20 organizations receive $15 million to build community power in Washington

20 organizations receive $15 million to build community power in Washington

Until Feb. 1, 2023, we were Group Health Foundation. This post was written under our former identity. To learn more about our new name, read our announcement here.

Photos: Asian Pacific Islander Coalition, Room One, and Nuestra Casa.


Introducing the newest Systems, Power & Action grant recipients

Meet the latest Systems, Power, and Action grantees. Each of the organizations will receive up to $720,000 in funding, totaling $15 million, over the next three years to strengthen their power-building, advocacy, and systems change work. Grant recipients are based in 14 counties and join recipients from the previous two years to grow and harness community power for racial justice and equity in Washington. As described by Pierce County-based recipient La Resistencia, “Solo el pueblo salva al pueblo: Only the people save the people.”

See the full list of grant recipients.

Systems, Power, and Action grants offer unrestricted funds for organizations to create the change their communities want to see. This type of flexible funding allows grantees to determine what it looks like to bolster their power and capacity-building efforts. The majority of 2022 grant recipients are organizations we know, including through sponsorships and Community Learning Grants, and we look forward to deepening our relationships.

As in previous years, 2022 grant recipients are proudly led by and serve Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Pasifika, Asian, and multiracial people; trans and gender-diverse people; people with an array of sexual orientations; immigrants; and people with disabilities. They are experts of their lived experiences, tapping them to strengthen their communities, combat systemic oppression, and secure seats at decision-making tables.

Grantees are in various stages of growth and experience. Some are newer, such as Pacific County Voices Uniting, a 501(c)(4) organization seeking to recruit and hire a team to pursue their communities’ goals. PCVU is also operating under a shared leadership model, having recently hired two co-executive directors. Some are more established, like Washington Gorge Action Programs which has offered direct services to people in Klickitat and Skamania counties for more than five decades. Yet, even long-standing organizations like WGAP recognize the need for continued growth, to advocate for and demonstrate more accountability to their communities.

Many grantees also recognize the link between building coalitions and building power. Room One, who serves Okanogan County, works alongside culturally specific nonprofits to address and interrupt systemic racism. “We do this by listening, leaning into strengths, and seeking opportunities for people to step into their power and lead others to advocate for meaningful change in their lives,” the organization explained.

For Open Doors for Multicultural Families, investment in community is critical for shifting power. “Power starts with the ability to engage in self-care, healing, and relationship-building; a community to support us when we encounter resistance; the tools to advocate to decision-makers; and the ability to sustain these efforts so that we can see through the details of policy implementation,” they shared. “Ultimately, power means that we become the decision-makers.”

This year more than 25 percent of recipients are 501(c)(4) organizations. Groups organized as 501(c)(4) nonprofits have greater political flexibility than 501(c)(3) nonprofits: They can participate in ballot initiatives and lobbying activity with fewer restrictions and the ability to endorse and support candidates for office. Our mission is to transform the balance of power in our state, and we recognize the need to support more values-aligned, community-based 501(c)(4) organizations across all of our grantmaking areas.

Earlier this year, we shared that we rewrote our mission and values to make sure our language could hold the hopes and dreams of all Washingtonians. The Systems, Power, and Action grants reflect our belief that everyone deserves to participate in the decisions that impact their lives and that communities impacted by inequities deserve to have self-determination. We are excited to learn alongside these organizations and to see their growth as visionaries in their communities.

To hear more from these organizations, in their own words, read the following stories:


