News + Events

Back to list

In March, our Seattle-based Rural & Small Town Organizing Giving Project set out to support community organizing in our region, specifically outside of Seattle and Portland. We came together to learn about strategic organizing outside of the two biggest cities in our region (where wealth is concentrated). We focused on rural communities, small towns, smaller cities, and reservations. Using a shared racial justice and class analysis framework, we worked together to give grants to grassroots groups led by the people most impacted.

We are excited to announce the recipients of the 2019 Rural & Small Town Organizing Giving Project!

Rural & Small Town Organizing Giving Project at a Glance

  • 20 members
  • 150 donors
  • $423,346 raised (includes $60,000 from the Northwest Area Foundation)
  • $368,844 granted
  • 12 grants of $30,737 (listed below)

The organizations we are funding are doing incredible and exciting work across the Northwest. Our portfolio of grantees demonstrates the expansive nature of rural and small town organizing, and a commitment to supporting intersectional movements.

We are excited for you to learn about our 12 grantees in the list below.

Rural & Small Town Organizing Giving Project Grantees

Center Pole | Garryowen, MT

The mission of the Center Pole is to build knowledge, justice, opportunity and prosperity in Native communities and preserve and protect indigenous ways. This grant will support organizing the Crow Indian community to create a local, natural, indigenous based Native food economy that will educate and feed the community in a healthy and sustainable way. 

Eugene/Springfield NAACP | Eugene and Lane County, OR 

The mission of the Eugene/Springfield NAACP is to eliminate discrimination and ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of all persons. The Eugene/Springfield NAACP organizes to create a strong community space that fosters cross-community partnerships rooted in Eugene/Springfield’s African-American community. They activate youth and parents in education justice, and engage people of color in the environmental justice movement.

Heartspark Press | Olympia and Thurston County, WA 

Heartspark Press supports, develops, and amplifies the creative voices of transgender girls, transgender women, and coercively assigned-male-at-birth nonbinary people everywhere. They published the first anthology for transgender kids and host readings and writing workshops for trans youth and (C)AMAB trans people of color. Heartspark Press is creating the tools necessary for the most marginalized to find freedom from a society actively trying to erase them.

Hilltop Urban Gardens | Tacoma, WA

HUG’s mission is to develop systems for food sovereignty and create racial and economic justice. HUG seeks funding to support building a neighborhood food system that includes first foods and medicines for at least 25 households each week, organizing for land and housing liberation, and teaching people how to grow their own food.

Mother Africa | Kent and South King County, WA

Mother Africa a black-led, women-led, immigrant-led organization located outside of our region’s urban hubs of Seattle and Tacoma. This grant will support organizing work and building power within immigrant and refugee communities in South King County. Mother Africa plans to increase and continue membership in coalitions and partnerships, and broaden the knowledge of their mainstream partners about African communities, cultural groups, and languages spoken.

Native Youth Leadership Alliance | Ferndale, WA 

NYLA invests in young Native American leaders and communities to create culturally-based community change. NYLA’s growth for the next two years includes launching a new Fellowship Program cohort, further developing the Advanced Leadership Fellows, continuing policy-development work with Tribal Youth Committees, and strengthening internal capacity. This grant will help strengthen NYLA’s programs in 29 reservation communities in Washington State.

Parque Padrinos | Wenatchee, WA 

Parque Padrinos’ mission is to create lasting and meaningful relationships among neighbors, empower youth, and promote neighborhood ownership of South Wenatchee by celebrating its history, green spaces, and rich culture. This grant will support internal infrastructure and hiring of a second staff member to assist the part-time Community Organizer in the process of applying for 501(c)3 status.

PODER of Idaho | Southwest Idaho (based in Boise)

PODER of Idaho is a collective of undocumented and Latinx organizers in Southwest Idaho that aims to raise consciousness, organize, and empower the Latinx community in Idaho through connection to culture, community building, and an intersectional approach to social justice. This grant will help employ a part-time organizer, remove barriers for our participating members, and convene gatherings of immigrant rights organizers, advocates, and organizations in four regions of Idaho.

The Montana Racial Equity Project | Montana (based in Bozeman) 

The Montana Racial Equity Project advocates equity and justice for historically marginalized, disenfranchised, and oppressed peoples in Montana. These funds will allow the Montana Racial Equity Project to hire additional staff, grow programs, and educate more people how to live an anti-racist life. This grant will expand the Ending Bias, Bigotry, and Racism and How to Talk With Kids About Race workshops to more areas across the state

U.T.O.P.I.A. Seattle | South King and Pierce Counties, WA 

UTOPIA provides sacred spaces to strengthen the minds and bodies of queer and trans Pacific Islanders (QTPI) through community organizing, community care, civic engagement, and cultural stewardship. This grant will increase the leadership development and community organizing of LGBTQI Pacific Islanders in small cities across South King and Pierce counties. UTOPIA is developing a trans leadership sisterhood that will organize to create more safety and greater equity in the lives of small town QTPIs in the region.

Unite Oregon | Rogue Valley, OR 

Led by people of color, immigrants and refugees, rural communities, and people experiencing poverty, Unite Oregon organizes statewide to build a unified intercultural movement for justice. This grant will support the Rogue Valley Chapter’s capacity to ensure a supportive organizational structure that centers community-determined priority issues: affordable housing, economic justice, youth leadership development, and immigrant rights.

Whiteswan Environmental | Bellingham, WA 

Whiteswan Environmental supports community healing through the natural, cultural and historical restoration to the Salish Sea for 7th generation sustainability as a measure of ecological health protection for all. This grant will support the Coast Salish Youth Stewardship Corps on an inter-tribal, mini-canoe journey through the San Juan Islands to learn about environmental science and traditional culture, as well as the work of Indigenous Truth Washington, a Truth and Reconciliation project.