Whiteness is often centered in the nonprofit sector. White-led nonprofits are more likely to receive funding, white populations are prioritized for service, and even service delivery approaches typically center white communities’ needs. However, much nonprofit work as we now know it has been co-opted from communities of color.
Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) have historically been excluded from many government services and public benefits, creating the need to innovate new ways to support the collective with authentic care and resource sharing to meet community needs.
As the nonprofit sector and unmet needs continue to grow, there’s a conscious effort by Black-led organizations to ensure that their services and communities are prioritized. The Black Community Building Collective is one such effort, born from the feedback of Black staff at United Way of King County (UWKC).
The Collective is a coalition of 15 Black-led nonprofit leaders who are working together to determine how $3 million in UWKC funding will be invested over the next two years to uplift Black brilliance and shift power to the Black community. Half of these funds are committed to nine Black women-led organizations.
- Africatown Community Land Trust
- African American Leadership Forum
- Baseball Beyond Borders
- Byrd Barr Place
- Choose 180
- Community Passageways
- East African Community Services
- Glover Empower Mentoring
- Nurturing Roots
- Rainier Beach Action Coalition
- Reclaiming Our Greatness
- REACH Renton (Renton Ecumenical Association of Churches)
- SPEB (Supporting Partnerships in Education and Beyond) (formerly Somali Parents Education Board)
- TAF (Technology Access Foundation)
- Voices of Tomorrow
The Collective’s foundational values embrace the health of the collective over that of individual organizations and an “abundance over scarcity” mindset in order to empower Black-led organizations with program, operating, and capacity-building support to grow and lead transformational change. By working to build enduring partnerships rather than transactional relationships with funders, The Collective prioritizes investments in the long-term sustainability of Black-led organizations throughout the community.
While racism, discrimination, and the systemic exclusion of Black communities from services is nothing new, these issues have been forced to the forefront of our cultural consciousness in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. The Collective is an effort to build on the current momentum around racial justice to create lasting positive change, healing, and empowerment for Black communities.
Solid Ground works to honor and uplift the important work of BIPOC-led organizations in our community. Is there a BIPOC organization you’d like to see us highlight? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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