day Worker Center, Workers’ Defense Committee, and the Leadership Program are all focused on giving the training, knowledge, and support needed for their community to move toward greater self-sufficiency.
Through our groundbreaking model of women-powered, collective philanthropy, Washington Women’s Foundation has awarded over $17 million in transformational grants that have enabled not-for-profit organizations to improve health outcomes, protect the environment, expand quality educational opportunities, increase access to the arts, and reduce economic disparities throughout Washington state.
All who identify as 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