2022 Systems, Power, and Action grant recipients

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Organization Name Description Geography Served
Asian Pacific Islander Coalition of Washington The Asian Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC) of Washington brings together Asians, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders from across the state to build power and fight for the rights, needs, and justice of their communities. Washington state
Central Washington Disability Resources Central Washington Disability Resources advances the empowerment, inclusion, and wellness of all persons with disabilities through advocacy, community education, peer mentoring, and skill development so that they may realize independence and full participation in all areas of life. Kittitas, Yakima, Grant, Douglas counties
Communities for the Advancement of Family Education CAFÉ is a non-profit organization that advances family and community growth through education. They serve the culturally diverse community of Wenatchee and surrounding counties by providing opportunities in leadership, civic and social engagement, literacy development, and academic advancement. Douglas, Okanogan, Grant, Benton and Yakima counties
Gender Odyssey Alliance Gender Odyssey Alliance is working to create a world of support for transgender/gender diverse (trans) youth by providing a virtual hub for caregivers, connections for trans youth, and best practices for professionals so trans youth grow up feeling loved and fully supported as their whole selves. Washington state
Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center KIAC was founded by immigrants who saw a need for referrals and direct services for their communities – a majority of whom are undocumented – to navigate local systems. Their primary work focuses on legal and family services, and they also serve as a hub for referrals to other partners. Kitsap County
La Resistencia La Resistencia is a grassroots, undocumented-led movement that works to end the detention of immigrants and stop all deportations in Washington state. La Resistencia supports, works, and follows the leadership of those that have been directly affected by the immigration detention and deportation system. Pierce County and across Washington
Lavender Rights Project Lavender Rights Project is a Black trans-led organization advancing the civil rights of Black gender diverse communities across Washington through client-centered advocacy and legal and social services. King and Pierce County, Statewide
Mason County Housing Options for Students in Transition Mason County Housing Options for Students in Transition (HOST) serves homeless LGBTQ2A+, BIPOC, and rural youth experiencing homelessness in Mason County. In addition to providing housing and educational support, they are working to eliminate intergenerational poverty by creating new systems that address the needs of youth and their families. Mason County
Native Action Network Native Action Network is a Native elder-led power building organization promoting Native women’s full representation, participation, and leadership in local, state, tribal, and national affairs. Regionally across Washington state
Native Vote Washington Native Vote Washington is an Indigenous-led collaborative working to increase the political empowerment, education, and engagement of Indigenous peoples in the state of Washington by amplifying the Native American voice through increased voter registration and participation and organizing for progressive policies that strengthen tribal sovereignty. King, Pierce, Whatcom, and Yakima counties
Nuestra Casa Nuestra Casa removes some of the immediate barriers faced by immigrants and provides services to address inequities. The organization’s core programs are adult English classes (ESL) and citizenship classes, in addition to courses and workshops on financial literacy, leadership, justice, Spanish literacy, and health literacy. They also promote immigrant civic engagement through a variety of special programs. Nuestra Cassa believes that the complete integration of all community members is essential to the Yakima Valley’s ability to thrive. Lower Yakima Valley
Open Doors for Multicultural Families Open Doors for Multicultural Families is a BIPOC-led grassroots organization serving individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their families from immigrant, refugee, and BIPOC communities in King, Pierce, and Thurston counties. King, Pierce, and Thurston counties
Pacific County Voices Uniting PCVU is uniting cross-cultural and multi-generational demographics to participate in collaborative social movements that increase civic engagement through education, create more reflective representation, and build political power for those often forgotten or silenced in our communities. Pacific County
Quality Behavioral Health Quality Behavioral Health is a behavioral health organization serving Garfield and Asotin counties. They provide a summer youth program, alcohol and drug classes, and domestic violence services. Asotin and Garfield counties
Room One Room One provides social services in Okanogan County, including one-on-one support, educational programs in schools, support groups, and advocacy support. Okanogan County
Rural People’s Voice Rural People’s Voice is a multi-racial, immigrant, and working and middle class-led power building 501c4 organization working towards a true people’s government that reclaims the rural narrative and provides real wins and a strong economy for residents of North Central Washington. Chelan, Douglas, & Okanagan counties
Spectrum Center Spokane Spectrum is a LGBTQIA2S+-led organization working to address inequities in the Spokane region. To live out their mission, they lead DEI educational workshops, engage in community activism, and provide programs focused on health and connection. Spokane County
Tri-Cities LULAC Council 47014 Tri-Cities LULAC is an all volunteer organization focused on civic engagement, coalition building, and advocacy. Tri-Cities region
Washington Gorge Action Programs Washington Gorge Action Programs provides basic needs assistance to their community in Klickitat and Skamania counties. Their programs include nutrition assistance, emergency housing, domestic violence prevention, care coordination, and home energy assistance. Klickitat and Skamania counties