Our community work used to involve the White Center Promise, the White Center 5k, The Back to School Promise event, The White Center Summit and our very own Gala. You can look through past photos or flyers in our events section.
Currently, we working on two things in this bucket of work. We have the HUB Project which is a community building that would house us and some of our other partners such as FEEST and Southwest Youth and Family Services. To find more information, you can visit our HUB page.
Over the last few years, we have been running an LGBTQ+ Program that serves the youth of White Center. This program is internship-based and culminates to a final project/event in the end. Alongside this program, our LGBTQ+ Coordinator also hosts an annual event. Last year's event Queer N Teen was a hit! For our current plans for the signature event, see it here!
We have also laid out our best practices for working with communities such as ours.
In relation to community, we will include several links below for everyone to be aware of:
“The ‘Make It R.A.I.N.’ Club is geared towards providing a space of safety, support, and fun for all LGBTQ+ youth ages 13 – 21. The ‘R.A.I.N.’ acronym stands for ‘Real, All-Inclusive, and No Limits.’ This program encapsulates all of our LGBTQ+ programming including our internship and our signature event! The club intends on promoting individual growth for queer and trans youth through relationship-building opportunities, focusing on all aspects of their wellbeing, and most importantly – HAVING FUN.
A Little Bit of Backstory
Since its start-up in 2019, the LGBTQ+ community building work has always placed an emphasis on creating a safe space for queer and trans youth through 10-week internships that focus on a specific theme. These Internships aim to build youth up in different aspects of their wellbeing while networking with other LGBTQ+ youth to help create an environment that is compassionate, inclusive, and fun! We’ve focused on themes such as self-care, different types of health (mental, spiritual, etc...), relationships, and more!
In the Summer of 2021, the community building aspect will be taking on a new meaning as we transition into something that’s more encompassing around being a support group. In that aspect, we’re looking to be visible and a resource for LGBTQ+ youth in anything they may need and are looking to find ways to provide help, opportunities, while not cutting out the fun part! We’ll be starting Summer 2021! If you know any LGBTQ+ youth looking for a place to hang out, we’re the right place to go to!
This year's theme is race and diversity!
2022 Signature Event:
Loud N Proud
WHAT’S UP WHITE CENTER?! THE WCCDA IS BACK WITH OUR WITH OUR SIGNATURE EVENT. This year, we’re all about being “LOUD N PROUD” both physically and metaphorically! YES - This is a queer mixer with vendors! YES - We will have live music YES - We’re going to have food! This event is FREE to participate. We want our community members to have a safe space to meet each other, their resources and their talent folx!
For more event information, please see our event page:
When: July 1st to August 3rd, 2022 from 4pm to 5:30pm
Who: Youth age 13 to 21
What: Paid internship with our LGBTQ+ Programming! Follow this code:
LGBTQIA Youth Community Builder
To find out more about this program, please call Sarey at 253-220-7810.
Working in Our Community
White Center Community Development Association in partnership with Trusted Advocates, Village of Hope, YES! Foundation, and Partners in Employment came together to share our experiences working with specific racial and ethnic communities in White Center. We have identified the following as the Best Practices of community engagement.
Listen to Community
Recognizing the wealth of resources and wisdom within the community and the value of community partnerships
Creating opportunities and time to involve community in all steps of the decision-making process; ensuring all voices are heard and responding to community needs
Ensuring families and community members understand how to be involved
Valuing and respecting people of diverse identities and backgrounds and nurturing inclusive environments (addressing language and cultural barriers, being culturally relevant and thoughtful about place, time, childcare, food, etc.)
Build & Foster Relationships
Fostering existing relationships and reaching out to the community to build new relationships
Building positive relationships with young adults based on trust and empathy
Being transparent in sharing of information, capacities and limitations, and roles and responsibilities
Having good intentions and meaningful collaborations with reciprocity, mutual benefits, and sharing of ownership
Identifying and seeking to provide ways for institutions in our neighborhood (i.e. schools) to meaningfully engage with community
Providing opportunities to support leaders and leadership training
Creating intentional community engagement experiences and spaces for leaders to learn and grow
Developing a strong youth leadership pipeline that provides the youth of White Center opportunities
Undo Institutional Racism
Applying an analysis on institutional power and continuously checking for how internalized racial oppression is reflected
Understanding of one’s role as a gatekeeper and maintaining accountability
Having opportunities for healing
Staying focused on racism and how it functions and how it can be undone
Reflecting on and being aware of our history