During the summer of 2023, a group of Washington Women’s Foundation (WaWF) members and community members met several times to review applications submitted for our Advocacy Grants, which were submitted as part of our Collective Grants process. The committee split into three subgroups to review and research organizations in our 2023 priorities: Early Childhood Education, Food Sovereignty & Security, and Reproductive Justice & Maternal Healthcare.
The committee had great conversations about what Advocacy can mean, what our role can be in funding advocacy, and learning about the many advocacy priorities of our nonprofit partners. Stay tuned for more lessons learned from the committee coming soon!
Through a collective process, the grant committee decided to make three $15,000 grants to organizations. We are delighted to introduce them to you today and encourage you to visit their websites and support their work.
Early Childhood Education: Arts Impact
Arts Impact engages educators, children, and youth from marginalized communities, especially BIPOC, Migratory and Tribal families, in culturally grounded, arts integrated learning so that each student thrives academically, artistically, socially and emotionally.
Arts Impact has an impressive number of active advocacy partnerships, including the offices of Migrant Education, Arts Education, and Native Education at WA’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. They are active participants in the Arts For All Coalition, and advocate locally for arts integrated learning with the school communities and districts they serve.
Food Sovereignty & Security: Community to Community Development
Community to Community Development, or De Comunidad a Comunidad (C2C) is a farmworker women-led place-based organization in Skagit and Whatcom Counties, with statewide political and organizing influence. C2C offers support, training, and mentoring toward the creation of Latinx and Indigenous farmworker-led, self-governing, community-based efforts, such as unions, policy task forces, cooperatives, organic farming, and land-based enterprises. As leader Rosalinda Guillen says, “our overarching principle is ecofeminism, meaning that we are part of Mother Earth and she has a vote in our decisions about our projects. Environmental justice is fundamental to everything we do because our lives depend on it.”
Farmworker leaders organize in the fields. C2C quickly organizes direct actions such as campaigns, vigils, protests or picketing when immigrant and farmworker justice issues arise. C2C builds collective power and supports community direct-action leadership from the most impoverished communities all the way to the highest policy levels to institutionalize their wins. One of their current advocacy projects is the The Civic Engagement project (Formacion Civica), which is focused on getting young Latinos, aged 18-24, registered to vote.
Reproductive Justice & Maternal Healthcare: Open Arms Perinatal Services
Open Arms works to provide community-based support during pregnancy, birth, and early parenting to nurture strong foundations that last a lifetime.
Open Arms has always advocated for systems change efforts on issues that advance health and well-being of pregnant/parenting people, foster early learning, and promote infant mental health. Open Arms works alongside organizational partners and community members to advance birth equity and health justice at the local, state, and federal levels. Examples include helping to found Doulas For All in Washington State to drive change in Medicaid policy so that all birthing people, regardless of income, can access quality perinatal support. Open Arms has also contracted with a lobbyist to educate legislators about the importance of expanding Medicaid coverage.