2016 Grantees

African American Leadership Forum

African American Family Gatherings is a grassroots community-led program supported by AALF volunteer sweat equity. AAFG has been active since 2012 providing quarterly events for families with African American students from Greater Seattle area, particularly South King County. Many African American students have parents, guardians, and supportive adults from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Participants include families with children in preK, K-12, public, and private schools attend, as well as teachers, counselors, district leadership, and other professionals who support and work with African American children.

The purpose of the work is to provide voice for African American families to advocate for the needs of their students, make macro-level efforts transparent to local schools and families, network with community, and provide skills training by experts from the African American community, and useful tools that help improve African American student outcomes and experiences in the education system.

Over the 2016-2017 school year, the African American Family Gatherings will host three education and advocacy events, and expand the work to include coordinating open houses for African American families at 5-10 elementary and middle schools in South Seattle.

American History Travelling Museum: Unspoken Truths – Delbert Richardson

American History Traveling Museum: The Unspoken Truths has travelled to schools throughout the Northwest engaging educators, youth, families, and more through interactive workshop that provide a view of American history and reveal how historical trauma impacts the educational experience and identity of students.  My Goal(s) to address the Disproportion Discipline issues in schools centers around three key areas: Identify development, Historical Perspectives, and Culture.

Identity Development: My traveling Museum, focuses on establishing a healthy positive identity for primarily African American males and children of color.  By using the rich past of their ancestors, students will learn to better appreciate from which they come.

Historical Perspectives: Western Society has traditionally told HIS-TORY through a white male oppressive lens. As a result, people of color are not represented in a positive way, and left to feel less than. The traveling museum teaches history from the “bottom up” focusing on the great levels of courage, contributions, and perseverance of their ancestors.

Culture: The traveling museum strategically creates health spaces for difficult conversations around Race, Inequities, Restorative Justice, and the importance of embracing one’s culture.

As a result of the traveling museum experience, past participants have stated, they have a better appreciation of their educational opportunities, they feel smarter and empowered to do better in school. Although the topic of Disproportion in Discipline is very sensitive and complex issue, I choose to focus on educating students in a way that encourages them to take more responsibility for their actions and behaviors in class and in school overall. Which in turn, minimizes those behaviors that lead to discipline. Students will be required to complete surveys and reflective narratives that will support the success of the program.

BlackOut WA

BlackOut WA is a Washington State Black advocacy group with a focus on bringing capacity around political advocacy and civic engagement to people of African descent within a U.S. context. BlackOut WA incorporates a global African perspective into our work, which is targeted towards achieving equitable social, economic, political, and educational outcomes for people of African descent in Washington State. We focus on: Policy Advocacy & Civic Engagement, Relational Organizing, Leadership Development and Community & Institution Building.

BlackOut WA is a black liberation organization. Our work is based on being in relationship with organizing efforts that are black owned, black led and black centered as we build community based institutions, political infrastructure and agency around issues that most impact our communities. We especially focus on black youth led, intergenerational organizing, families impacted by crime and/or criminalized by the criminal justice system, and organizing that connect black families across the African diaspora.

Culturally Appropriate and Responsive Education Center (CARE Center)

CARE Center is a grassroots organization that serves immigrants, refugees and low income youth of color and their families in South King County. Now, in year five of operation, our programs target a high-risk and low-income East African youth demographic. We provide youth in high-poverty South King County Communities with a range of educational and extracurricular opportunities that are often available in school or out of school for students in higher-income communities. We also seek to maintain progress in breaking the cycle of poverty by helping the youngest generation of refugees and immigrants achieve economic success and broadened their horizons.

Our target population is primarily (but not exclusively) East African (Eritrean, Ethiopian, Somali, Ugandan, Kenyan and Sudanese) youth and their families in South King County. All are very low-income and roughly 98% live in low-income neighborhoods in South Seattle, Renton, Kent, Tukwila and SeaTac and qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Funding will support CARE’s youth development program which includes: academic enrichment, behavior and emotional support, parent engagement, mentorship, and summer programming.

