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 within 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 legal aid;
  • increase civil legal aid opportunities 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 work in Washington State.

Grant amount: Twelve $10,000 grants will be awarded each year.

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

Apply for a Race Equity Grant

Please join our informational webinar for more information on Friday July 31st at 2PM.

Join by computer, tablet or smartphone or call (571) 317-3122

Access Code: 846-353-061

If you cannot attend our informational webinar, you can access the slides here or watch a previous recording below.

Questions or feedback? Contact LFW Grants Coordinator Christal Chiu by email or at (206) 957-6289.

Spring 2020 Grantees:

Colectiva Legal del Pueblo
Building community power for migrant justice through pro bono and low bono legal services, advocacy, and education to combat the immigration detention and deportation systems.

Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Legal Aid
Increasing access to justice for underserved communities in Southwest Washington, through an Equity & Justice Community Coordinator position to conduct community trainings and outreach.

Dispute Resolution Center of Yakima & Kittitas
Expanding services for Spanish-speaking families working through divorce or parenting plans by training bilingual mediators in Yakima County, where Latinx people are half of the population.

Fair Work Center
Establishing a peer training promotores program to prepare farmworkers to facilitate health and safety and know-your-rights trainings for their coworkers throughout the Yakima Valley.

Legal Counsel for Youth and Children
Conducting focus groups to understand how the civil legal aid system can improve accessibility and cultural competency to better serve youth and young adults of color in King County.

Living with Conviction
Empowering formerly incarcerated individuals to end onerous legal financial obligations (LFOs), which disproportionately impact communities of color and perpetuate cycles of poverty.

See all grantees from previous cycles here.

Advisory Panel

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

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.