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Social Justice Fund NW awards Rapid Response grants to U.T.O.P.I.A. Seattle, Portland Rising Tide / Base Camp NW, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group; awards first Seed Grant to Naakw Dancers.

Seed Grant

Naakw Dancers in Seatac, WA, $2,000 Seed grant

Náakw (Medicine) is a Tlingit dance group that meets weekly to celebrate ancestry, community empowerment and proper protocols for song and dance presentation. They have a strong focus on Tlingit language perpetuation through new song composition, introductions, as well as casual and formal use of the language. The group was formed in November of 2014 in Seattle, WA and includes members of several tribes.

The Naakw Dancers Seed grant request will allow for the knowledge transfer of traditional spiritual and Indigenous life ways to future generations in the dance group. In their words: “We are going on a 12 day paddle to Campbell River, B.C., for Tribal Journeys 2017 at the end of July. At the end of the 12 day paddle, a week of ceremonial song dance knowledge transfer will follow. During the paddle, youth of color-Indigenous people-Indigenous wombyn and men will practice language that will help empower them for the rest of their lives. Emphasis will be on decolonization and Indigenization during the paddle…Without knowledge and overstanding of who we are and where we are from we cannot make it to where we are going.”

Rapid Response

U.T.O.P.I.A. Seattle in Seattle, WA, $2,000 Rapid Response grant

U.T.O.P.I.A. Seattle’s mission is to create a safe space for Pacific Islander LGBTQI+ communities in advocating for social justice, education and overall wellness. They are a transgender-led, member-based organization–about 75% of the membership identify as fa’afafine (a Samoan indigenous identity translated as “in the manner of a woman”). A high number of fa’afafine emigrate to Washington for more opportunities, and are being pushed into hard labor jobs such as warehousing, airport baggage handlers, and fisheries.

The U.T.O.P.I.A. Seattle Rapid Response grant request is for a series of 3 Know Your Worker Rights Training to be held in Seattle, Kent, and Tacoma. U.T.O.P.I.A. Seattle wants to open up a space where LGBTQ workers can gain mutual support and be educated on their rights as workers. The funds will help with literature packets for the workshops, facilitator stipends, venue fees, and food for attendees. They expect at least 40 attendants for each workshop.

Portland Rising Tide / Base Camp NW in Portland, OR, $2,000 Rapid Response grant

Portland Rising Tide / Base Camp NW works to invest in a new and growing community of climate activists, to build social consciousness among them, to bolster sustained action for the defense of the climate, and to build powerful relationships between disparate environmental justice groups across the Pacific Northwest.

The Portland Rising Tide / Base Camp NW Rapid Response grant request will support a week-long camp at the beginning of August to enable the flood of new activists who have responded to the call for climate justice in response to Standing Rock and the recent election. The week-long, 200-person camp will bring together organizers who identify as tribal members from the Pacific Northwest, Standing Rock veterans, and rural and low-income community members from Oregon, Washington, Montana and Northern California.

Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group, Seattle, WA, $2,000 Rapid Response grant

DRCC/TAG is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization involved in all aspects of the cleanup of the Duwamish River, working to ensure the cleanup meets community standards by restoring environmental health and protecting the fishers and families who use the river as well as reflecting the priorities, values and will of the people who live and work in the region. The organization was founded in 2001 by community, neighborhood, environmental, tribal, and small business organizations that came together to serve as EPA’s Community Advisory Group. These organizations continue to guide and shape the work of DRCC/TAG as the Advisory Council. DRCC/TAG collaborates with community groups, agencies, and organizations to implement effective, meaningful, and culturally-sensitive outreach and educational programming about the Superfund cleanup and other community priorities.

The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group’s Rapid Response grant request is about gentrification and displacement in the communities around the Duwamish River. Housing availability throughout the region is at an all-time low. Displacement as a result of housing scarcity is magnified in the community of South Park as a result of the tech boom in Seattle and gentrification that accompanies the river cleanup. Seattle has responded with its Housing and Livability Agenda (HALA) which is expected to aid low-income residents. At community members request, DRCC/TAG is seeking emergency funds from Social Justice Fund in order help the community organize, understand, form opinions and seek action in response to HALA and the housing availability shortage. Funding will be used for outreach and printing costs to advertise 1-2 planning meetings & a town hall, for translation and interpretation, for venue rental and refreshments and for any miscellaneous costs.

Rapid Response and Seed Grant opportunities

Both grant cycles were designed by SJF in order to provide more strategic and responsive support to a diversity of community organizing needs in our current political climate, as well as expand our capacity to support critical work that often can’t be funded through our standard Giving Project model.

The Rapid Response Grant will provide fast, small grants of up to $2,000 to help local communities respond and act quickly to the changing political climate with actions and/or strategies that could not have been anticipated.  Click Here to Apply Now

The Seed Grant will provide small grants of up to $2,000 for groups less than 3 years old that are developing their community organizing work but do not yet meet the qualifications for SJF’s standard grants.  Click Here to Apply Now