Updated: March 10, 2021

WSBA Powerful Communities Projects

The WSBA Powerful Communities Project Initiative is designed 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 denied justice due to systemic oppression.

Our vision of success for the Powerful Communities Projects 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 to increase pro bono opportunities for WSBA members.

2021 Powerful Communities Project Grantees

Kinship Navigator Program of Catholic Charities Serving Central Washington

Provide education and paperwork assistance via legal clinics and information sessions to help Kinship Caregivers navigate the new Minor Guardian process and successfully gain custody. This project will serve clients in Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla, Garfield, Columbia and Asotin counties.

LAW Advocates

Promote free legal consultations that are available via teleconference to low-income Whatcom County residents, in partnership with libraries in Whatcom County.

Legal Counsel for Youth and Children (LCYC)

Launch a pro bono program grounded in anti-racism and equity principles for Washington youth struggling with homelessness, unstable housing, or those in child welfare system. Grant will support a Pro Bono Manager's time, providing services statewide.

Living with Conviction (fiscal sponsor CENTER)

Support expansion to Spokane and a partnership to assist with Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs), conduct a "Training with Trainers" and provide advocacy.

Northwest Justice Project, Native American Unit 

Partner with Tulalip Tribes' Office of Reservation Attorney and Tulalip Community health Team to develop educational materials focusing on estate recovery laws and related topics. (Serving Snohomish and King County.)

Snohomish County Legal Services 

Expand staffing and capacity to serve Latinx communities, particularly undocumented immigrants in Snohomish County. 

South Asian Bar Association of Washington (SABAW)

Collaboration with Sexual Violence Law Center to enhance pro bono access for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, particularly immigrant survivors and survivors of color via virtual legal clinics.

The Way To Justice (with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Outreach Center)

Restore community access to free legal resources for low-income community members through monthly Justice Night events (free walk-in legal clinics) in Spokane.

Trans in Prison Justice Project/QLaw Foundation of Washington/Legal Voice 

Project will bring together impacted individuals and community stakeholders to participate in negotiations with King County DAJD around policy reforms impacting transgender incarcerated people.

Past Communities Project Grantees 

Chelan Douglas Volunteer Attorney Services
Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program
Colectiva Legal del Pueblo
Columbia Legal Services
Cowlitz Wahkiakum Legal Aid
Eastside Legal Assistance Program
Family Law CASA of King County
Kinship Navigator Program of Catholic Charities Serving Central Washington
Kitsap Legal Services
Latina/o Bar Association of Washington
Living With Conviction
The Olympia Free Clinic
Pierce County Minority Bar Association
Northwest Justice Project and Skokomish Tribe
QLaw Foundation of Washington
Seattle Clemency Project
Snohomish County Legal Services
Spokane County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Program
The STAR Project
Tacoma Healing Awareness Community
Thurston County Volunteer Services
Unemployment Law Project
World Relief Spokane
Yakima County Volunteer Attorney Services

Powerful Communities Project Grant Information

Grant applications are usually open in December and due in January.  Selected grantees are usually awarded in February.  Grant funds for a particular fiscal year must be spent between February and September.  Grants are usually $3,000. 

For general questions about the Powerful Communities Project, please email publicservice@wsba.org.  

For questions about donating to the Powerful Communities Project, please contact Laura Sanford at lauras@wsba.org.