Tacoma Urban League Wins $200,000 Grant from Northwest Area Foundation

TACOMA, WA., (December 4, 2015) – The Tacoma Urban League has received a grant of $200,000 from the Northwest Area Foundation to fund the first phase of a Community of Practice designed to build capacity to improve economic outcomes for African Americans in Tacoma-Pierce County. The grant is part of a three-year initiative to advance the financial capability of communities in cities with the highest African-American populations within the Northwest Area Foundation’s region: Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota; Portland, Oregon; Seattle and Tacoma, Washington; and Des Moines, Iowa. The initiative will bring together a cohort of six African-American-led organizations that will deliver culturally tailored work in asset-building from each of these cities.

The initiative supports efforts by the cohorts to reach out and convene other organizations that can work collaboratively with groups within the African-American communities of each city.

“The Tacoma Urban League will use its grant to lead a Community of Practice designed to make a collective impact through systems and programs that will improve the economic security of African-Americans in Tacoma-Pierce County,” says Victoria Woodards, TUL president and CEO.

The Community of Practice will consist of five nonprofit organizations currently providing financial support services in housing, mentorship, leadership development, financial literacy, asset-building and advocacy. Representatives include United Way of Pierce County, Dona Ponepinto, President and CEO; Northwest Leadership Foundation, Pat Talton, President and CEO; Tacoma Ministerial Alliance, Rev. Toney Montgomery, President; Tacoma Branch NAACP, Rev. Gregory Christopher, President; and Tacoma Urban League.

In September of 2013, the Northwest Area Foundation sponsored two asset and wealth creation roundtable discussions in Tacoma to better understand the existing African-American asset-building infrastructure within the city. These discussions created an agenda from which TUL’s Community of Practice will focus on to change the socio-economic landscape for Tacoma’s African American community.

Goals for the first phase of the grant include:

  • conduct an asset-building needs assessment
  • convene focus groups
  • assess capacity and infrastructure of the Community of Practice
  • provide training opportunities
  • coordinate financial capability activities

For more information, please contact Victoria Woodards, President and CEO, Tacoma Urban League, 253.383.2006.

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