Glover EmpowerMentoring Program (G.E.M.)

The Glover EmpowerMentoring Program’s (G.E.M.) mission is: To inform, interact, and inspire young adults. The program purpose is to disrupt the school to prison pipeline by reducing dropout rates among middle and high school male youth and young adults in King County, WA. Mentoring comes in several forms; one-on-one, peer, team, and group. What is unique about G.E.M. is the fluid incorporation of all styles of mentoring into one. This provides the mentees with more resources – they have a “panel” of mentors to evaluate varying approaches to situations being discussed and a network to draw upon. The ultimate goal of this work is to deter youth from becoming a dropout and/or a prison statistic.

For the duration of this funding opportunity and the 2016-17 academic school year, G.E.M. will provide social and emotional support to 25-30 young men of color at both Meridian Middle and Meeker Middle School in the Kent School District. G.E.M. looks to provide a source of information, stability, and guidance enabling students to achieve improved academic success, higher engagement in all of their communities (education, family, city, etc.), and increased self-confidence. This support is delivered through weekly group sessions (lesson plans with topics ranging from: self-identification, male maturity, goal setting, etc., from assigned curriculum augmented by guest speakers), community activities, and one-on-one conversations.

Good Shepard Youth Outreach (GSYO)

Good Shepherd Youth Outreach (GSYO) is a grassroots community organization dedicated to improving academic engagement, pro-social behaviors, and economic productivity for African American youth ages 12-21 in South King County, Federal Way, WA by employing prevention/intervention strategies. Our mission is to bring life changing opportunities to promising, disadvantaged youth by providing inspirational messages of hope, building strong partnerships, supporting families, with mentoring and educational support programs.

Funding will support GSYO’s Standing Tall program from September 2016 through March 2017. This mentoring model will reach 20 youth of color between the ages of 12-21 in South King County, Federal Way. Through the Standing Tall Mentoring Program, youth are offered a unique array of services that engage students with a strategic, centralized focus to develop positive habits, improve study habits and skills, and mindsets to achieve educational success. Rooted at the core of the model is empowering youth with foundational capabilities for continued growth and development. These help youth increase their confidence inside and outside the classroom. Essential to the model, students receive academic resources, culturally competent services, and gain exposure to career development opportunities to broaden their perspectives and increase their interest in possible career options. GSYO will implement a youth mentoring program designed to provide supplemental academic support, leadership & character development skills, cultural relativity, economic & entrepreneurship training, and gender role responsibility designed specifically for young men of color.

National Center for Restorative Justice

The National Center for Restorative Justice (formerly the Restorative Justice Center of the Northwest) has been serving school and the community in the greater Puget Sound region since 2012, and currently is growing to support New York City. Our mission is to train and facilitate Restorative Justice for schools, juvenile justice, and families. We believe relationships are the key to living a joyous life. Conflict is a very common human experience of feeling disconnected, un-trusted, or un-valued. We believe in-order to overcome conflict we need to look at it as an opportunity, we need to take risks and move toward conflict. Our restorative practices will seek to build relationship, trust, and understanding through the leveraging of conflict.

Project: Bring youth from Kent and Federal Way together in a talking circle with School Resource Officers.  School Resource Officers rarely sit and listen to youth, the experience of youth is often challenging for SRO to hear in a constructive fashion.  We will bring together 8-12 and up to 3 School Resource Officers  along with a few supporting adults from the district and schools.  We seek to hold 2-4 of these talking circles with each district.  We seek to build understanding in both directions.  We hope School Resource Officers come away with a deeper understanding of the challenges and authentic experiences of youth in their schools.  We hope youth come away with an understanding of the challenges School Resource Officers face on a daily basis.  Understanding is the first step to planning.  We hope from these conversations Districts are able to support the continued dialogue and begin planning intentional opportunities for School Resource Officers and students to work together in meaningful ways.

