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Thursday, October 21, 2021

DEEL Invests In Youth Leaders To Address Bias, Hate, And Discrimination With New $100K Mini-Grant

This week, the Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) opened applications for a new Youth-Led Social Justice Mini-Grant which will invest up to $100,000 toward youth-led social justice projects to address hate and bias toward Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI), Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) communities. Grants of $500-$8,000 per applicant will be awarded through a non-competitive process. 

The Youth-Led Social Justice Mini Grant was first announced in March 2021 by Mayor Durkan and Seattle City Council in response to increased hate crimes and bias that continue to harm Seattle’s AAPI community. This grant will invest in and amplify the voices of passionate youth leaders in Seattle advocating for anti-racism, anti-discrimination, and positive change.  

DEEL worked closely with the Seattle Youth Commission and other Seattle youth to advise on the application’s design and outreach strategy to ensure the grant is accessible, transparent and inclusive. 

“Youth leadership on social justice projects is important because we have diverse perspectives to share based on our lived experiences,” said Seattle Youth Commissioner and Garfield High School student, Ahana Roy. “As a generation who has grown up more connected to each other through the internet, we see and experience hate, racism and bias in many ways. It’s important youth have opportunities to design and lead our own projects so that our experiences and ideas aren’t excluded.”  

“I’m super excited about the Youth-Led Social Justice Mini-Grant opportunity to address hate and bias in our community. It’s very important to have the youth of the city engaged in community initiatives to get support and encourage youth-led change, which will be more sustainable for generations to come. I believe that’s what makes this grant opportunity even more intriguing to youth and I look forward to supporting the efforts that will lead to meaningful change in our city,” said Seattle Youth Commissioner and Holy Names Academy student, Samara Wijesekera.   

“Seattle’s youth are brilliant, deeply empathetic, and are the leaders we need right now. Youth leadership opportunities support young people to share their voice, develop important communication skills, participate in civic engagement, and make their communities safer and more inclusive places. We’re proud to support the important advocacy work of our City’s young leaders,” said Dr. Dwane Chappelle, Director of DEEL.  

All Seattle youth ages 12-24 are eligible to apply. Applications are open to individuals, youth-led groups such as school clubs or community-based groups, as well as community-based organizations who can demonstrate that projects will be led by youth. Applicants can choose to submit their application in either a written or video format. The deadline to apply is October 25th at 5:00 p.m. Youth can learn more and apply at tinyurl.com/SeaSJYouthGrant. 

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