Seattle Foundation grants $12.6 million to BIPOC-led organizations

Apr 19, 2022, 10:58 AM
Seattle foundation...
(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

The Seattle Foundation has awarded $12.6 million through its Fund for Inclusive Recovery to 21 organizations led by Black, Indigenous, and people of color individuals in an effort to immediately impact the greater Seattle region.

The foundation partners with and supports donors who invest in community leaders who are performing critical and innovative work to solve the area’s issues.

Organizations working towards community justice, advocacy and  rebuilding will receive $200,000 a year for three years the foundation wrote in a news release. Selected grantees include organizations like Casa LatinaRainier Beach Action Coalition and the Native Action Network.

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“We knew that the need was so great in the community post the pandemic, and the need to reinvent and move our recovery forward,” Kris Hermanns, the chief impact officer for the Seattle Foundation, told KIRO Newsradio’s Dave Ross. “We are investing nearly all of the resources into the community immediately.”

Hermanns believes the foundation’s goal to raise $50 million over the next few years is in play, as long as additional partners join them after these initial investments.

“While the pandemic impacted all of us significantly, it, in fact, impacted Black, Indigenous, people of color, immigrants and people who are vulnerable economically worse,” she said. “So these resources are meant to be invested in communities that are going to help us build back.”

One of Hermanns’ biggest successes with the foundation was creating more access to education for multicultural children with disabilities.

“It has been a 10 year investment in parents of children who have disabilities who couldn’t access a regular K through 12 education with additional support their children need, because they spoke languages other than English,” she said.

It initially started as a volunteer parent support group and over time, the group identified legislation that would help aid their cause.

“We worked with the state legislature to pass a law in 2019 that required bilingual support services for children with disabilities,” Hermanns said. “The parents could be more powerful advocates for their children in schools so they can have a better chance for equitable opportunity and outcomes, which benefits all of us.”

The Tableau Foundation, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Butler Community Foundation, Deloitte LLP, Delta Dental of Washington, DOWL, The Peach Foundation, The Raikes Foundation, The Seattle Mariners, The Seattle Seahawks, The Sunderland Foundation and Umpqua Bank are all funders of the Seattle Foundation alongside more than a hundred individual donors.

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“If we’re going to really build back in a way that’s equitable, inclusive and something that all of us benefit from, then it’s important that we invest in our most vulnerable communities and in the leaders who can really lead us to that vision,” Hermanns said.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Seattle Foundation grants $12.6 million to BIPOC-led organizations