February Happenings at United Way’s Racial Equity Coalitions
February will be a busy month for United Way of King County’s two coalitions committed to racial equity among Black, Indigenous and other community of color organizations—the Indigenous Communities Fund and the Black Community Building Collective.
United Way launched the Indigenous Communities Fund in 2020 to address the differential impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the county’s Indigenous people. The group now comprises the 12-member Seattle Urban Native Nonprofits.
The Black Community Building Collective is a group of 15 Black-led organizations brought together by United Way of King County to build relationships and implement strategies that impact the Black community.
Check out some of the events, happenings and announcements from members of both coalitions this month:
Na’ah Illahee Fund (NIF) is providing grants to Native people who are leading community-based food sovereignty and sustainability efforts in their communities. The organization’s Food Sovereignty Grant project began in January with an application submission process for grant awards of up to $25,000 for projects led by Indigenous people that aim to increase or create access to traditional foods and medicines through community programming, workshops and skill sharing. The application deadline is February 16. Click here for the grant application.
The Food Sovereignty Grant seeks to support our hunter, gatherer, grower way of life by funding Native organizations and individuals who are working to achieve food sovereignty in their communities as a fundamental right. NIF places a high value on sharing old teachings of growing and harvesting our own foods and medicines, how to gather legally, knowing our food gathering rights and, most importantly, how to create a unified voice to speak up for these food sovereignty rights and boundaries. Applicants must be located in the Greater Northwest region: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming and British Columbia. For more information, click here.
Baseball Beyond Borders will benefit from a new partnership between the Seattle Mariners and youth sports training company EL1 Sports to expand access and participation in youth baseball and softball.
EL1 and the Mariners have launched Mariners Training Centers, five baseball and softball facilities across the Seattle region. And Mariners Training Centers will serve as the official training partner for Baseball Beyond Borders’ branch of Major League Baseball’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program.
RBI was launched by Major League Baseball to increase interest and participation in baseball and softball among youth in urban areas. RBI aligns with the goals of Baseball Beyond Borders, which for nearly 10 years has given families and communities the opportunity to expose their youth to baseball and softball.
Mariners Training Centers are housed in EL1 facilities and operated by EL1. The training centers are located in Puyallup, Redmond, Seattle, Tacoma and Woodinville, WA. The facilities feature camps, clinics and one-on-one lessons. In addition, Mariners Training Centers will host grand opening events across all five locations during March to kick off the 2023 youth baseball and softball seasons. These events will be free and open to the public. For more information, click here.
East African Community Services resumed its U.S. citizenship test classes in February, after a COVID hiatus. East African Community Services says that many of the area’s immigrants have used the citizenship classes en route to earning citizenship.
Registration is now open for the volunteer-based program, which is for anyone who needs help preparing for the citizenship test, can read and write in basic English and can commit themselves to a 10-week course.
For a citizenship class registration form, click here. Vaccinations are required.
Urban Native Education Alliance will be celebrating 16 years of service to local urban Indigenous communities with a semi-formal, Sweet 16 Celebration on February 16 at North Seattle College.
Urban Native Education Alliance will spotlight leaders and community members who have supported its work through funding, partnerships and resources—all enabling the organization to serve urban Indigenous students. The gala will honor the past, present and future successes of Indigenous students who have taken part in Urban Native Education Alliance programs—all of which are youth driven and designed to promote health, wellness and academic success.
For more information about the Sweet 16 Celebration, click here. RSVP is required.