RVC rebrands to better reflect our work and our communities
Over the course of the last year, you may have noticed that RVC has gotten a little bit of a visual makeover — some new colors in our newsletters, new landing pages on our website, and a new storytelling style on our social media channels. This is because over the course of the last year, RVC has undergone a rebranding process to better reflect all of what we’re doing together to change the sector. We’re excited to show everyone what we’ve been working on!
Why it was important to change our name
When RVC was formed in 2014, its vision was to build up nonprofit leaders of color, placing them at people of color-led community-based organizations within Seattle’s Rainier Valley region. Our original organization name, “Rainier Valley Corps,” created by our founding Executive Director Vu Le, was descriptive and accurate to what RVC’s mission was at the time.
Then, over the years, the organization expanded beyond its original mission due to needs in the sector as well as the insights, experience, and passion of volunteer committee members, our growing staff, and members of the surrounding community.
For instance, we started extensively partnering with organizations outside of Seattle and the Rainier Valley due to gentrification and communities of color getting pushed out of Seattle. We We also got pushed out ourselves! Our office moved out of the Rainier Valley after a nine-month search for an office in Rainier Valley. In the end, we signed a lease in the International District.
Our experience led us to worry that if our name continued to say “Rainier Valley Corps,” many organizations outside of that geographical region would rule themselves out of partnering with us due to the mistaken impression that we only work within that area.
Since 2014, our programs and services have also changed. The very first fellowship program is still an integral part of RVC as the Community Impact Fellowship Program. But we’ve also launched the Green Pathways Fellowship Program (also not based in the Rainier Valley), and are growing our Capacity Building program and our Operations Support program. So unfortunately, the “Corps” part of RVC’s former name is also no longer accurate to what we do.
Hey! Our new name is not that different! Why we settled on the name “RVC”
To do the brand identity work, we hired the same consultant, Stacy Nguyen, who originally did RVC’s very first brand identity. Over the course of 2019, we went on a lengthy and often emotional journey — and ended up with the name “RVC”! We certainly explored the idea of changing the organization to something completely different and new as well as weighed the pros and cons of staying RVC — but in the end, one option stood out as right.
As an organization — comprising staff, board, community members, and our partners — we collectively explored options and avenues before we realized that we are attached to and still wanted to be called RVC. We didn’t want to lose the strong name recognition of the brand (and so many of you already naturally call us “RVC” instead of “Rainier Valley Corps” already!) We didn’t want to lose the sense of familiarity and connection to the name that our community already has.
We also wanted to pay respect and continue Vu’s legacy for years to come. While he is transitioning out of being our executive director, his impact on this organization will continue.
Call us RVC!
Our hopes for our new logo (representing inclusion, diversity, and communities of color coming together) and our new tagline (rooted in vibrant communities) is that they serve as a reminder that the life-changing work we all do on a daily basis is strengthened by the relationships we have built with one another. Our hope is that this refresh ushers in new growth, progress, potential, and opportunities for all our partners — we are really striving for our new branding to be more inclusive and more reflective of the many, many energetic and vibrant leaders of color who are making big waves on behalf of communities of color.
Together, we’re really going to change the sector and uplift communities of color — while always honoring where we come from and where we have been.