Thrive Invests in Community Organizations to Advance Racial Equity

Thrive by Five Washington awarded $230,000 to four organizations that will work to eliminate the opportunity gap in early learning efforts throughout Washington.
The organizations receiving racial equity grants developed plans to use a racial equity lens in implementing our state’s Early Learning Plan, specifically aligned to our state’s Racial Equity Theory of Change.
Nonprofit and governmental organizations, as well as federally recognized Indian tribes, were eligible to apply for funds. Each proposal was required to contribute to one or more of the four “building blocks” outlined in the Racial Equity Theory of Change.

“The organizations that received funding were the most successful in showing how they would collaborate with Thrive and key local partners to work toward eliminating the opportunity gap in our state for children of color,” said Dan Torres, Thrive community partnerships manager. “The success of this work is dependent on the early learning system being responsive to the full range of providers. Connections to ‘family, friend and neighbor’ caregivers was a major point of emphasis in applications.”
The projects involve a range of activities, including training outreach workers to work on Play & Learn groups among immigrant populations; expanding programs to empower parents who are English Language Learners to speak up for the policy and program objectives that matter to them; and creating opportunities for African-American and Latino families to voice their requirements and concerns.
Funding priority was also given to proposals that used existing data from communities to demonstrate the extent of racial inequities in the early learning system and to inform their work.
“We believe that data is far broader than quantitative measures alone,” Torres said. “We value the lived experiences of community members as an important source of data.”

Funding for these grants comes in part from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Bezos Family Foundation.


1 comment Thrive Invests in Community Organizations to Advance Racial Equity

May 23, 2014 at 5:59 pm, Judy Brown said:

I am a Kindergarten teacher who is desperate to begin a program such as yours in my city, Danville (Virginia), where the education gap is astronomical. A program such as yours needs to birthed here immediately. The lack of early literacy skills is of epidemic proportions, and I do not know where to begin. Can you please offer some advice?? (Or perhaps extend a program similar to yours to southern Virginia?)