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DEEL Announces Up To $1.5M in Grant Funding for Cultural Education and Leadership Opportunities Supporting Historically Underserved Youth

Bruce Harrell, Mayor 

Dwane Chappelle, Director 


April 26, 2022 

Contact: Sage Leibenson,, 206.507.6701    

DEEL Announces Up To $1.5M in Grant Funding for Cultural Education and Leadership Opportunities Supporting Historically Underserved Youth

Community organizations are invited to apply by May 16 for up to $150,000 per awardee 

Additional funding will support educator diversity programs

SEATTLE (April 26) – Yesterday, the Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) announced the opening of applications for the Youth Leadership and Cultural Education Request for Investment (RFI). As part of DEEL’s 2022 budget allocation supporting recommendations from the Equitable Communities Initiative, DEEL will invest up to $1.5 million in community-based leadership and cultural education opportunities for historically underserved youth disproportionately impacted by systemic inequities. Applicants are invited to apply for up to $150,000 with funds awarded through a competitive process managed by DEEL. 

This RFI seeks to increase access to culturally-responsive education in safe spaces where culture and identity are celebrated, allowing youth to develop their authentic selves while receiving academic enrichment. Examples of programs that may be approved for funding include mentorship, art, and college and career exploration rooted in students’ culture and aspirations. In alignment with the community-driven approach of the Equitable Communities Initiative, the investment strategy for this funding opportunity is centered in feedback from youth and community partners, and evidence-based practices focused on improving academic outcomes for historically underserved youth.   

“Culturally-responsive learning practices are key to fostering positive identity-development, well-being and academic success for our students. DEEL’s new grants will increase diverse representation in the classroom and provide historically underserved youth in our City with important cultural learning opportunities to support student achievement,” said Dr. Dwane Chappelle, Director of DEEL.  

On Monday May 2, DEEL will announce up to another $700,000 in grant funding in support of Equitable Communities Initiative recommendations to support educator diversity programs. Funding will increase access to culturally-responsive professional development for educators to support diversity in the education workforce. Information on how to apply for this grant will be posted on DEEL’s funding opportunities webpage when it becomes available.  

To be considered for Youth Leadership and Cultural Education funding, eligible applicants must submit an application by 3:00pm on Monday, May 16, 2022. DEEL will notify successful applicants by Friday, June 17, 2022. To learn more and apply, please visit

The City of Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning’s mission is to transform the lives of Seattle children, youth, and families through strategic investments in education.