The Puget Sound Taxpayer Accountability Account (PSTAA) team is excited to announce the release of the Love and Liberation Assessment Report. Love and Liberation is a racial justice initiative focused on self-liberation and system change to improve academic and life outcomes for young people of color. This work is led by the Racial Equity Coalition (REC), a collaborative of 14 Black, Indigenous, and Community of Color partner nonprofits that have organized around a common vision of addressing the lack of equity support services for young people of color in the education system. This report shares learnings from the initial three-year pilot phase of Love and Liberation. It also serves as a tool to support decision-making, identify next steps for the Love and Liberation pilot and plan for PSTAA’s K-12 Community Based Supports funding strategy. The evaluation section of the report reveals promising preliminary results, gathered since the pilot began in 2021. These include:
- Love and Liberation’s reach expanded in its first two years, both geographically and in the number of young people served.
- Love and Liberation served a diverse community of young people across race, ethnicity, age, and geography.
- Young people showed high levels of engagement despite pandemic-related challenges.
- In 2022, protective factors increased for 91 percent of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) participants. These factors include a sense of belonging, positive cultural identity, support from community, social emotional skills and leadership skills.
The King County Department of Community and Human Services awarded United Way of King County a three-year contract to administer and facilitate the Love and Liberation pilot. This investment supports youth development services rooted in positive cultural identity development, which refers to learning about ones’ racial/ethnic heritage, history, language use, cultural customs, and traditions. The pilot also includes the use of a participatory grantmaking framework, through which REC organizations decide how to invest resources across their organizations to achieve improved outcomes for young people of color. The report recommends extending the Love and Liberation pilot for another three years in order to further evaluate its impact and determine a strategy for future investment. For a pdf version of the Love and Liberation report click here. For more information about the REC and its members, visit: Racial Equity Coalition | United Way of King County (uwkc.org).