For it isn’t enough to talk about peace.
One must believe in it.
And it isn’t enough to believe in it.
One must work at it.
- ELEANOR ROOSEVELT
Kitsap Racial Equity and Empowerment Fund
A diverse representation of community leaders have come together as a Steering Committee in partnership with Kitsap Community Foundation and United Way of Kitsap County to launch a new focus area of the Unity in the Community Kitsap COVID-19 Response Fund called the Kitsap Racial Equity and Empowerment Fund.
There is an ongoing need to address systemic inequities, which disproportionately impact Black and other marginalized communities. Meanwhile, there is an urgent need to address how these inequities are amplified by COVID-19, with increased disproportionate adverse impacts on the Black community. We are in a cycle where awareness of systemic racism and anti-Blackness is increasingly being acknowledged; now is the time for a focus on racial equity.
Grantmaking from the Fund
This Fund will help to end systemic racism in our community by making grants to support culturally relevant programs, services, and activities in Kitsap that:
Are aimed at lessening the inequities caused or exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis in or for communities of color, with an emphasis on the needs of the Black community, and
Have leadership or boards that are reflective of an accountable to communities of color, in particular the Black community.
You know, we call the Kitsap Response Fund the “Unity in the Community Fund.” Let’s actually use the Fund to move our community forward towards equity, understanding, and unity. We’re going to empower members of the community who are experiencing inequity to make the decisions on what grants are made from the Fund. We trust that they know what is best for their communities.
We are doing this in partnership with the United Way of Kitsap County, our partner on the Kitsap Response Fund. So far, this Response Fund has focused on providing grants to support basic needs in our community (food, health, etc.) and relationship needs (reducing stress within a household when adhering to public health guidance on safety, i.e. physical distancing and staying at home). While we’ve included equity as a factor in decision-making on these grants, the grants have not specifically focused on helping to resolve inequities exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. We are changing that by adding this new focus.
Who is Eligible to Apply for a Grant?
Grants will be made to grass-root efforts of individuals, coalitions, and organizations. The Steering Committee strives to model for the institutional grant community how to value and recognize grass-roots efforts serving the community. Their commitment is in the work of re-organizing structural pieces to disrupt systemic racial inequities so that Kitsap can model the change needed for restorative and healthy outcomes.
How to Donate to the Fund. Have Your Donation Tripled!
We need help! We need people to contribute to the Kitsap Racial Equity and Empowerment Fund – we can’t empower people to make grants to support equity in our community if we don’t have money in the Fund. Donations made will be matched dollar for dollar by the state-wide campaign “All In WA” until their matching pool is depleted. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has put up $25 million to match donations made to response funds such as this new focus on a Kitsap Racial Equity and Empowerment Fund. The first $50,000 donated to the Kitsap Racial Equity and Empowerment Fund will also be matched by a gift from a contributor, so your donation may be tripled!
You can donate by clicking the button below, or mail a check payable to Kitsap Racial Equity and Empowerment Fund to Kitsap Community Foundation, P.O. Box 3670, Silverdale, WA 98383. No one is taking an administrative fee out of these donations, so 100% of all donations go to the Fund (minus credit card fees).
For more information about the Unity in the Community Fund, please visit our page here.
If you have general questions about the Kitsap COVID-19 Response Fund, please contact:
Kol Medina, President & CEO, Kitsap Community Foundation, at (360) 698-3622,
or Carl Borg, CEO, United Way of Kitsap County, at (360) 377-8505,