Benefits Law Center (BLC) is honored to present our 3rd annual Equity Award to Mary’s Place for providing service to culturally and linguistically diverse people and families in the King County and Seattle areas. The award recognizes a BLC partner organization that demonstrates a strong commitment to racial and economic justice, and we would be honored if Mary’s Place would accept this award for 2020 at our upcoming event, Spring Into Action for BLC.
Mary’s Place exists to provide safe, inclusive shelter and services for women, children, and families on their journey out of homelessness. We have seen Mary’s Place staff deliver on the commitment to helping residents and guests find shelter, safety, food, and access to tools, information and resources to meet their basic needs. It is a perfectly tailored partnership that allows people in need of our legal services to find us in a place where they are already receiving other kinds of important services.
Mary’s Place includes equity as a core value. The guests served at the Day Center and in Burien represent populations diverse in age, race, ability, ethnicity, religion, national origin, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, education, and life experience. Mary’s Place demonstrates a strong commitment to creating an inclusive environment and assuring equitable treatment, access, and opportunity for all who access services. We deliver legal aid at the Burien location and at the Day Center in Seattle. We are very impressed with the organization as a whole; and we have seen specific staff deliver on the principles of equity and inclusion including: Carol Cameron, Hedwight Amoda, Sarina Blitz, Miriam Clithero, Arlene Hampton, and Tina Browne who are all cc’d hereto. Thank you to each of you, and to all of Mary’s Place, for delivering on the commitment of equity and inclusion.
As BLC transitions into a new year of offering service to individuals living with disabilities in Western Washington, our capacity to provide civil legal services is aided by our ability to partner with specialized organizations such as Mary’s Place so we can better fight the racialization of poverty.
This award celebrates the relationship between Mary’s Place and BLC, and our dedication to individuals with mental or physical disabilities. This partnership has existed since 2018, and BLC looks forward to continuing this relationship for the benefit of the folks both of our organizations are able to serve.
BLC Equity Award
As an organization, one of our primary goals is to advance our commitment to better reflect the characteristics and experiences of our client communities. There are many organizations within our community that we can learn from and that exist as a shining example for how to operate in equity. We would like to recognize Mary’s Place and thank them publically for partnering with us to fight the racialization of poverty.
Why do we have an Equity Award?
• BLC’s ability to make legal advocacy accessible to people living in the community is based on our ability to establish and maintain strong partnerships with community-based organizations.
• BLC is committed to strengthening our relationships with community organizations that, like BLC, are led by and built for people who reflect the experiences of the people we are built to serve.
• To share our platform, stage, and microphone with partner organizations that amplify the voice of our clients and fight against the racialization of poverty.
• To publicly recognize the good work of our community partners.
• To raise awareness in the community about the impressive work of our partner organizations.
Criteria for Selection:
• The award must go to a nonprofit organization or an individual who works at a nonprofit.
• The recipient must have an explicit commitment to race equity work.
• The recipient must be a community partner of BLC.
• The recipient must directly or indirectly alleviate poverty and reflect our client population.
• The recipient must hold values that match the values that drive BLC.
We believe that the partnership between Mary’s Place and BLC sets the gold standard for how and why a client-centered partnership works well.