During our recent annual board learning retreat, we filmed our Seattle-area grantees discussing how their asset-building work is rooted in culture and led by the community.
Members of our board and staff traveled to Seattle in May with a guiding question:
How is self-determination expressed in the culturally grounded work of our grantees in Native communities, communities of color, immigrant and refugee communities, and people in rural areas near Seattle?
As our president and CEO Kevin Walker conveys at the beginning of the five-minute video, the retreat was designed to help the board and staff explore “what it means to partner with our grantees in a way that invests our resources in self-determined work that positions organizations to help communities thrive on their own terms.”
The annual board retreat offers an invaluable opportunity to understand the work of our grantee partners by hearing them speak, firsthand. What they’re saying influences how our funding looks―now and going forward.
“[The retreat was designed to explore] what it means to partner with our grantees in a way that invests our resources in self-determined work that positions organizations to help communities thrive on their own terms.”
—Kevin Walker, NWAF President and CEO
Video features insight from nearly half a dozen groups and their leaders.
You’ll hear from Beto Yarce, executive director of Ventures, a nonprofit that supports entrepreneurship among communities with few limited resources but unlimited potential. Ventures uses funding from our Enterprise Development portfolio to provide entrepreneurs in underserved communities with access to business loans. Entrepreneur Dedrea Danilov, owner of DedreaJewels Designs, says the support she’s received from Ventures helps her “feel like I’m able to create and give back.”
Colleen Echohawk, executive director of Chief Seattle Club, shares insights into her organization’s mission to nurture, affirm, and renew the spirit of urban Native peoples. Chief Seattle Club provides food, medical support, housing assistance, and other services to its community. Funds from our Work Opportunity portfolio are helping to build the Native Works program, in which Native artwork is crafted and sold to support programs for Seattle’s Native homeless community.
The video also includes representatives from other Foundation grantees in the Seattle area: Social Justice Fund Northwest, which works toward long-term social change by funding grassroots community organizing throughout the Northwest; and Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network, which builds self-determination among immigrant and refugee communities through organizing, education, and advocacy throughout Washington State.