Making real the radical act of rest: Announcing our 2022 sabbatical leadership and respite awardees

Our BIPOC ED Coalition is dedicating $1.37 million to support 32 nonprofit leaders with sabbatical and respite opportunities.

We are excited to announce the inaugural 2022 Sabbatical Program awardees! Our coalition is dedicating $1.37 million to support 32 BIPOC leaders with sabbatical and respite opportunities. Check out this year’s cohort.

Rest, healing, and wellness are essential for BIPOC nonprofit leaders, who carry the weight of managing social justice organizations while also facing the “weathering effect,” defined by researcher Arline Geronimus as the cumulative impact of structural racism on health and well-being.

The need for sabbaticals cannot be overstated. They are an opportunity for BIPOC leaders to refresh, refocus, and recover. Sabbaticals challenge the mindset of scarcity, disrupt the extractive white-supremacist approach to labor, and create a space of nourishment for leaders facing deep exhaustion. Our Black and Brown paper, Sabbaticals for BIPOC Leaders: Capacity Building, Healing, and Renewal, shows sabbaticals are a wise investment with multifaceted positive impacts for the leader and the organization.

“BIPOC leaders need rest and restoration in order to heal from multigenerational trauma and years of non-stop working on behalf of their communities, and to recharge for the work ahead.”

Jodi Nishioka, co-founder and co-executive director, BIPOC ED Coalition

One of the goals of our Sabbatical Leadership Program is to do funding differently. All too often nonprofit leaders are forced to jump through multiple hoops in order to secure funding. A founding commitment of the BIPOC ED Coalition is to reshape this process and make receiving money as easy as possible. 

This is why we kept the application simple to not unduly burden the leaders who chose to apply. With these inaugural awards, 20 leaders and their organizations will receive $60,000 for three-month sabbaticals to cover salary and benefits, individual sabbatical expenses, and organizational development support. In addition, 12 applicants will receive one-month respite awards to cover salary, benefits, and individual sabbatical expenses.

“We believe that investing in these leaders is an investment in the futures of our communities.”

Victoria Santos, co-founder and co-executive director, BIPOC ED Coalition

Sabbatical awardees include leaders across Washington state who have been serving their communities for decades at organizations, like the African Community Housing & Development in South King County, Innovations Human Trafficking Collaborative in Thurston County, Multi-Communities in Snohomish County, Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network in Yakima County, and many more.

We offer huge gratitude to the funders who have made this possible. The Satterberg Foundation was an early funder of the program, as well as an early adopter of the coalition’s Equitable Funder Pledge. Additional thanks to the Black Future Co-op Fund, JP Morgan Chase, Medina Foundation, Seattle Foundation, Sheng-Yen Lu Foundation, Stolte Family Foundation, and Threshold Philanthropy for their support.

“Our dream is that every nonprofit can be supported to include wellness and sabbaticals as part of their organizational management strategy, that sabbaticals become the norm — not just in Washington, but across the country.”

Victoria Santos, co-founder and co-executive director, BIPOC ED Coalition 

We call on our community to join us in normalizing sabbaticals, rest, and respite in the nonprofit sector, and to support multi-year commitments to funding sabbaticals to grow this movement.