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City of Seattle
Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: Mayor Nickels Funds Race and Social Justice Neighborhood Projects

1/14/2005  12:00:00 PM

Mayor Nickels Funds Race and Social Justice
Neighborhood Projects

Community groups who are working to increase understanding
and promote social justice will share $500,000

SEATTLE-- Mayor Greg Nickels announced yesterday that nearly half a million dollars in Neighborhood Matching Funds will go to organizations who are working to increase tolerance, understanding and social justice."

This is the best way to begin the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday," Nickels said. "We are proud to be able to support the neighborhood groups who are working to improve understanding between groups and increase opportunities in housing, education and many other areas."

The Neighborhood Matching Fund awards are given several times a year to community groups who then match the public funds with locally raised money, donated materials, and volunteer labor. This is the second year that one set of awards has been dedicated to fulfilling the goals of the Mayor’s Race and Social Justice Initiative.

This year’s recommended awards funds projects from all over the city. The 48 awards will give a total of $499,365, with each project receiving between $3,000 to $15,000. The communities are matching the City’s dollars with local resources valued at $650,095. The projects take up to six months to complete.

Some examples of this year’s recipients are:

  • The Conciliation Project will be working on a project to offer performance-work and curriculum materials for education on issues of racism to the Seattle Public Schools.
  • The NW Asian Foundation will organize a book fair, scheduled for April 30, 2005, featuring and promoting books written by local authors of color and showcasing publishers specializing in books with multi-ethnic and multi-cultural topics.
  • The Refugee Federation Service Center will partner with six Mutual Assistance Agencies to increase public awareness about the unique needs of elderly refugees and to advocate on their behalf.

These awards are administered through the Department of Neighborhoods. This is the largest number of awards given at once, and are the result of a record number of applications received last fall.

"I’m very encouraged and optimistic about the results we’re going to see from these great ideas," said Department of Neighborhoods Director Yvonne Sanchez. "They are in keeping with the goals of Dr. King, and we expect great results this year."

Seattle neighborhoods have completed more than 2,500 projects in the last 15 years, using Neighborhood Matching Fund amounts from $100 to$100,000.

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