Why we’re dedicated to race & social justice
Over half of the people Solid Ground serves are people of color. Many face challenges as a direct result of institutional racism: housing discrimination, benefits denial, predatory lending, employment barriers, and disparities in the education and criminal justice systems. Simply put: we can’t be an effective anti-poverty organization without tackling racism!
Racism & intersectionality of oppressions
Our work to undo oppressions starts with racism, because throughout our country’s history, black, indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) have experienced a different United States than that of white dominant culture. Still, our approach is intersectional. We look at the impacts of all forms of oppression, including but not limited to: sexism, ableism, genderism, homophobia, and others. We acknowledge and respect that everyone has multiple social identities, which complicate, inform, and often compound each individual’s experience of poverty.
What we’re doing about it
Through Solid Ground’s Anti-Racism Initiative launched in 2001, we identify conditions that lead to inequities and work to undo them – both internally at Solid Ground and in the broader community. Together we identify, learn about, and connect the policies and systems that perpetuate poverty and racism to the lives of our program participants and in our day-to-day work.
- Anti-racism workshops, work groups, caucuses, affinity groups, and individual goal setting support staff in doing this work.
- We listen to and honor input from people we serve; we believe in and trust their experience. We listen through our Community Needs Assessment, Poverty Action Listening Sessions, Community Accountability Council, and other means. The three-fold structure of our Board of Directors gives people with lived experience of poverty and oppression decision-making power in the organization.
- Solid Ground’s hiring panels all have racial/ethnic diversity and include both management and frontline staff. We ask potential candidates values-based questions about poverty and racism during their interviews, such as “What are the root causes of poverty?”
- Our advocacy work focuses on removing service system and policy barriers that people of color and low-income communities face. We support people to share their experiences with those in power to advocate for equitable policies.
Collaborating for justice in our broader community
No one organization can end poverty or undo racism and other oppressions on its own. We develop strong collaborations with individuals, partner agencies, and coalitions to build movements that make our community stronger for everyone.
We join with NPARC (Non-Profit Anti-Racism Coalition), the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI), King County Equity & Social Justice, the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Planning for Equity network, the Social Justice Film Festival, Seattle Arts & Lectures, and others in doing and promoting anti-racism work.
People often ask us what they can do to get involved in making change – so we compiled this Undoing Racism Brochure to provide some resources and suggestions.
For more information on Solid Ground’s Race & Social Justice work, contact us at email@example.com.