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2020 Grant Recipients 


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 WBA Foundation grant will support the Legal Representation Project which provides survivors of sex trafficking with civil legal services, such as civil protection orders, child custody, divorce, sealing and vacating criminal records, and victim-witness advocacy. @AmaraLegal


Ayuda advocates for low-income immigrants through direct legal, social, and language services, training, and outreach in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Since 1973, Ayuda has served more than 100,000 immigrants. Ayuda is the only nonprofit organization in the DC metro area that offers a full range of integrated immigration and family law assistance, social services, and language access support for low-income immigrants from any county. The WBA Foundation grant supports Ayuda’s efforts in providing culturally-specific legal services for immigrant girls and women who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking, as well as abused, abandoned, and neglected children. @AyudaDC  |

Bread for the City operates two facilities in Northwest and Southeast DC, providing food, clothing, medical care, legal advice and representation, social services, and advocacy initiatives to nearly 32,000 District residents annually. BFC’s mission is to deliver these comprehensive services, without cost and with dignity and respect, to DC’s low-income residents. The WBA Foundation grant will assist the operation of the Domestic Violence Community Legal Services Project, part of a family law clinic devoted to serving women living with low incomes in their fight to obtain protection from domestic violence. The program provides advice and representation to upwards of 200 DC residents, aiding them in obtaining civil protection orders, income supports, child custody, and divorce proceedings in order to ensure their safety. @BreadfortheCity

DC KinCare Alliance supports the legal, financial, and related service needs of relative caregivers who step up to raise children in their extended families in times of crisis when the children’s parents are not able to care for them due to substance use disorders, incarceration, death, abuse and neglect, or deportation. DC KinCare Alliance is the only organization in DC focused solely on serving relative caregivers raising DC’s at-risk children. WBA Foundation’s grant will support the Kincare Legal Defense Project, which provides legal representation, legal advice, and legal information to low-income relative caregivers raising at-risk DC children in their extended families (half of whom are girls). @DCKincare

The DC Volunteer Lawyers Project addresses the critical shortage of legal assistance for low-income people in Washington, DC, especially in cases involving domestic violence. The organization recruits, trains, and supports a network of volunteer lawyers to provide high-quality, pro bono legal services to low-income domestic violence victims and at-risk children in Washington, DC.
DCVLP has 2,300 registered lawyers and supports 260 volunteers annually, 70% of which are women. The WBA grant will support the new court-based Domestic Violence Protection Order Clinic, which provides immediate legal assistance to DC residents at their court hearings to obtain protection orders. Unrepresented victims are directly referred to the clinic, located adjacent to the courtroom, by judges, courtroom clerks, and SAFE courtroom advocates. @DCVLP


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 WBA Foundation grant will support organization’s efforts to provide employment-related direct legal services to low-income women in the Washington Metro Area. @1stShiftJustice


The 2020 grant to First Shift Justice Project has been designated as the Jennifer Porter Memorial Grant. Ms.Porter, who passed away last year, was a past president of both the Women’s Bar Association and the WBA Foundation. To honor her service, we are presenting this named grant in 2020. 

Legal Aid is the oldest and largest general civil legal services program in the District. The majority of their is in direct client representation in five primary practice areas: housing law, public benefits, consumer law, domestic violence/family law, and immigrant’s rights. They provide legal assistance and representation in these areas, as well as engage in appellate and systemic advocacy that will protect the rights of many more of DC’s most vulnerable residents. The WBA Foundation grant will support the Domestic Violence Underserved Communities Holistic Representation Project, which addresses the needs of domestic violence survivors living in underserved areas where poverty rates (and incidences of domestic violence) are high and the long-term consequences for low-income survivors and their children are severe. Legal Aid attorneys provide advice, counsel, and/or brief assistance to clients in civil protection order, custody, child support, and divorce matters, and also conduct outreach/training sessions. @LegalAidDC


Legal Counsel for the Elderly champions the dignity and rights of vulnerable DC seniors age 60 and older by providing free legal help and social work services. They perform community outreach and regularly deliver educational programs on issues of concern to elders and their families, including Medicare, nursing home quality, and end-of-life planning. With thousands of hours of volunteer time contributed by 800+ volunteers, LCE provides a wide range of services: legal, psychosocial, financial, and educational. The WBA Foundation grant will support efforts to assist older low-income residents obtain hundreds of dollars in benefits from DC’s Schedule H Tax Credit via pro bono clinics at area law firms. Schedule H provides eligible District residents with a sizable tax credit to help to mitigate the extremely high housing costs in D.C. For individuals who do not owe income taxes (such as those with only a modest Social Security income), DC writes a check for the Schedule H credit. Low income clients can receive up to $1,200 via cash payments, funds that they can then use to avoid eviction, pay their property taxes, purchase food and medicine, pay off debts, and more. @LCEinDC


The 2020 grant to Legal Counsel for the Elderly has been designated as the Suzanne Richards Memorial Grant. Ms. Richards was a past president of the Women’s Bar Association and a founder of the WBA Foundation. She made a generous bequest to the Foundation and to honor her service, we are presenting this named grant in 2020.

The Network for Victim Recovery of DC empowers victims of crime to achieve survivor defined justice through a collaborative continuum of advocacy, case management, and legal services. Since its founding in 2012, NVRDC has served over 3,500 crime victims in the District, providing holistic case management and legal services for crime victims needing assistance regarding civil
protection order representation, crime victims’ rights enforcement, and Title IX/Clery representation for campus crime victims. WBA Foundation’s grant will help fund efforts lessen the impact of violence and system re-victimization by increasing access to legal services for all victims of crime, regardless of income and increase community based partners’ and the legal community’s knowledge of crime victims’ rights and the community’s understanding of rights and resources for survivors of sexual assault and other crimes.



The Safe Sisters Circle provides free culturally-specific, trauma-informed, and holistic services to Black women survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual abuse. Rooted in Safe Sisters Circle is the belief that there is value in having an organization established for Black women and where the majority of service providers and leadership within the organization are also
Black women. The organization utilizes a racial and gender equity lens when approaching the unique needs of the survivors requesting services. WBA Foundation’s grant will support East of the River Women’s Legal Services Project, which provides free legal services to Black women survivors of domestic and sexual violence living in Wards 7 and 8, specifically civil protection order hearings, family law cases, and victim advocacy cases. Safe Sisters Circle will also provide educational workshops and hold listening sessions for survivors and advocates living or working in Wards 7 and 8. @TheSafeSisters  |



The Washington Legal Clinic uses the law to make justice a reality for those who struggle with homelessness and poverty. Combining community lawyering and advocacy to achieve their clients’ goals, the organization’s staff and network of volunteer attorneys provide low barrier, comprehensive legal services at intake sites throughout DC, helping clients to access housing, shelter, and life-saving services. The WBA Foundation grant will support the clinic’s representation of families participating in DC’s Rapid Rehousing Program, helping them to achieve long-term housing stability. More than 90% of these families have been headed by women. @WashLegalClinic  |

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