2021 Collective Network

Community Alternatives to Incarceration and Policing Request for Proposals

In August 2021, the Seattle Office for Civil Rights launched the Collective Network Request for Proposal, that focused on Community Alternatives to Incarceration and Policing, with aims to invest in organizations or coalitions that would build a collective network that supports community members impacted by the criminal legal system and develop proposals for alternatives to incarceration and policing.

The 2021 Collective Network Rating Panel Participants recommended full funding for two proposals:

  1. Black trans-led organization capacity building & indirect intervention of carceral systems experienced by Black trans and gender diverse communities in WA State proposal of $500,000 submitted by Lavender Rights Project.

Approximately $1,000,000 is available for two years of total funding, with $500,000 for 2022 and the remaining $500,000 available in the subsequent year up to December 31, 2023. Initial awards will be made for the period of January 2022, through December 31, 2023.

Application Materials and Guidance: Application packets deadline now closed, awardees chosen. 

Technical Assistance

Technical assistance was made available to all applicants that have an operating budget of $2 million or less in the fiscal year prior to applying. An outside consultant provided the technical assistance. Technical Assistance may have included help to frame approach and application, and assistance with budgeting, reviewing application drafts, and with submission. 


Yasmin Habib
Habib Consulting, LLC

J Mase III
The Black Trans Prayer Book 


 Friday, 8/27/2021  RFP posted and released
 Wednesday, 9/1/2021, 5:30 - 7:30pm  Information Session
 Monday, 10/4/2021  Written applications due
 Wednesday, 10/20/2021 - Wednesday, 10/27/2021  Conduct virtual interviews, as applicable
 Friday, 12/10/2021  Planned award notification
 Friday, 4/22/2022  Contract start date

Collective Network Request for Proposal


This funding originated from community advocacy for investments in alternatives to incarceration. Most recently known is the work organized by Ending the Prison Industrial Complex (EPIC) and Budget for Justice (BFJ).

In 2015, community-based organizations and coalitions, including Youth Undoing Institutional Racism (YUIR), EPIC, No New Youth Jail Campaign (NNYJ), The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB), and European Dissent, engaged in campaigns that supported a vision of a City free of incarceration. This included organized resistance against the building of a new King County youth jail. As a result of community organizing, on September 21, 2015, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a resolution for zero use of detention for youth. The goal of this resolution is to make Seattle a city where detention or imprisonment is obsolete. To support community efforts and help make this resolution a meaningful reality, EPIC organized the City of Seattle to allocate $500,000 back to communities most targeted by the prison industrial complex and mass incarceration.

In 2018, advocates with Budget for Justice (BFJ) called on the City to realign its criminal legal system funding priorities. As a result of this and other organizing efforts, the City Council added $1.08 million to SOCR's 2020 budget (thus doubling the original EPIC investment) to fund community-based organizations in Seattle supporting alternatives to or addressing harm created by the criminal legal system.

Investment Strategy

This RFP will be used to fund alternatives to the harm created by the carceral state. The RFP is targeted to address the disproportionate impact of the carceral state on Black communities and families. The purpose is to build a collective network that exists beyond funding opportunities, is community centered, and is equipped to hold and support those otherwise entangled by the carceral state. We envision the collective network to be a space where the Black community in the form of families, organizations/coalitions, or as individuals can come together to develop authentic relationships, heal from internalized oppression, and explore responses to harms created by the carceral state.

Scope of Work

The selected organizations/coalitions will work to build a community owned and self-sustaining collective network. Applicants should provide applications that address both capacity building and alternatives to the carceral state, and include the following:

Capacity Building

  • Demonstrate the ability to maintain and strengthen authentic relationships.
  • Prioritize meeting the self-defined needs or goals of Black families and other individuals and communities most impacted by the carceral state.
  • Build capacity for folks to become a part of the collective network and continue to shift resources to community to create and define safety for themselves.
  • Provide capacity building for the collective network. Examples of capacity building may include, but are not limited to meals, teach-ins, healing practices, basic needs, community connection, workshops, trainings, listening sessions, and leadership development for organizers and families.

Alternatives to the Carceral State

  • The collective network will explore responses to the harms created by the carceral state and/or develop transformative approaches to community crises, including COVID-19. Examples of proposals could include a blueprint, set of recommendations, People's Plan (i.e., community-owned plan of research, organizing, and implementation), or an organizing strategy. Applications should address:
    • A community owned response to safety and health; and/or The ability to create/develop a variety of healing centered practices aimed at repairing the harms created by systems of oppression that make communities vulnerable.

Priority Applicants

We encourage joint applications and collaboration between organizations/coalitions. We are prioritizing applications from organizations/coalitions that will show:

  • They are led by individuals impacted by the carceral state;
  • A strong connection to the priority and focus population, including the Black transgender community and the broader Black community;
  • A commitment to building power in the community and/or supporting healing from the impact of oppression;
  • A commitment to address internalized oppression and affirming all identities and values ending all forms of oppression, which include ableism, homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny;
  • Sustained accountable relationships with individuals most impacted by the carceral state;
  • Sustained accountable relationships with organizations/coalitions supporting individuals most impacted by the carceral state and engaged in movement building;
  • and Sustained and continued commitment to work in collaboration with other organizations/coalitions led by Black, Indigenous, and communities of color; uplifting BIPOC queer and transgender leadership to build a strong collective network.

2021 Collective Network RFP FAQ

What do the reporting requirements look like for those who successfully get this grant?

The reporting requirements (and outcomes) will be developed, as part of the contract negotiation process, with each individual organization/group that is selected to be awarded funding. Typically, reports will be submitted monthly along with invoices. 

Are we able to budget up to a million dollars, or is it $1 million total that is being distributed through this grant?

The total amount of available funds is $1 million and we are seeking to fund 2-4 applications/proposals. Applications/proposals that are selected to be awarded funding will be notified of the amount of funding they will be allocated to receive through this funding process. 

Is this RFP funding for one-time or is it multi-year funding?

The funding for this RFP (2021 Collective Network: Community Alternatives to Incarceration and Policing) process is one-time funding. The City's investment strategy of Community Alternatives to Incarceration and Policing is ongoing funding. However, each year a new RFP will be developed and released to the community and organizations will have to submit an application/proposal to be considered for funding, whether they were previously awarded funding or not. 

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The Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR) works to advance civil rights and end barriers to equity. We enforce laws against illegal discrimination in employment, housing, public places, and contracting within Seattle.