Why did you sign up for a Giving Project?
After the 2016 presidential election, I wanted to support social justice work in a deeper way than I had before. I realized that many community members have never had a choice about whether, how, and when they wanted to work toward racial and economic justice – and that really motivated me to get involved. Social Justice Fund NW provided me with an opportunity, as a white cisgendered person, to play a role in the movement that felt appropriate and fulfilling for my identity. Not only did I really want to move money toward social justice in the region, I was also looking for new ways to engage with my friends and family about racism and economic justice in our communities.
What were one or two meaningful experiences or take-aways for you from this Giving Project?
When a few members of my Giving Project visited U.T.O.P.I.A. (United Territories Of Pacific Islanders’ Alliance) Seattle, the dedication to the work that those folks displayed deeply touched and inspired me. It was a completely new experience for me to connect in such an open and genuine way with people who were on the ground solving problems for their community like that. Probably the most impactful thing I heard during that site visit was that, no matter what, they were going to keep doing the work whether or not our Giving Project funded them – and happily, we did!
How do you hope to stay connected to Social Justice Fund NW and/or to the grassroots organizing you supported in this Giving Project?
I will stay connected with Social Justice Fund however I can – volunteering at events, picking up pizza for future Giving Project workshops, participating in alumni Giving Projects, or maybe we can start a Gratitude Committee in Portland! Also, now that I am aware of many different social justice organizing groups in the region, I plan to support them by attending events, making financial contributions, and telling other folks in my network about their work.
Anything else you wanted to add?
I am so grateful to the staff (and volunteers) of SJF for providing such a supportive, democratic, and meaningful opportunity for people of all backgrounds to engage with social justice in the Northwest. Throughout the entire process, I felt like a valued member of the team, regardless of my previous knowledge of race and class, fundraising, or grant-making. Thank you, SJF!