 

No New Jim Crow

No New Jim Crow is a non-profit made of dedicated volunteers whose main goal is ending mass incarceration and institutional oppression in all its forms, where ever it is found. We seek human-centric solutions that promote peace, equity, and sustainability in public schools, various forms of governmental confinement, healthcare, and housing. NNJC addresses institutional oppression where it is found, and works on behalf of communities where people with less power are demanding change.

Our campaign for the last two years has been focused on transforming traditional incarceration in King County, promoting Restorative Justice in most institutional settings, and transforming S. King Co. schools to a community-led model using restorative principles. In the coming years, NNJC’s focus will increase in the areas of institutional housing, healthcare, and economics.

PointOneNorth
PointOneNorth Consulting LLC (PONCLLC), formerly PointOneNorth Consulting, has been in operation since 2008 and officially established in Seattle in 2015. CEO and Founder, Saroeum Phoung, has been working to serve the communities of South King County and beyond through peacemaking and healing, organizational change and development, and collaboration with King County Superior Court as well as local schools, youth, and families to resolve conflict, heal, and build healthy communities. Through the South King County Discipline Coalition grant, PONCLLC is working in partnership with various schools including South Shore PreK-8 and Interagency Academy to address disproportionate discipline for students of color and convene staff and students to engage in dialogue on the school to prison pipeline. 
 

Community Passageways

The goal of Community Passageways is to connect, support, and help expand the existing organizations and services that are already doing amazing work with young people around King County.  The goal of this specific project is to reduce expulsions and suspensions by 50% and increase attendance by 50% through implementing restorative practices.

We will focus on Kent Meridien High School and South Lake High School and take the highest at-risk students, which students of color are disproportionately identified as, and give them the tools to lead restorative justice circles when there is a conflict.  We will give these students a stipend to go through the training and lead the circles so they personally take this on as their responsibility and view it as a job.  Additionally, we plan to involve community members as members of an advisory council so they have a voice in their neighborhood school as well as being mentors to these at-risk students.  We will also train faculty, staff, principals, and administration in restorative justice practices.

Seattle Alliance of Black School Educators (SABSE)

Seattle Alliance of Black School Educators (SABSE) is a nonprofit organization that communicates the need for all students to graduate from high school better prepared for college, work and life. SABSE is an affiliate of the National Alliance of Black School Educators which provide models for local affiliates to introduce to local school districts. SABSE is a coalition of educators from diverse fields committed to providing professional support to teachers and other professionals of African descent who will assume leadership positions in education to influence public policy.  The organization offers a variety of activities, events and projects designed to involve African American youth, parents, teachers, district personnel and the community in all phases of African American life within the public school program.

SABSE will organize the workshop that will propose a model of how racial and ethnic bias affects school discipline, with direct implications for practical interventions. This workshop includes ways in which we can reduce disproportionality over time, and builds on a foundation of school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports.  This includes specific strategies for reducing the effects of explicit and implicit bias on school discipline decision making to present ways schools can eliminate discipline problems.

 

SOAR

SOAR’s mission is to promote the healthy development of children, youth and families in King County, to ensure that all children succeed in school and in life. SOAR fulfils this mission by convening coalitions, aligning strategies, and raising authentic community voice to influence policies, programs and practices. Connecting across cultures, across the age continuum, across systems, and across the County, SOAR engages communities in partnership, sharing and seeking information, and developing family and youth leadership through strength-based approaches.

SOAR convenes the King County Youth Advisory Council, a group of young people 16- 24 years old, where members are learning, engaging and organizing around the realities young people face in education system and employment barriers/opportunities. In late 2015, the Council voted on top three priorities: School Discipline, Teacher Cultural Competency, and Alternatives to Traditional High School. Through these priorities, we were encouraged to join in collaboration with the South King County School Discipline Coalition in early 2016.

