Race Equity Grants

LFW believes that creating fair access to civil justice requires undoing systemic racial oppression.

Our Race Equity Grants provide multiyear funding to advance racial justice in civil legal aid and build power in communities most impacted by structural racism and oppression. We use a community-driven grantmaking model designed to center the voices of communities most impacted by grantmaking decisions. An advisory panel of community leaders who have lived experience with the legal aid system, poverty, and racism review grant applications and prioritize the projects that will be most impactful.

The goals of the Race Equity Grant Fund 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;
  • build and support anti-racist organizations and leadership; and
  • center those most impacted in the decision making process.

Since the Race Equity Grant program’s inception, 67% of awards went to BIPOC-led organizations and almost half were first-time grantees with LFW. The program also reflects LFW’s statewide reach: 47% percent of grantees work statewide; 29% focus on Central and Eastern WA; 14% percent serve the Puget Sound region, and 10% cover other areas in WA.

Eligible civil justice projects include direct civil legal aid services, systemic advocacy, policy reform, and tribal issues. You can read about recently funded projects below and view all previous Race Equity Grantees here.

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. Eligible civil justice projects include direct civil legal aid services, systemic advocacy, policy reform, and tribal issues. If you have received a past Race Equity Grant, you are eligible to apply if your final report has been submitted or if your grant will conclude by June 30, 2024. 

Grant details: Twenty $50,000 grants will be awarded in 2024, each with two-year terms. Two year term from July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2026.  

Deadline for applications: 11:59pm on April 15, 2024.

Watch our informational webinar below and view the slides here.

Questions or feedback? Contact LFW Grants Manager Arielle Handforth by email or find a time to meet by clicking here.

Descripción general de la Subvención de Igualdad Racial

Legal Foundation of Washington (LFW) considera que para crear un acceso equitativo a la justicia civil es necesario eliminar la opresión racial sistémica.

Nuestras Subvenciones de Igualdad Racial proporcionan financiación plurianual para promover la justicia racial en la asistencia jurídica civil y fomentar el poder en las comunidades más afectadas por la opresión y el racismo estructural. Utilizamos un modelo participativo de concesión de subvenciones diseñado para poner el foco en las voces de las comunidades más afectadas por las decisiones de concesión de subvenciones. Un grupo consultivo de líderes comunitarios que han vivido la experiencia del sistema de asistencia jurídica, la pobreza y el racismo revisa las solicitudes de subvenciones y le da prioridad a los proyectos que tendrán mayor impacto.

Los objetivos del Fondo de la Subvención para Igualdad Racial son los siguientes:

  • invertir en las comunidades más afectadas por la opresión y el racismo estructural;
  • apoyar enfoques de asistencia jurídica civil centrados en la comunidad y en el cliente;
  • aumentar la justicia civil para las comunidades de color;
  • crear y apoyar a organizaciones y a líderes antirracistas; y
  • poner en el centro a las personas más afectadas en el proceso de toma de decisiones.

Quiénes pueden presentar una solicitud: Pueden presentar una solicitud los proveedores de asistencia jurídica civil u organizaciones en asociación con proveedores de asistencia jurídica civil. Las propuestas de subvenciones pueden ser para proyectos nuevos o ya existentes, incluidos los gastos operativos, y deben centrarse en el trabajo de asistencia jurídica civil en el estado de Washington. Si usted ya recibió una Subvención de Igualdad Racial en el pasado, podrá presentar una solicitud si ya se presentó su informe final o si su subvención concluye el 30 de junio de 2024.

Duración de la subvención: Duración de dos años, del 1 de julio de 2024 al 30 de junio de 2026.

Subvenciones concedidas: Se concederán 20 subvenciones de $50,000, cada una de ellas con una duración de dos años

Fecha límite para la presentación de solicitudes: Las solicitudes de subvención deben presentarse antes de las 11:59 p. m. del 15 de abril.

In 2023, LFW awarded ten $40,000 grants, each with two-year terms. Read more about those projects and previously awarded projects.

Advisory Panel

Our current panel includes:

Carmen Pacheco-Jones, former Advisory Panel Chair, (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.