September 15, 2014
Community Service and Social Action Board (CSSA) recently embarked on an effort to broaden the scope of Plymouth’s donations to include more recipients engaged in advocacy and social action. Prior to 2014, the majority of gifts, up to 85%, supported direct services such as housing and mental health services. Funding for direct service activities will continue with a goal of closer to 60% of all annually granted dollars.
This September, two grants were approved to first time recipients. One donation of $10,000 was awarded to Puget Sound Sage to expand the capacity of the Interfaith Economic Justice Coalition (IEJC). IEJC mobilizes faith communities to support workers’ right to organize and advocate for policies that lift low income communities out of poverty. IEJC develops leaders from different faith communities to advance economic justice and furnish lasting partnerships among low-wage workers and people of faith in Seattle and surrounding areas. This funding allows Plymouth to broaden the coalition and outreach to Samoan, Sikh, East African and API faith communities and is essential because a majority of impacted low wage workers hail from these communities.
Another grant of $10,000 supports Youth Undoing Institutional Racism (YUIR). This group of young people meets weekly throughout the school year. They work with community organizations and local institutions to provide workshops, trainings and opportunities for engagement around issues of racism. This grant will pay for two YUIR Interns for this year. Sustained participation and leadership opportunities are crucial to development of organizers, resisters and future activists. While many local youth are interested in maintaining a connection to social justice issues, often financial strains make it impossible for them to devote the time they would like to this work. These internships can provide experiential learning opportunities for youth as they work to build and mobilize communities. One current project that YUIR leads is the opposition to the new youth jail that is being built in King County.
If you are interested in learning more about these programs or getting involved, please contact Jenn Hagedorn, Plymouth Social Justice Liaison.