Communities of Opportunity (COO) seeks to improve community conditions in health and well-being by investing in partnerships and coalitions rooted in community (geographic and cultural) who are building community power and implementing strategies for structural change, greater equity, and healthful, thriving communities.
Each of the nine Place-Based and Cultural Community (PBCC) Partnerships selected through a 2022 open request for proposals (RFP) process have shared ideas and priorities, a shared understanding of their collective work, vision, and set of actions that will focus on the root causes of inequities. With this shared strategy and analysis each partnership will work to implement a collaborative project that supports community power building and contributes to better community health, safe and affordable housing, economic opportunity, and strong community connections.
We’re excited to announce the 9 Community Partnership awardees for the COO Place-Based and Cultural Community Partnerships RFP!
All nine Community Partnerships will move forward on strategies to build community power for meaningful structural changes that contribute to greater health and well-being. Partnership project names, partner members, and a summary description of their collaborative work below:
Build 2 Lead (B2L) Legacy P.O.W.E.R. Council (Partners: Build 2 Lead, Momentum Belonging Group, King County Public Health Department, Livia Behavioral Health Services, UW Medicine Physicians Clinic, Morehouse School and Medicine, Leadership Tomorrow and Federal Way Public Schools).
- The Council will create community-based collaborative committees to design the B2L Legacy and Wellness Center hub in partnership with community, health, and wellness partners. This hub will develop an incubator for: community voice, youth and young adult college and career readiness training to prepare for pathways to healthcare careers, on-site mental and behavioral health assessments, education platforms, and safe spaces for collaborative community-centric co-working spaces for under-served residents in South King County.
Chinatown-International District Worker and Organizing Center (Partners: Massage Parlor Outreach Project, Chinatown International District Coalition).
- The Center project will establish a physical space that serves as a hub for organizing, mutual aid, resource access, cultural and wellness events, political education, and the incubation of public safety alternatives to policing. The partnership will support efforts to advance equitable transit-oriented and community-based development strategies that combat displacement, build mutual aid among immigrant massage parlor workers, and build an emergency response hub that provides community-based safety-planning, de-escalation training, and safety pods.
KCDC Community Healthcare Navigation Initiative/Task Force (Partners: Kent Community Development Collaborative (KCDC), Community Network Council, Communities of Rooted Brilliance, Mother Africa, Communities In Schools of Kent and Being Empowered Through Supportive Transitions (BEST)).
- The Initiative/Task Force will address the healthcare disparities faced by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) communities in Kent through education reform, stakeholder/community mobilization, and advocacy. The partnership will partner with local educational institutions to create a culturally responsive health care navigator curricula, increase access to career pathways in the medical & behavioral health fields, and develop policy recommendations and advocate for the creation of a new Workforce Development Plan for greater health and economic development outcomes for BIPOC residents.
LGBTQ+ South King County Collaborative (Partners: LGBTQ Allyship, Entre Hermanos and POCAAN).
- The Collaborative will build a sustainable network of LGBTQ+ led organizations that uses an equity-centered, collective impact framework to advance systems and policy changes toward housing, health, economic, and racial equity for LGBTQ+ communities in South King County.
Refugee Immigrant Community Health (R.I.C.H) Program (Partners: Cham Refugees Community, Omar Bin Al-Khattab Islamic Center, and Somali Cultural Center)
- The R.I.C.H collective will address the mental health access disparities in the Cham, Somali, and Oromo communities in the Rainier Valley and South King County through community engagement, culturally appropriate mental health support, and engaging youth to address the root causes of disparities.
SeaTac Airport Community Coalition for Justice (Partners: Equity in Education Coalition, Beacon Hill Council and El Centro De La Raza, KC Int’l Airport Community Coalition, Quiet Skies Puget Sound and 350 Aviation).
- The Coalition will build capacity to educate and organize BIPOC and immigrant/refugee communities in cities near SeaTac Airport (STA), communities under STA flight paths, and other under-served airport communities to address environmental, health and climate impacts of aircraft air and noise emissions.
Snoqualmie Valley Human Services Coalition (Partners: A Supportive Community for All, Acres of Diamonds, Empower Youth Network, Encompass NW, Holy Innocents Food Pantry, Helping Hands, Hopelink, Huntington Learning Center, Mt Si Senior Center, Mamma’s Hands, Snoqualmie Valley Food Bank, Snoqualmie Valley Shelter Services, Sno-Valley Senior Center and Tolt Congregational UCC Community Connections Program).
- The Coalition will continue to grow and operate the shared Referral & Navigation program to improve access to key resources in the Snoqualmie Valley and to address the systemic inequities that hinder the effectiveness of a coordinated nonprofit ecosystem, and to support more residents in accessing the services they need and help shift the culture of participating organizations to increase equity and reduce staff burnout.
The Burien Collective (Partners: Southwest Youth and Family Services, Lake Burien Presbyterian Church, YES! Foundation, Alimentando Al Pueblo and BLKBRY)
- The Burien Collective will strengthen partnerships between Burien based agencies, leveraging the strength of community connections to mobilize and grow the collective towards a cohesive service network to create a permanent collective space for agencies while filling the gaps that currently exist in the social service net and provide a model for a community-care centered ecosystem.
Together We Heal: Addressing Root Causes of Inequity through Community-Centered Healing (Partners: Freedom Project and Collective Justice)
- Using a community-centered and culturally informed framework, Together We Heal will grow their capacity to build an alternative to the carceral system and disrupt cycles of incarceration by deepening capacity to provide intensive restorative justice training and skill building, and provide healing spaces for the healers within organizations, while providing material resources including housing for communities impacted by violence and incarceration.
*Public funds awarded within this strategy are not awarded to undertake a prohibited activity, including lobbying.
A look at the work ahead
Communities of Opportunity believes that strengthening and supporting community partners’ work to advance equity requires more than just funding—it also means developing and amplifying resources that contribute to community capacity, connectedness, and well-being, for racial, economic, and health equity. Thus, the nine partnerships will also be provided opportunities to engage in capacity building activities – including peer learning and sharing opportunities as a cohort and with the broader COO network of community partners over the course of the funding period.