Announcing new Communities of Opportunity Policy & Systems Change awards

King County and Seattle Foundation awarded grants to 17 organizations and coalitions that will help improve health, social, and economic outcomes in the region. The total of $4.15 million in competitive grants through Communities of Opportunity (COO) will help confront racial inequities in King County.

In King County — one of the most propserous metropolitan regions in the United States – race, income, and ZIP codes are major predictors of a person’s health and life expectancy. King County, through Best Starts for Kids, and Seattle Foundation, are partnering with community organizations to advance policies and strengthen systems to dismantle persisitent racial injustice and improve population health.

The community partners will achieve multiple goals, such as building partnerships to address affordable housing and economic opportunity, supporting youth voice in addressing access to healthy school lunches, and supporting a just transition to the green economy.

“Our region has seen a remarkable surge in growth and success, but too many communities across King County haven’t shared in that prosperity,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “The Communities of Opportunity grants invest in the promise to create safe, healthier, better-connected communities where all children and families can flourish.”

Here are a few examples of the partnerships funded by Communities of Opportunity grants:

Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB) will focus on creating culturally attuned and sustainable behavioral health systems, and address gender-based violence and the missing and murdered indigenous women crisis.

Crescent Collaborative will pursue a multi-pronged, community-driven anti-displacement strategy that elevates communities’ voices around shared issues in affordable housing, economic opportunity, healthy, safe communities, and equitable community development.

FEEST youth leaders will continue to build a movement for better student health by organizing for increased access to fresh, free, and culturally relevant school breakfasts and lunches.

UTOPIA will support the development of a leadership cohort to lead queer and trans Pacific Islander action campaigns for the health, safety, wellbeing, empwoerment, and economic stability of QTPI (Queer Trans Pacific Islander) youth, adults, elders and families.

“We are pleased to continue these investments in policy and systems change work led by the communities most impacted by racial inequities. We know that the most meaningful, just and sustainable solutions are generated through community-driven solutions,” saide Andrea Akita, Director of Communities of Opportunity. “The grants to organizations reflect COO’s ongoing commitment to advancing policies and strengthening systems to create a thriving King County for all.”

Here is the complete list of the systems and policy change grants.

The groups that successfully competed for the Communities of Opportunity grants will work with partners, so the work of this cohort will be amplified in collaboration.

“Together with King County, we are supporting community-driven policy solutions to address some of the most critical issues facing our region from Black maternal health, to housing affordability, to access to healthy food – issues that matter to people in their daily lives,” said Tony Mestres, President and CEO of Seattle Foundation. “These grants move us forward on a path for positive change by investing in local expertise and community-led movements for racial equity. Through this partnership, we are working together to make Greater Seattle a stronger, more vibrant community for all.”

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