The following is a press release from King County.
King County and Seattle Foundation selected 27 nonprofit organizations that will help improve health, social and economic outcomes in the region. The total of $2.5 million in competitive grants will help confront startling racial inequities in King County.
The community partners will achieve multiple goals, such as empowering small family businesses facing displacement, connecting youth of color with city leaders to prevent violence, and making it possible for more people of color to participate in the green economy.
“For far too long, the strengths, talents, and solutions of communities of color have been overlooked or undervalued,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “The partnerships we announce today will empower communities of color to help shape the future of our region, helping ensure that all people of King County have the opportunity to thrive.”
This is the latest round of investments from Communities of Opportunity – a partnership between King County and Seattle Foundation – which is governed by leaders from community organizations, local governments, and philanthropies.
“We are setting a course for positive change by tapping into community expertise and supporting community priorities,” said Tony Mestres, President and CEO of Seattle Foundation. “This latest round of community investments holds true to our shared vision with King County to further civic engagement, advance community leadership and support community priorities.”
Communities of Opportunity is funded jointly through Seattle Foundation and Best Starts for Kids, a voter-approved initiative led by Executive Constantine to promote healthier, more resilient children, youth, families, and communities in King County.
Here are a few examples of the partnerships funded by Communities of Opportunity grants:
- Casa Latina will work to develop and advocate for a Bill of Rights that better protects domestic workers and removes loopholes in employment laws that often exclude domestic workers.
- Federal Way Youth Action Team will expand its work to engage youth of color in policy making. This includes engaging city leaders to discuss vital issues with young people, including violence prevention approaches.
- Friends of Little Saigon received a capacity-building award to engage small family businesses to mitigate changes in the neighborhood and to strengthen Little Saigon in Seattle’s International District as a cultural hub for the larger Vietnamese population.
- Got Green will address disparities that often keep people of color from participating in the green economy internships and careers. This includes investing in fellowship programs to develop young leaders in the environmental justice movement.
- Here is a complete list of the systems and policy change grants. The 27 nonprofits that successfully competed for the Communities of Opportunity grants will work with partners, so a total of 50 nonprofits will contribute to the work.
In King County – one of the most prosperous metropolitan regions in the United States – race, income, and ZIP codes are major predictors of a person’s health and life expectancy. King County and Seattle Foundation are partnering with community organizations to advance policies and strengthen systems to dismantle persistent racial injustice.