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Communities of Opportunity Invites Proposals for Black-led Systems and Policy Change (Best Start)

RFP Announcement - King Co Washington state.

Proposals are requested for the 2021 grant year.

Communities of Opportunity (COO) commits $725,000 to systems and policy change projects led by and for Black communities in King County. Eligible partnerships of Black-led (including African descent and diaspora) organizations working on systems and policy change in the Black community may apply for funding through this Request for Proposal. 

In June 2020 King County Executive Dow Constantine and King County Public Health released a declaration that Racism is a Public Health Crisis. The declaration states that King County has been complicit in maintaining and perpetuating structural racism, and must be a vital player in dismantling oppressive systems that are grounded in white supremacy. The declaration includes a commitment – that King County will drive resources toward where they are needed most as indicated by those in that community.

While racism is a public health crisis that impacts all people of color, it is also true that Black people in the United States have been uniquely impacted by racism. A result is significant disparities in health, housing and economic outcomes for Black residents. At the same time, philanthropic funding for Black-led organizations and communities is both insufficient and contributes to resource gaps. Despite this, joy, creativity, resilience and innovation persist in Black communities across King County. And, every day, advancements for justice, inclusion, greater equity and opportunity come from Black-led movements for change. It is grounded in these realities that Communities of Opportunity offers this Black-led systems and policy change funding opportunity.

Communities of Opportunity (COO) is a cross-sector, collaborative initiative founded by King County and Seattle Foundation in 2014 that supports community-led solutions that create greater health, social and economic and racial equity so that all people thrive and prosper. COO Systems and Policy Change grants support community-led and community-engaged organizations that are changing public policy, institutional practices or systems to increase community connections, economic opportunity, health and affordable housing.


Applications are due October 27 via the online application portal: https://seattlefoundation.smap...o_black-led_program/

COO funds community-based efforts to change policies, rules, systems or regulations in order to shift the conditions in housing, health, economic opportunity and community connections to reduce and eliminate inequity and advance anti-racism. Efforts can be targeted to a wide variety of institutions, including but not limited to: government, regulatory agencies, schools and post-secondary institutions, hospitals and health care delivery systems, and places of employment. Proposals should demonstrate deep community leadership in the identification of issues and development of solutions, as well as a knowledge of the practices, policies, rules, systems or regulations they seek to change. 

Organizations must apply in partnerships of two or more working towards a common outcome. Applicants are eligible for up to $145,000 for work taking place in 2021. COO has a total of $725,000 to award. All grant resources must be spent down by December 31, 2021.   

Funding Requirements: Detailed terms of grant reporting will be finalized with selected grantees and reflected in final grant contracts, but will include at a minimum twice-yearly grant updates.

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