Seattle Foundation and King County recently awarded grants to 18 community partners to advance systems and policy change to improve health, social, and economic outcomes in the region. This $2.8 million in funding is made through Communities of Opportunity’s Systems and Policy Change strategy.
COO is a unique public-private-community initiative that began in 2014 and is funded jointly by King County through Best Starts for Kids, and Seattle Foundation. This grant program prioritizes investments in community-led and community-engaged efforts to transform systems and policies that will decrease and/or prevent continued racism and inequities related to economic opportunity, health, housing, and community connections in communities of color in King County.
“We are thrilled to work alongside King County to support policy efforts led by communities closest to the issues we’re trying to change,” said Seattle Foundation President Alesha Washington. “In order to foster a joyful and equitable future for those who call Seattle home, we must ensure our systems truly work for everyone.”
Awardees were selected through an open Request for Proposals (RFP). Priority was given to efforts informed and led by those most affected by inequities while also advancing policy work as a mechanism for clear equitable policy outcomes and long-term, systemic change.
The grants are designed to meet communities where they are in their systems and policy change journey and move their policy work forward. Grantees will receive technical assistance and peer learning support, positioning them to work in partnership to strengthen their individual and collective priorities. These grants are made for 2 years with individual organizations receiving $125,000 annually and coalitions receiving $200,000 per year.
“To foster a joyful and equitable future for those who call Seattle home, we must ensure our systems truly work for everyone.”Alesha Washington
Over 70 applicants submitted applications. Grantees selected serve a diverse mix of geographic locations, communities, and issue areas. Communities of Opportunity (COO) looks forward to supporting the work of the following organizations over the next two years:
- Casa Latina
- Chief Seattle Club
- Crescent Collaborative*
- Disability Rights Washington
- Fair Work Center
- Horn of Africa Services*
- India Association of Western Washington*
- New Americans Alliance for Policy and Research*
- Seattle Indian Health Board
- Statewide Poverty Action Network
- Surge for Reproductive Justice
- The Mockingbird Society
- Tubman Center for Health
- Voices of Tomorrow
- Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network
- White Center Community Development Association*
- Open Doors for Multicultural Families (ODMF)**
*Lead organization for a coalition.
Note: Public funds awarded within this strategy are not awarded to undertake a prohibited activity, including lobbying.