Our project will be a 5-part vlog series on the ongoing community conversation on ending the school to prison pipeline. We will create community learning opportunities to highlight collective community efforts and will conduct interviews (one on one and/or group discussion) with community members, including, but not limited to, youth, parents, school staff, criminal justice professionals, community activists and organizers. In culmination of our project, we will host a special viewing event for community to attend.

Somali American Parent Association (SAPA)

Somali-American Parents Association (SAPA) has started putting together the pieces for the big picture: SAPA community estimates several thousand in city of Kent area. This project is helping student school discipline through parents and teachers engagements.  Our board recently developed this project idea of four different workshops. 1- Family engagement, 2-Student engagement, 3- Family and student engagement and Family, student and School (Principles and Teachers) engagement. These engagements will be enlightened by the discipline guides and limiting restricting certain behavior, and include applying consequences for breaking rules and educational norms school traditions.

TEENERGY

TEENERGY are the words teen and energy combined.  This social justice and arts program is designed to teach youth how to think critically about social justice issues affecting them and their community while providing a platform for creative expression that stimulates community dialogue and promotes arts-based skills for success in school.  Our aim to cultivate youth leaders in the Seattle area, who are able to speak on their own behalf as a stakeholder and have a “seat at the table” where solutions to school push-out and other inequities are discussed.   An arts-based approach is used as a foundation for addressing social change and problem solving. Disrupting the school to prison pipeline via youth education and awareness is one of the outcomes of this work.

United Better Thinking

We work with the schools, families and communities that most of our demographic derives from, ages 8-26. In an effort to effectively help impact the sagging assistance that most students of color have been institutionally and systemically denied we have created a culturally relevant curriculum/workshop that helps to promote positive self-worth, self-esteem, and best practices amongst our students, educators and staff professionals. Through interactive workshops our mission is to provide effective tools which can be measured and will help to dismantle the legal marginalizing of communities of color by providing culturally relevant course outcomes for everyone respectively, i.e. student, educator, family and community.

Unleash the Brilliance (UTB)

UTB provides a Youth-led approach that impacts youth of color with peer-mentoring and peer coaching, assisting students to find meaningful solutions to risk factors that threaten their success in school and in their life.  UTB CREATES a safe space for youth of color to honestly evaluate the choices and behaviors that impact their future.  UTB EMPOWERS youth of color with tools to make decisions that avoid unnecessary pitfalls.  UTB CONNECTS youth of color with assets and resources in their community to help promote self-advocacy.  UTB will partner with the Auburn School District by supporting youth of color attending two middles schools (Cascade and Olympic) Our goal is to spend the entire 2016 – 2017 school year working with youth of color who have been identified as being predisposed to risky and reckless behavior that invoke the aid of community organizations, like UTB, to help reduce non-compliance of school rules in effect reducing infractions that lead to disproportionate levels of suspension and expulsions for youth of color in South King County.  Our UTB staff anticipates being at Cascade and Olympic Middle Schools twice a week for two to four hours a week.  Our hours of deployment of UTB service will hinge on the risk assessment and crisis management dashboard that describes the needs assessment for each student of color.

Guided Pathways –Support for Youth & Families (GPS): Y.E.S. Program

Guided Pathways –Support for Youth & Families is a family support organization serving residents of King County, Washington.  We are a place where parents and their children have walked – and left footprints to follow to help other families build their strength and find their way.  Our mission:  We are families helping families.  We empower and support families and youth struggling with behavioral, emotional or substance abuse challenges in navigating resources to achieve wellness and resilience.  Because we strongly believe that the emotional and mental health of families, children and youth of color matter our Youth Empowerment and Support (Y.E.S.) program places special emphasis on communities of color.  The program focuses on and builds the overlooked and dismissed strengths inherent in students of color who are so often viewed only in the context of what’s ‘wrong’ with them and disproportionately disciplined.  Y.E.S., which is designed to support these students through an exploration and discovery of identity, goals, emotions and feelings, relationships and empowerment, is being implemented in Auburn and Kent schools. We are excited to continue the program in these South King County schools and expand into Renton/Skyway in the 2016-17 school year.