In the wake of global uprisings following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, many organizations across the country began to reexamine their relationships with local police departments and other law enforcement agencies.
Solid Ground turned to Black-led partners, including Byrd Barr Place and the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, to gain their perspectives and lend our collective voice to the causes they have identified as critical in advocating for systemic change. These conversations significantly contributed to Solid Ground’s endorsement of several advocacy strategies – including the call to defund SPD – to increase our agency’s involvement in the work to address police violence.
Founded as the Central Area Motivation Program (CAMP) in 1964, Byrd Barr Place offers essential human services for Seattle residents living on low incomes, including housing and energy assistance, healthy food, and personal finance programming with special attention to emergency situations like power shutoffs and evictions.
As an agency historically serving the African American community in the Central District, Byrd Barr Place also supports critical community engagement centering Black voices as part of the Seattle Community of Practice, a collaboration of community organizations working together to address specific challenges for African Americans in Seattle and King County.
Byrd Barr Place joined Washington State’s Community Action Partnerships in 1979, now a network including 31 Community Action Agencies (CAAs) – one of which is Solid Ground! – across 39 counties. The organization is named for Roberta Byrd Barr, a Seattle community leader, educator, and journalist who, among her many accomplishments, was Seattle’s first woman high school principal.
As part of Byrd Barr Place’s response to our current political moment and the movement for racial justice, Byrd Barr Place’s Chief Executive Officer Andrea Caupain Sanderson recently joined with three other Black women leaders in Washington State – Michelle Merriweather, Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle; Angela Jones, Washington STEM; and T’wina Nobles, Tacoma Urban League – to form the Black Future Co-op Fund, a cooperative philanthropy by and for Black Washingtonians to promote Black generational wealth, health, and well-being across the state.
BIPOC Partner Spotlight Series
This post is part of a series highlighting the work of amazing local partners either led by or serving Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color. Solid Ground is honored to work alongside and in partnership with these organizations in our mission to end poverty and undo racism and other oppressions that are root causes of poverty.