Race Equity Grants

LFW believes that creating fair access to civil justice requires undoing systemic racial oppression. We are committed to becoming an anti-racist organization and strive to reflect racial justice and inclusion in all of our grantmaking. Read more about LFW’s commitment to anti-racism here.

LFW created the Race Equity Grant fund to build power within communities that have been historically overlooked in philanthropy and to combat the disparate outcomes that racism creates for people of color, particularly in the justice system.

Our goals are to:

  • invest in communities most impacted by structural racism and oppression;
  • support community- and client-centered approaches to civil legal aid;
  • increase civil justice for communities of color; and
  • build and support anti-racist organizations and leadership.

The Race Equity Grant program is built on a participatory grantmaking model. An advisory panel of community experts who have worked on race equity issues and/or lived in communities impacted by poverty and racism review grant applications and make recommendations for funding. The panel provides insight into the challenges facing Washington’s communities of color and ensures that LFW grants connect to their concerns.

Who can apply: Civil legal aid providers or organizations in partnership with civil legal aid providers are eligible to apply. Grant proposals can be for new or existing projects, including operational expenses, and must be focused on civil legal aid work in Washington State. If you have an open Race Equity Grant and have not submitted your final report, you will not be eligible to apply until the final report is submitted.

Grant amount: Six $20,000 grants will be awarded in the spring; ten $10,000 grants will be awarded in the fall.

Deadline for applications: This grant has two funding cycles each year. Application deadlines are April 15 and August 15. View the application here.

Apply for a Race Equity Grant

Watch a recording of our informational webinar on applying for a Race Equity Grant below.

Questions or feedback? Contact LFW Grants Coordinator Arielle Handforth by email.

Spring 2021 Race Equity Grantees

La Casa Hogar
Increasing access to naturalization services among rural, immigrant, Latinx lawful permanent residents of the Yakima Valley, by training and equipping community fellows for Department of Justice accreditation.

Living with Conviction
Empowering formerly incarcerated people of color and with low incomes to know and claim their rights to relief from the onerous court-imposed debt of legal financial obligations.

Seattle Clemency Project
Providing long-term, individualized support to men and women reentering the community after serving excessively long prison sentences, including: civil legal aid, employment assistance, counseling, training, education, and basic needs.

Building power among incarcerated youth (up to age 25) by working directly with them to plan, develop, and begin constructing a law library that meets their needs to understand the law and change their circumstances.

The Way to Justice
Expanding the availability of civil legal aid services for the BIPOC community in Spokane County while continuing to call the broader legal and justice system to examine and dismantle its racism.

Wenatchee for Immigrant Justice
Supporting immigrants in Wenatchee and the surrounding area needing financial assistance with the costs of applying for DACA, US citizenship and replacement of permanent residency cards.

See all grantees from previous cycles here.

Advisory Panel

Our current panel includes:

Carmen Pacheco-Jones (pictured below with her daughter and granddaughter) answered a few questions about the panel:

Photo by Deborah Espinosa for Living with Conviction

What is the value of a grant advisory panel?

When you bring multiple voices together, with multiple experiences and different dynamics and stories, you really get the individuals that are stepping up to serve their communities and who are the first responder-types who know what their communities need. So having their voices at the table is so important. They know how to build a program that is going to be meaningful and impactful, and allowing them to have the decision-making capacity gives great value to the programs.

What do you hope to provide to the grantees?

As civil legal aid providers, they are really in the trenches. And through this grant expansion, we’re really interested in communities that have often been excluded to accessing legal aid and looking at what their needs are, and the complexities in communities of color that will help us serve a broader population.

What most excites you about this year’s grants?

We looked at all these different organizations that are doing such impactful work, and thought about how we could share information, learn from one another, partner with one another, through the movement toward equity. I’m most excited about seeing the work that’s going to be done and see the organizations that received these grants really dig in and look at barriers that have inhibited access for communities of color.