Happy Black History Month!
We are celebrating Black History Month by highlighting Black leadership in our communities. Please celebrate with us by supporting our Black-led partners! (See the list below.)
Read below about fellow panelists’ reflections from the recent Turn up for Transformation. In the partner updates section, check out an excerpt from Amina Dawud’s performance at the event. Amina is a local artist with RVC partner organization Totem Star.
And don’t forget to check out the Community Resources and the ‘Jobs in our Networks’ sections! We have lots of new opportunities from our networks.
Happy Black-History Month!
Tim and again, we are reminded that we must all do more to confront systemic racism in meaningful ways. Funding grassroots organizing, leadership, and power-building led by Black communities will get us a long way.
We invite you to get to know and support our Black-led Partner Organizations. (Below is a link with our Black-led partners.)
Thank you for turning up for transformation with us!
Four 2019-2021 RVC Fellows shared insights into their leadership journey and work in the community.
Thank you for taking the time to support our fellows for those of you who could join us at our last Turn up for Transformation!
One of the questions posed to the fellow panelists was how they became interested in community-based work and discovered the RVC Fellowship. See excerpts from their responses below.
Growing up, I wanted to learn more about my family’s recipes, and as I got older, I learned about myself and my identity and my history through those recipes. I also learned about colonization and how it is embedded in how I think, how my body moves, and how I speak. I wanted to learn more about cultures with similar histories, so I spent some time in Hawaii to learn about their food systems. I connected with young students and their land and their food and was able to empower them to love themselves, too. We can’t undo history, but we can create something new”Cly Samson (she/her), Green Pathways Fellow
My first experience with nonprofits was in middle school when I joined the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps for a few cohorts. We did restoration work, planted trees, and built rain gardens, which was my first introduction to the environmental sector. When I aged out of the program, I still wanted to be connected to nonprofit work, so I volunteered at youth diversion programs with Community Passageways. Shortly after, I met Mohamed Shidane, who is a former Community Impact fellow.He recommended the program to me. A lot of community support got me here.”Shaylea Pilarski (she/her), Green Pathways Fellow
My work with nonprofits started at an organization that supports low-income and first-generation high school and college students. At the time, I was a struggling first-generation student myself. There have been spaces where I have been complicit in reinforcing the nonprofit industrial complex, so it has been a learning experience for me. I was always interested in making connections with folks who were doing grassroots organizing work because I wanted to build a community with people who aligned with my interests and values. My experience with RVC has been really challenging and, at the same time, still really refreshing.”Uyen Vu (they/she), Community Impact Fellow
I was born and raised here in Seattle. My connection to South Seattle and the ultimate frisbee community started in the seventh grade. The first team that I ever played on was a crew of Black and brown kids. We played a co-ed sport dominated by upper middle class white private school kids, and we were really good at ultimate. But the part of what made that experience so impactful was this further understanding and first-hand experiences of things that affected us directly—racism, classism, and sexism. Even though I left Seattle for college, staying connected through the summers and after graduating was easy. Getting to organize and work in the community that I grew up in and raised me was something I was committed to doing for free. So having this be my job is important and special to me. That’s what got me here to the RVC fellowship.”Ari Lozano (she/they), Community Impact Fellow
RVC Was Recently Highlighted In Nonprofit Quarterly!
RVC, along with other impactful organizations, was featured in Nonprofit Quarterly’s latest newsletter as a case study on organizational transparency. Check it out, and please spread the word so that others who are interested can benefit from the case studies and use them to better their organizations and the sector.
RVC Fellows & Partner Updates
RVC is powered by our partners, who tailor their work to the strengths and needs of the communities they serve. Every month, we highlight their amazing work.
Celebrating Black Talent & Voices
Amina Dawud (she/her) is a first-generation Oromo American from South Seattle. Amina is with our partner organization Totem Star, a community-based organization that supports a diverse community of young recording artists through mentorship and meaningful relationships. Totem Star does an excellent job supporting young local artists! Learn more about Totem Star on their website or Instagram.
If you made it to our recent Turn-up event, then you won’t easily forget Amina’s performance. Amina’s poetry speaks powerfully and honestly to various topics that disproportionately impact Black communities, such as gentrification, police brutality, and gun violence.
Amina learned about poetry through her Islamic school teacher, who introduced her to Maya Angelou. Amina sings and writes about her community’s challenges and what she experiences as a Black Muslim Woman. After suffering from multiple losses due to gun violence, Amina is passionate about teaching her community that it’s ok to grieve and that we don’t need to ignore it to feel better.
How to support Amina’s work
Support Amina’s art by donating to her.
