Updated: Nov. 13, 2023

WSBA Powerful Communities Grant

The WSBA Powerful Communities Grant aims to amplify communities who are denied justice due to systemic oppression, advance the WSBA’s mission and purposes outlined in General Rule 12.2, encourage public service by WSBA members, and implement the State Plan for the Coordinated Delivery of Legal Aid to Low-Income People.  With funding from the Washington State Bar Foundation, organizations can apply for small grants to help them jumpstart new community-based projects and/or expand existing programs that benefit and provide services to people who are denied justice due to systemic oppression.

Vision for success

Our vision of success for the Powerful Communities Grant is that grantee organizations will be able to work with more people who experience systemic oppression, develop or expand meaningful partnerships with community-based organizations serving communities who are harmed by systemic oppression, and increase pro bono opportunities for WSBA members.

2023 Grantees

Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program. Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program is using their grant to fund a Landlord Tenant Education series to support and prioritize Chuukese community members in Clark County. 

Cowlitz Wahkiakum Legal Aid. Cowlitz Wahkiakum Legal Aid uses their grant to fund a series of Legal Information Community Presentations in Spanish and English. These presentations are held in Longview, WA at the local library and are aimed to serve Cowlitz Spanish-speaking and low-income community members. 

Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center. The Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center uses funding from Washington State Bar Association to help immigrants from within the West Salish communities obtain free or low-cost immigration legal services.

La Casa Hogar. La Casa Hogar uses their grant funding for the planning, promoting, and executing of free or low cost, culturally competent, and trauma informed Citizenship Legal Clinics in Yakima Valley.

Lavender Rights Project. The Lavender Rights Project is using its grant to support its ongoing Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) legal clinic for gender diverse people in Washington State. The BIPOC legal clinic aims to serve and meet the needs of Black and Indigenous gender diverse communities, with a focus on supporting Black trans women and femmes. The clinic is a legal advice and referral system, with some in-house legal representation for post-conviction work including vacating records, LFO waivers/reductions, and complex name petition changes.

Living with Conviction w/ fiscal sponsor CENTER. Living with Conviction is creating short “how-to” videos on filing and service of petitions requesting a reduction in legal financial obligations (LFOs) for King, Pierce, and Snohomish County Superior Courts, and in so doing, helping remove another barrier to unrepresented individuals getting relief from debilitating LFOs.  

Skagit Legal Aid. Skagit Legal Aid uses their grant to directly invest in indigenous immigrant farmworker communities by developing a driver’s license education pilot program.

The Way to Justice. The Way to Justice works with its community partners in support of the Spokane County-Self-Help Centers pilot project. The Way is creating a culturally relevant and inclusive informational video that explains GR 40 and how to request informal family law trials in appropriate cases, to reduce barriers and promote access to justice.

Wenatchee for Immigrant Justice. Wenatchee for Immigrant Justice is remediating financial inequities to immigrant communities created by hospital debt by partnering with community organizations and legal services to provide legal education, outreach, and support to community members through the charity care application process.

West African Community Council. The West African Community Council is a nonprofit organization based in South Seattle that provides immigration legal services, early childhood education, and advocacy to the West African community. The organization’s mission is to advocate, organize, assist, education, and support West African community members while preserving their traditions, culture, social, religious, and moral beliefs.

For general questions about the Powerful Communities Project, please email publicservice@wsba.org. For donation inquiries, please email Laura Sanford at the Washington State Bar Foundation.