Our mission is to transform the balance of power to ensure equity and racial justice across Washington and beyond.
Group Health Foundation is committed to bringing about true equity in Washington: real change that transforms the balance of power in our state and beyond.
Equity is not possible without community power. We believe equity is possible when communities who have systemically been denied wealth and health have decision-making power over the people, policies, institutions, and structures that determine the material conditions of their daily lives. We also believe that there cannot be equity until real decision-making power is held by Black, Indigenous, and other people of color; people who are LGBTQIA+; immigrants; people with disabilities; people living on low incomes; and those who experience the compounding impacts of ableism, gender inequity, and ageism.
We believe that organizations and initiatives led by those most impacted by inequity have the best ideas and abilities for achieving equity across Washington—those who are bringing people together to build, celebrate, demand, imagine, and ensure their communities are free and thriving today and for generations to come.
We are committed to ensuring that every choice we make as a foundation, including how we allocate resources, is aligned with these beliefs—our values in action.
Racial justice. We believe that racial justice is a core condition to achieve true equity. We commit to ending systemic racism alone and at the intersection of other oppressions. We believe that racial justice is the best lever for achieving society-wide transformation. We will proactively anticipate and stand accountable for how our actions increase or decrease power for Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, externally and within our own organization. We will follow and work alongside their leadership to end white supremacy and systemic racism.
Collective liberation. We are working toward a world where all people can live free. We will practice love and solidarity, recognizing that the expression of each person’s humanity is necessary for our collective freedom. We will center the leadership and experiences of those living at the intersections of oppression as we ensure our policies and decisions work to end homophobia and transphobia, ableism, ageism, xenophobia, sexism, classism, and racism.
Joy. We celebrate the joy in communities and embrace the humor, creativity, and hope within each of us and within the cultures and communities we come from. We will create an environment that celebrates the fullness and beauty in communities, and in ourselves, even as we remain truthful about the challenges and injustices we are working against.
Freedom, justice, and an inclusive participatory democracy. We believe that every person deserves to participate in the decisions that impact their lives. An interdependent, multiracial, and inclusive democracy requires that communities impacted by inequities have the self-determination and agency to make decisions and govern. We believe it is necessary to right our country’s historic wrongs and heal from the harm that has been done.
The Seven Generation Principle. We will stand in the present and look three generations behind and three generations forward. We will integrate this principle into our planning and decision-making processes to understand the potential consequences of our actions, including unintended consequences. We will ensure that our decisions and actions are consistent with our goals for our own generation and our responsibilities to future generations. We will inform our decisions with the wisdom and insights of prior generations: the ongoing influence of historical patterns, generational trauma, generational learning, and the power of stories.
We offer our appreciation to the Tribal and Urban Leadership Advisory Committee of the American Indian Health Commission of Washington State for sharing their articulation of the Seven Generation Principle.
Accountability. We are accountable to organizations, networks, and leaders who are rooted in and building power within racially diverse communities who have been denied both wealth and health—and who believe that racial justice is a core condition to achieve true equity. We will listen, be open to feedback, and be transparent about our progress and challenges.
Learning. We will ground our efforts in community wisdom, deep listening, and community-driven research. We are committed to continuous learning and dedicated to sharing knowledge from our successes and setbacks. We will honor community leadership and engage organizations in meaningful ways to prioritize, design, and support our approaches.
Determination. We aspire to be a force for transformation toward equity, which requires unconventional strategies, innovation, and imagination. We recognize that as a philanthropic organization we have outsized power. The way we will recognize that power is by embracing the responsibility that comes with it—remaining relentless and fearless in our service to those working to transform society.
Abundance. We recognize and celebrate the inherent wisdom, brilliance, and innovation that exists, and has always existed, in communities. Every day, organizations are making transformational change towards equity despite much opposition. We will honor and amplify the abundance of knowledge, resources, solutions, talent, and leadership that exists in communities across our state.
As we build relationships with community leaders and organizations and develop our grantmaking strategies, we are reflecting on the experiences and guidance shared by people across Washington about what it means to be a respectful philanthropic partner. To hold ourselves accountable, we have begun to articulate how we will approach critical areas of our work and the decisions we make. Read more >>