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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


King County awards community grants to advance anti-racist agenda

Summary

King County Executive Dow Constantine announced $200,000 in grants awarded to 24 community-based organizations across the region to gather input and provide direction on King County’s anti-racist policy agendas and budget priorities.

Story

On June 11, 2020, King County declared racism a public health crisis. In partnership with advocates, community-members, and public servants throughout King County government, Executive Constantine put together a package of budget proposals to reform the criminal legal system, and begin an ongoing, multi-year effort to shift resources from systems that cause harm, to upstream programs aligned with racial and social justice.

King County staff developed anti-racist policy agendas and biennial budget priorities based on demands from Black, brown and indigenous people of color. To aid in further effective policy and investment development, King County has awarded $200,000 to 24 organizations to engage members of their communities, and provide meaningful feedback with input directly from The communities most harmed by systems of oppression and racism.

Organizations

  • 4 Tomorrow
  • Billie Pearl Lifeline International
  • Bridging Cultural Gaps
  • Brown Dove Enterprises
  • Centro Cultural Mexicano
  • Choose 180
  • Coalition of Immigrants, Refugees, and Communities of Color (CIRCC)
  • Education with a Purpose Foundation for Pacific Islanders
  • Equity in Education Coalition
  • Eritrean Association in Greater Seattle
  • Freedom Project
  • Garfield Super Block Coalition
  • LELO
  • Low Income Housing Institute
  • Nakani Native Program
  • Open Doors for Multicultural Families/King County Racial Equity Coalition
  • Progress Pushers
  • RISE
  • Sky Urban Empowerment and Transformation Center
  • United Black Christian Clergy/Black Dollar Days Task Force
  • United Indian of All Tribes
  • Urban Family
  • Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle
  • West African Community Council

“For the first time, King County has a budget that is built on the idea of anti-racism, and fundamentally shifts the way county government thinks about equality in our community as we address racism as a Public Health crisis,” said Executive Constantine. “Investing in engagement with these organizations brings many more voices into the conversation, and will help our team move forward developing policy that is built in partnership as we work toward our goal of a more just and fair King County.”

The grants provide funding for community engagement through January 2021, after which the recipients will report summaries of their findings to King County. The Public Health Crisis Core Team will use the reports and qualitative data to further align policy and budget priorities towards an anti-racist agenda, including accountability and identifying any missing pieces based on community feedback.


Relevant links

Tranlated versions of this press release


Quotes

For the first time, King County has a budget that is built on the idea of anti-racism, and fundamentally shifts the way county government thinks about equality in our community as we address racism as a Public Health crisis. Investing in engagement with these organizations brings many more voices into the conversation, and will help our team move forward developing policy that is built in partnership as we work toward our goal of a more just and fair King County.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

Leading with racial justice and effectively becoming a more pro-equity and anti-racist government and region means we must partner with community in a way that encourages authentic co-creation. Resourcing trusted organizations to do intentional outreach that helps the County dismantle racism is an important step in our anti-racist journey. We must make it possible for communities most impacted by racism to shape our anti-racist strategies.

Anita Whitfield, Chief Inclusion and Equity Officer, King County Office of Equity and Social Justice

To ensure that engagement is equitable, it must be community-driven. These funds will help rebuild trust between urban Indigenous communities and local government and support the process of healing trauma caused by structural racism.

Michael Tulee, Executive Director, United Indians of All Tribes Foundation

Community engagement requires earned community trust and knowledge. We appreciate the County acknowledging our expertise in this area and resourcing our efforts. It is an important way of disrupting racist cycles and centering those most impacted by systemic racism and economic inequity.

Michelle Merriweather, President and CEO, Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle (ULMS)

For more information, contact:

Erin Murphy, Public Health Seattle & King County, 206-263-1662


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

Read the Executive's biography