Race Equity Grants

LFW is proud to launch the Race Equity Grant program, a $75,000 fund based on the principle that creating fair access to civil justice means undoing systemic racial oppression. The grants center racial equity because of the historical impact of racism in our country and the disparate outcomes it has created and continues to create for communities of color, especially in the justice system.

We aim to invest in the leadership of those closest to social justice challenges, working together to create a stronger and more equitable legal aid network. Our goals are to:

  • invest in communities most impacted by structural racism and oppression;
  • support community- and client-centered approaches to legal aid;
  • increase civil legal aid awareness and opportunities for communities of color; and
  • build race-conscious 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 (read more below). The panel provides insight into the challenges facing Washington’s communities of color and ensures that LFW grants connect to their concerns.

Congratulations to the 2019 grantees:

Center for Justice
Addressing racial inequality in Spokane through policy advocacy, community legal clinics, and post-conviction and re-entry services.

Cowlitz Wahkiakum Legal Aid
Advancing race equity in Southwest Washington with community trainings, outreach, and organizational capacity building.

Disability Rights Washington
Integrating movement lawyering into a statewide action plan to better serve people with disabilities in communities of color.

Dispute Resolution Center of Yakima & Kittitas
Opening new inroads at the courts for Spanish-speaking families previously excluded from linguistic and cultural access.

Entre Hermanos & QLaw Foundation
Expanding statewide services to Latinx LGBTQ immigrants through direct representation of asylum seekers, legal clinics, and trainings for volunteer attorneys.

Seattle Clemency Project
Advocating for clemency for refugees around the state who are at risk of being deported and separated from family due to prior convictions for which they have already served time.

Tenants Union of Washington State
Building the power of low income renters of color to advocate for just cause eviction, rent control, and housing justice.

Washington Parole Coalition
Organizing community members impacted by mass incarceration, survivors of violence, and civil legal aid providers to bring comprehensive parole reform to Washington.

West African Community Council
Achieving legal status and permission to work for Limited English Proficient members of Seattle’s growing West African community.

What’s Next Washington & Freedom Project
Removing systemic barriers to re-entry by building skills, support, and resources for people directly impacted by the criminal justice system.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Advisory Panel

The panel made recommendations for the 10 grant recipients and elected Carmen Pacheco-Jones, a public health advocate and chair of the Spokane Regional Law & Justice Council’s Racial Equity Committee, as chair. Her fellow panelists are:

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

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.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Who can apply: Civil legal aid providers or organizations in partnership with civil legal aid providers

Grant amount: Up to $7,500

Deadline for applications: All funds have been awarded for 2019. We anticipate the next funding cycle will occur in early 2020.

Apply for a Race Equity Grant

Questions? Contact the LFW Grants Manager by phone (206) 957-6290 or email.