Group Health Foundation funds PACE

Community Learning Grant Empowers

PACE will use the funding we have received to bolster our operating budget and expand our programming. This grant allows us to expand beyond vocational skills training for people of African descent in the Greater Seattle area and globally. Founded in 2015, we operated under a fiscal agenct until 2017 when we established our own funding sources and execution rhythm. We spent the majority of 2017/2018 developing and building revenue generating programs with a small team of volunteer staff and the occasional contractor. Strengthening our operational budget so we could switch from volunteer to paid staff has made all the difference in our executions.

Our team now consist of:

  • Chief of Staff
  • Marketing Lead
  • Communications Lead
  • Content Strategist
  • Programs Coordinator

This funding came at a critical time as we were faced with shutting many revenue generating businesses due to the pandemic. Our business model was born out of a strong rinciple of self sufficiency, and although we are a nonprofit our mission has never been a charity. We know first hand the unique challenges a nascent organization faces getting off the ground executing its mission while trying to attract major donors and volunteers. It's hard work to say the least, and being barred from major giving due to capacity and operational budget constraints is exactly why the Group Health Foundation's Community Learning Grant is a gamechanger. This critical funding source is an impact multiplier, amplfying the work of grassroots organizations directly connected to the community.

I have never seen a pipeline problem, only a bias problem. It feels great to hire skilled people in my community while others are downsizing. To be able to help even more people than we were before is exactly what was needed at these critical times!

- Arif Gursel, Founder and Executive Director of PACE.

The primary use of funding will be aimed towards the expansion and introduction of new programming for our initiatives in Science, Technology, Entrepreneurship, Arts & Media, commonly referred to as our S.T.E.A.M engine as well as to launch our new media initiative focused on community health and wellness called “AfroDetox”. AfroDetox will produce events and media content centered around healthy eating, and physical and mental wellness. Our S.T.E.A.M engine initiatives are focused on helping people in the communities we serve to build skills needed to develop strong self-fueling, self-sustaining tools and resources to progress in life, or as we say #getonpace. These skills include:

  • Coding
  • Product Management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Filmmaking
  • Podcasting