When You Trust Black Women: The Rest and Repair Awards

In 2023, WaWF completed the second round of Rest & Repair Awards. I shared some initial reflections last February and am now honored to introduce you to this year’s awardees and share some additional learnings.  

We have learned things along the way that we hope to bring more fully into the way our foundation operates every day.   

  • We learned that other funders are very interested in this kind of individual funding as way to combat inequities. I’ve fielded calls from as far away as London, UK, from people interested in learning more about how we put this grant together. Other funders have reached out to talk about how they’re working to fund sabbaticals, cover health care costs, or even establish some pilot Guaranteed Income strategies. Maybe addressing wealth inequality by redistributing wealth is catching on! How do we build on this? 
  • We learned that it’s hard to measure the impact of giving people room to breathe. We know that the Rest and Repair Awards gave awardees ease. That while money does not buy happiness it most definitely can give access to space, to time, to worries relieved. But how do you measure the drop of one’s shoulders? How do you quantify taking a deep breath? How do you calculate the value and power of time to rest and repair? Maybe we can’t measure it. Maybe some things we just have to believe are worthy of support. As funders, perhaps we need to explore just believing that something is inherently valuable and worthy of our investment. We learned through the Rest and Repair Awards that rest matters. So now that we know that, how do we measure ease and, better yet, how do we systematize it?   
  • This grant taught us, emphatically, that remarkable, innovative ideas flourish if philanthropic funding decisions are made BY the community of people the funding is FOR. If we hadn’t had a Cohort of Black women deciding how these funds would be spent – Black women who themselves knew what it was like to be leaders in the community, who were heads of organizations and understood what would be needed to truly rest as a Black Woman in America, I don’t think Washington Women’s Foundation would have landed on giving six-figure gifts to individuals with no expectations or string attached. Our cohort of Black women layered trust of Black women into every aspect of this award. We trusted Black women. And in return they gave us a new, fresh way to think about how to give. How do we systematize THAT?! 

Last year our awardees were cautious of sharing their names with the wider public, and we honored their desire for anonymity. This year’s awardees said yes to having their names shared. It gives me great joy to share with you the names of our five Rest and Repair Awardees for 2023. These women have made our state a better place to live, often without much acknowledgment or support. I am deeply honored that Washington Women’s Foundation can do something about that.  

The Washington Women’s Foundation 2023 Rest and Repair Awardees 


Ms. Kimberly Rinehardt 

Ms. Rinehardt is the Executive Director of the Mason County HOST program, the only transitional youth housing program for unaccompanied homeless youth in Mason County. HOST supports high school students who are homeless and unaccompanied, by pairing them with families and offering wrap-around services: food access, mental health support, academic support, mentorship, advocacy and guidance for those interested in going to college.  

Kim has transformed HOST from a fledgling organization to a stable and extremely effective non-profit providing unique and indispensable services to vulnerable Latinx, Black, Indigenous, white and queer youth and families across Mason County. HOST also provides services and support to indigenous Mam and Q’anjob’al-speaking migrant youth from Guatemala whose distinct identities, experiences and needs often go unrecognized in the community. HOST’s successes are astounding. Unaccompanied homeless youth in the Shelton School district who did not participate in HOST had a graduation rate of about 35%. HOST participant graduation rates were in the 90th percentile.  

Dr. Robin Jones 

Due to all forms of racism and classism, many of Dr. Jones’ clients have been refused or denied dental care from other dentists over their lifetimes and have nowhere else to turn. For over 35 years she has been providing dental care for many of our most precariously situated residents in a state where culturally informed dental care is often difficult to secure. 

To serve her clientele regardless of their ability to pay, she created Children’s International Health Relief (CIHR). CIHR has been in existence for over 20 years and through this organization Dr. Jones has brought culturally competent dental care to homeless and low-income communities across Washington State with her mobile dentistry clinic at shelters, rehab centers, youth detention facilities, schools, Powwows, churches, cultural events, health fairs and Walmart parking lots. Dr. Jones has used her position to foster new generations of dental and medical professionals and provide free dental care for those who would otherwise have gone without across Washington state. 

Ms. Jeanett Charles 

Over twenty-five years ago, after overcoming their own struggles, Ms. Charles and her husband became committed to getting their children back from Child Protective Services. After successfully overcoming many barriers faced by parents trying to reclaim their children from CPS, they realized that fathers specifically faced a daunting task when attempting to reconnect with their children. Now committed to helping other fathers successfully navigate CPS and re-unify with their children, together Jeanett and her husband Marvin founded DADS: Divine Alternatives for Dads Services. 

She has managed to grow DADS from a grass roots, volunteer-based organization, to an over $1,000,000 per year, multidimensional, direct service agency. Her leadership has resulted in over 5,000 fathers being served and over 13,000 children being reunited with their dads. 59% of these fathers have a history of incarceration, 18% have a history of substance use. 83% are men of color. DADS has developed a community of over 5000 fathers who continue to support one another in their recovery and in their life as engaged dads. Jeanett lights a way forward, even when others can’t see it. 

Ms. Napal Tesfai 

Ms. Tesfai leads by example in everything she does, practicing community-centered, healing engagement in her work.  As Executive Director of Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services or ADWAS, she changed the organization’s entire approach to trauma-informed care, focusing on collective healing and future stability in order to reduce the barriers Deaf, and DeafBlind domestic violence survivors face in gaining housing security. Napal has helped countless Deaf and DeafBlind Individuals find housing, medical, and legal services. She has worked with service providers in education to teach them how to work with DeafBlind individuals. She has increased awareness in the general public on Deaf culture and needs, and she has supported DeafBlind individuals in learning to be self-advocates. 

Ms. Monique “Mo” Patterson 

Ms. Patterson has created change for countless single and pregnant mothers experiencing homelessness by launching Next Chapter. The purpose of Next Chapter is to fill a gap in the current environment and provide a safe and supportive communal place to live for pregnant women, single mothers, and their children who are experiencing homelessness in Pierce County, while helping them address their individual barriers to housing. Mo has established a framework of training and support for single mothers that includes regular check-ins on family budgets, maintaining physical, social, and emotional health, and the job stability and growth needed to create a pathway to home ownership. A unique cornerstone component of Next Chapter is the work they put in to improve women’s credit scores. Mo’s work transforms women’s lives.  

Please join us in honoring these Five Amazing Women! 

Click here to view pictures of the 2024 Rest and Repair Award Celebration!


We have come to a crossroads for the Rest and Repair Awards. After 2023 Rest and Repair will be going on a hiatus, and possibly ending, as the additional funding needed to sustain this level of giving is substantial. If anyone is interested in assisting with a campaign to endow this award so that it can continue to thrive in perpetuity, please contact Maria@wawomensfdn.org. 

1 response to “When You Trust Black Women: The Rest and Repair Awards

  1. I love all of this! Congratulations Sisters. And thank you Maria for making this opportunity a priority. Rest is resistance!

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