Updated: April 15, 2024

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.

2024 Grantees

Families Shoulder to Shoulder. The primary goal of FSTS is to provide a space and platform for families to participate in their loved one's defense through letter writing or attending hearings. FSTS is led by individuals who have been forced to navigate the criminal legal system alone. 

Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center*. The Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center uses their grant funding to help immigrants from within the West Salish communities obtain free or low-cost immigration legal services.

Living with Conviction*. 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.  

Pacific County Immigrant Support. Pacific County Immigrant Support is a community-based organization with a mission to provide assistance and advocate for immigrants in southwest Washington. The organization formed in 2018 to defend immigrant residents from arrest, detention, and deportation. The grant will be used to fund the ¡Adelante Juntos!  program which will provide clients with legal education and representation. 

QLaw Foundation of Washington*. QLaw Foundation of Washington will use this grant to compensate their first Peer Navigator(s), who will provide support 2SLGBTQIA+ community members with legal-adjacent needs, like courthouse support and communication with service providers or attorneys. These Peer Navigators will be filled by QTBIPOC and/or 2SLGBTQIA+ community members with lived experience as a user of courts or social services impacted by legal proceedings. The model for their holistic support is grounded in the survival networks and mutual aid already existing within 2SLGBTQIA+ and QTBIPOC communities and center our clients' and communities' lived experience in the delivery of legal services and courtroom advocacy.

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.

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. 

*All of these organizations offer pro bono volunteer opportunities. For more information, please click on their respective hyperlinks.