WBA Foundation Grant Program

The WBA Foundation is proud to announce the

African Communities Together (ACT) is a mutual aid, organizing, and civil rights organization for African immigrants. ACT was founded in 2012 by a first-generation Ethiopian immigrant organizer and social entrepreneur in response to the lack of African immigrant organizations in the immigrant rights field. We connect African immigrants to critical services, help Africans develop as leaders, and organize our communities on the issues that matter. ACT launched our Washington, DC chapter in 2016, and our DC Immigration Legal Program in 2017. These programs provide DC’s under-served African immigrant communities with high quality, culturally appropriate Know Your Rights, immigration legal education, and direct immigration legal services, while building ACT’s capacity to better serve under-served communities. @AfricansUS

Amara Legal Center provides free legal services to individuals whose rights have been violated while involved in commercial sex, whether involvement was by coercion, necessity, choice, or otherwise, in the DC metropolitan area. The WBAF grant supports the Legal Representation Project which provides full representation to 30 survivors of sex trafficking with civil legal services, such as victim-witness advocacy, civil protection orders, custody, in DC Superior Court over the course of a year. @AmaraLegal
Bread for the City began as a volunteer-run free health clinic in 1974. Over the years, their programs grew to include the addition of a legal clinic, social services program, and, most recently, an advocacy program. Their mission is to provide vulnerable residents of Washington, DC, with comprehensive services, including food, clothing, medical care, and legal and social services, in an atmosphere of dignity and respect. The WBAF grant assists the operation of Bread for the City’s Domestic Violence Community Legal Services Project, which serves low income minority women in their fight to obtain protection from domestic violence. This year, Bread for the City will provide advice and representation to over 190 DC residents, aiding them in obtaining Civil Protection Orders, income supports, child custody, and divorce proceedings in order to ensure their safety. @BreadfortheCity
The DC KinCare Alliance seeks to achieve a future where all DC children live in a safe and stable home without fear of abuse or neglect.  They support kin caregivers (Grandparents or other relatives) who have opened their homes to DC’s most vulnerable and at-risk children whose parents are not able to care for them. DCKinCare Alliance oversees the KinCare Legal Defense Project which represents DC kin in court proceedings to obtain the resources and services needed to raise the children in their care. The WBAF Grant will support this project and assist at least 20 caregivers in DC Wards 7 and 8. @DcKincare

The DC Volunteer Lawyers Project is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to address the critical shortage of legal assistance for low-income people in Washington DC, especially in cases involving domestic violence. The WBAF grant supports the Domestic Violence Program, which provides pro bono legal assistance and social services to domestic violence victims – most of whom are women living below the poverty line in Wards 5, 6 and 8 – and their children. In 2017, DCVLP provided legal services to over 600 domestic violence survivors. @DCVLP

DV LEAP’s mission is to provide a stronger voice for justice by fighting to overturn unjust trial court outcomes; advancing legal protections for victims of domestic violence and their children through expert appellate advocacy, training lawyers, psychologists and judges on best practices; and spearheading domestic violence litigation in the Supreme Court. The WBAF grant supports the DC LEAP project which provides essential services including appellate representation, in-depth consultations at the trial level, and technical assistance to victims of domestic violence. @DV_LEAP

First Shift Justice Project empowers low-income pregnant women and parents to safeguard the economic security and health of their families by asserting their workplace rights. By receiving advice and representation, working parents are able to assert their rights before they lose their positions or before their workplace stress becomes untenable, First Shift helps them safely maintain their employment, their health and their family commitments. The WBAF grant has allowed the organization to establish a pro bono volunteer program. This year’s grant will allow the organization to continue to develop the program and engage more attorneys in order to better serve their clients. @1stShiftJustice

For more than 80 years, Legal Aid’s mission has been to make justice real – in individual and systematic ways – for persons living in poverty in the District of Columbia. The WBAF grant will support the Domestic Violence Underserved Communities Holistic Representation Project to address the need of domestic violence survivors living in underserved areas – particularly in Wards 4, 5, and 6 – where poverty rates (and incidences of domestic violence) are high. Legal Aid will commit at least two full-time equivalent attorneys to the Project, with additional supervisor time. This year, it is anticipated that each Project attorney will provide advice, counsel, and/or brief assistance to clients in at least 50 civil protection order, custody, child support, and divorce matters and extended representation in 25 cases, with the Project as a whole serving clients in at least 150 cases. Through the outreach/training component, Project attorneys will aim to conduct at least five outreach/training sessions (or reach at last 100 individuals). Overall, more than 500 D.C. residents (including children of parents served) will benefit from the Project’s work. @LegalAidDC

The Legal Counsel for the Elderly aims to improve the quality of life for elderly District residents, and its primary goal is to serve and empower thousands of low-income seniors each year in those areas of law involving “basic human needs”: income, housing, long-term care, personal autonomy, and consumer protection. The WBAF grant supports the Schedule H Program, an innovative project assisting our older low-income neighbors (nearly 3/4ths of whom are women of color) obtain hundreds of dollars in benefits from D.C.’s Schedule H Tax Credit via pro bono clinics at area law firms. For individuals who do not owe income taxes (which is most of LCE’s clients, as they typically have only a modest Social Security income), D.C. writes them a check for the Schedule H credit. This means our low-income clients can receive up to $1,000 via cash payments in 2018 for the 2017 tax year. In the past LCE clients have used these funds to avoid eviction, pay their property taxes, purchase food and medicine, pay off debts, and more. @LCEinDC

The Tahirih Justice Center provides services for immigrant women and girl survivors of violence including gender-based asylum, protection for survivors, victims of trafficking and other crimes. WBAF grant allow Tahirih to provide holistic legal and social services to immigrant women and girls in the wake of extreme violence - domestic violence and sexual assault, female genital mutilation, trafficking, honor crimes, and forced marriage. Clients are based in the District of Columbia and receive health services from one of our existing medical-legal partners, such as La Clínica del Pueblo.  Legal services will be in the areas of Family Law: protective orders, divorce, custody, visitation; Case Management: safety planning, goal setting, and referrals to shelter, counseling, food, urgent medical care, and other resources to rebuild their lives. @tahirihjustice
The Human Trafficking Legal Center provides pro bono legal services for trafficking survivors seeking justice. The WBAF Grant will bolster the Human Trafficking Legal Center’s efforts to train pro bono attorneys, conduct intake on pro bono matters, refer cases to pro bono counsel, provide direct services to survivors, and advocate with federal authorities for survivors trafficked by diplomats. This grant will also allow the Human Trafficking Legal Center to incorporate survivors into training programs as leaders. The Human Trafficking Legal Center seeks this funding to provide direct services to female trafficking survivors in the D.C. region, and to advocate for policy change at the federal level to protect those trafficked by diplomats. Finally, the Human Trafficking Legal Center will conduct outreach to encourage more trafficking survivors to come forward to seize their day in court.  @HTLegalCenter