Learn more about Amina’s art on her Instagram: @minasgallery
An excerpt from Amina’s performance at Turn up for Transformation:
The streets are feeling cold in the summer as my neighbors give cold shoulders. I step outside and reminisce. My neighbors, slowly being replaced like a wave of defeat pushing up against restless mothers and fathers forcing them out of their home; someone new is moving in different letters from the housing authorities, with different numbers that just keep getting bigger. They are fixing up the house, making them bright and colorful, inviting people on the outside, but we never cared about the outside. The beauty was within generations of children in the diaspora, different colors of curtains in different languages.”
Be a Changemaker
By committing to The Champions to Changemakers Annual Fund, you will be making a pivotal impact in communities of color in the Greater Seattle area.
RVC Changemakers are folks who believe that leadership development and capacity building in communities of color should be spearheaded by the individuals working within these communities. RVC Changemakers believe in building a collective of strong voices — voices that may not always be in agreement, but ones that are always honored, heard and respected. RVC Changemakers push for social change on the ground level, for those who need and deserve it most.
The Champions to Changemakers Annual Fund makes a huge difference, it supports:
- Training and strategic planning sessions for grassroots nonprofits
- Lunch-and-Learns to help RVC’s Community Impact and Green Pathways Fellows strengthen their leadership skills
- Community Connections lunches, where RVC’s community-based partners meet with our major donors to foster more cross-sector collaboration.
You may donate by credit or debit card, or check by mailing it directly to us. For other donation options, please email us at [email protected].
Job Opportunities In Our Network
- RVC is hiring a Development Associate
- El Centro de la Raza is hiring for multiple positions
- Bike Works is hiring for multiple positions
- Skyway Coalition is hiring for a Coalition Manager
- Rainier Beach Action Coalition is hiring for multiple positions.
- WA-BLOC is hiring for a Servant Leader Educator
- East African Community Services is hiring for a Grants & Communications Manager.
- FEEST is hiring for an Operations & Finance Manager
- Washington Employers for Racial Equity is hiring for an Executive Director, Washington Employers for Racial Equity
- The City of Seattle is hiring for multiple positions including Community Liaison Project Manager & Director of Programs and Events
- King Conservation District is hiring for Senior Director of Stewardship Programs
- Program for Early Parent Support is hiring for a Donor Relations Coordinator
- The Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence is hiring for a Shelter Meal Coordinator
- Philanthropy Northwest is hiring for multiple positions
- Resource Media is hiring for a Program Coordinator
- Thousand Currents is hiring for multiple positions
- Washington Nonprofits is hiring for a Communications Manager
- Community Credit Lab is hiring for a part-time Finance and Operations Manager
- Resource Generation is hiring for multiple positions
- The Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence is hiring for multiple positions
- Zero Waste Washington is hiring for a Community Outreach and Policy Coordinator
- King County is hiring for multiple positions including Science Section Manager, Project/Program Manager III & Community Investment Committee Coordinator
- Magic Cabinet hiring for an Engagement Officer for its Seattle office
- Literacy Sources is hiring a Development Manager
- Casa Latina is hiring for multiple positions
- Solid Ground is hiring for multiple positions.
- United Way of King County is hiring for multiple positions.
Community Resources & Events
- King County Public Health COVID19 Vaccine Information
- Free COVID-19 testing is available in King County regardless of immigration status. Find a testing site near you.
- United Way of King County, Food Lifeline, the City of Seattle, and Metro Access are offering home delivery of emergency food boxes across Seattle, North King County, and East King County during COVID-19. To order a food box, fill out the form at the link above, or call Toll-Free at 833-540-0800, Mondays to Fridays from 11 am-4 pm.
- East African Community Services (EACS)’s Family Empowerment Center Project. EACS launched a campaign to develop a new Family Empowerment & Housing Project for families in South Seattle. Check it out & support the campaign!
- Communities Rise
- Communities Rise is offering COVID-19 Small Business and Nonprofit Legal Clinic. Register at the link above.
- Communities Rise announces 2021 Capacity Building Cohort. The application deadline is February 26, 2021. Learn more about the Seattle-based Capacity Building Cohort and apply.
RVC Stuff To Read
How do you build leaderful organizations: An RVC Leadership Transition Update, written by Ananda Valenzuela, RVC Interim Executive Director
Transformational Capacity Building, (SSIR article) written by April Nishimura et al. (2020)
Community Care During the Pandemic: We Are in This Together, written by RVC
What my work at Got Green taught me about environmental justice, Written by Shaylea Pilarski, RVC Green Pathways Fellow
Reflection on Ramadan During Quarantine, by Anbar Mahar Sheikh, RVC Capacity Building Lead
How do we support ourselves and our communities during COVID-19?, written by Tracey Wong, 2019-2021 RVC Community Impact Fellow
We need to retain and invest in our staff during this crisis, Written by Ananda Valenzuela, Interim Executive Director of RVC
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If you have job postings or events that you would like mentioned in our newsletter, please email the details to Saida. We do our best to fit everything in, but we may not always be able to.