What is Illuminated

One year ago at Pride Foundation, we were moving our first round of Crisis Community Care Fund grants to LGBTQ+ organizations across the Northwest.

We had put the fund together quickly, seeding it with our own operating reserves while we began fundraising for it. We knew that the small groups and organizations we support were going to need resources to make it through the compounding crises facing our world—and we had no idea how long the trajectory of this new reality would turn out to be.

We moved resources proactively, with no applications, no reporting, and no strings attached—because we trust our community partners to build what our local communities need. Our priorities were simple: To care for one another. To keep each other safe. To do all we could.

Our community made an incredible level of care possible. Since then, we have moved more than $1.6 million to these groups, tripling what we’ve typically been able to award in an average year because of the generosity of our supporters and foundation partners.

The dollar amounts, while significant, do not tell the full story of the past year. The care, the grief, the fear, the sleepless nights, the struggle, the effort, the hope.

One year later, we are preparing to move another round of Crisis Community Care Fund grants. And it has been a stark reminder that we are still so very much in it—from rising COVID cases, to folks facing homelessness and food insecurity, the impacts of this pandemic are far from over.

This week has also been a vivid illustration of the systemic racism and white supremacy that continues to be all around us. From increased violence against Asian Americans over the past year, to the ongoing violence against Black people by the police that we are witnessing in the trial of Derek Chauvin, and the murder of Daunte Wright—we are bearing witness to the devastating violence that BIPOC communities face every single day.    

While COVID vaccines have been, for many, a light at the end of the tunnel, the new reality on the other side is far from illuminated. Even though we are still in the midst of crises, my mind keeps trying to make meaning out of all we have gone through, witnessed, and learned over the past year. To let those experiences transform us and our world.

To remember that, right now, we have the extraordinary opportunity to shape the reality that will be illuminated—to redefine ‘normal’ as one where everyone in our communities can thrive. Because the normal of before was one that prioritized money over humanity, individuals over community, comfort over justice.

For us at Pride Foundation, our work is forever, firmly, resoundingly changed because of what we’ve learned and witnessed in the past year. And I’m so proud of how our community has shown up to care for one another, and continues to show up.

As a community, we will keep asking: What are we doing to let the past year continue to transform us? What have we learned that will change how we rebuild our world? What more can we be doing to fight white supremacy and systemic racism?

Together, we get to build what our world looks like on the other side of this. But it will take all of us, and it will take the same kind of brilliance, innovation, and care that we have lived over the past year.

Our communities have shown that it can be a world transformed.


Katie Carter is Pride Foundation CEO.

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