Building an Anti-Racist Community

Posted by Zach Grossnickle — June 2, 2020Click for how you can take action.

SVP Seattle remains committed to building an anti-racist community – and we must do so much more.  The events of the past days, weeks, and months are just the latest reminder of the systemic racism that permeate all aspects of our society.  The fact of the matter is, we have been working for a long time to make real, lasting change.  We can – and must – do better and stop failing our black, brown and indigenous communities.

We have a moral obligation to be explicit in calling out the racist systems and structures that are perpetuating these injustices.  SVP Seattle condemns the murder of George Floyd.  We condemn the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, and the many others who have been murdered by unjust and racist systems.  We condemn police brutality here in King County and across the nation.

As an organization we have been learning and educating for several years – it’s time to move to action.   No step we take right now will be enough, but we need to take the first step forward – together.  That will mean discomfort, especially for white individuals and those with privilege.  We cannot let discomfort keep us from taking that step – or we are only perpetuating the systems we look to change.

Our call to action for our partners is to Give – Learn – Act.   We will work harder over the long haul to operationalize ways to engage and make lasting change – but to start today, we ask that you:


Below is a list of organizations and movements that are working on the front lines, including those already responding to the disproportionate health and economic impacts of COVID on black, indigenous and people of color.  SVP Seattle has taken the collective first step and made a contribution to Black Lives Mater Seattle/King County.  Activate your personal philanthropy and give to enable our community to act.


Below is a list of resources to stretch our thinking. This is a time, especially for white individuals, to not sidestep their discomfort.  White individuals need to do their own work to understand how they contribute to systems of oppression – and what we all need to do to change those systems.

If you would like to join a conversation on June 4th, to help deepen your learning, we have a few opportunities scheduled, including one to talk through recent events, compile resources, and share calls to action to move racial equity and justice forward. Go here to register.


Lend your voice condemning systemic racism.  Engage in that tough conversation that you have been avoiding.  Support local black businesses.  As an organization, SVP will continue to evaluate our own systems and structures, and while we have made some strides in the past years, there is more we can do.  We will report back on these in the coming months.

As we take these steps – and others in the future – we need the community to hold SVP accountable.  We need to hold each other accountable. We also need to ask ourselves what are we willing to sacrifice?

Bob Woods, Board Chair

Aaron Jacobs, Interim Executive Director


Your giving should be equity-first to those organizations that are rooted in/trusted by community.

For Criminal Justice Reform, Black Lives Matter



For COVID (and this list could easily grow)

  • Fakequity blog put together a great list two weeks ago of organizations that are on the ground: Read Here
  • Some of SVP’s Investees are on there, and many other orgs we have considered/supported are listed (including WA Bloc, EACS, United Indians, Equity in Education Coalition, Somali Parents Education Board, and others)

WA Building Leaders of Change

East African Community Services

United Indians of All Tribes Foundation

Equity in Education Coalition

Somali Parents Education Board

Scholarship Junkies

Undocumented Immigrant Relief Fund

Front and Centered

Frontline Response fund
by Front and Centered

Equity in Education Coalition

Partners in Change
(By EEC)

Readings/Videos/Podcasts – to deepen your journey.