Youth Leadership and Cultural Education

Request for Investment

The deadline to apply for this funding opportunity closed on May 16, 2022 at 3:00 pm. 

As part of DEEL's 2022 budget allocation supporting recommendations from the Equitable Communities Initiative, DEEL’s Youth Leadership and Cultural Education RFI will invest up to $1.5 million in community-based leadership and cultural education opportunities to improve academic outcomes for historically underserved youth of color, immigrant and refugee youth disproportionately affected by systemic inequities.  

*Grant Process Update:  

On May 6, DEEL amended the RFI application to more clearly state that programs serving youth ages 5-24 are eligible for funding, including elementary-age programming. Amendments to eligibility criteria are outlined in the RFI overview document.  

Who can apply and for how much money:

Community-based organizations and sole-proprietors serving historically underserved youth of color ages 5-24, including immigrant and refugee youth, are invited to apply for this grant. DEEL will award up to $150,000 per awardee.

View page 2 of the RFI Overview document for more details regarding applicant eligiblity for this grant. 

Types of programs that can be funded:  

This grant will fund programs to improve academic outcomes for Black, Indigenous, immigrant and refugee youth of color through one or more of the following areas:  

  • Identity & belonging: Youth are provided culturally-relevant education and supportive, identity-affirming relationships with peers and adults.
  • Learning & agency: Youth gain leadership skills including critical thinking analysis, strategy development, and systems-level thinking.  
  • Social-emotional well-being: Youth have access to identity-affirming safe spaces and opportunities to increase social-emotional skills including self-advocacy, self-efficacy, and self- and social awareness.  

View page 4 of the RFI Overview document to learn more about the types of services may be approved for funding.  

How will applicants be selected? 

Funding will be awarded through a competitive process managed by DEEL. Applications will be evaluated using specific criteria outlined in the application and a review panel will make recommendations.  

View page 7 of the RFI Overview document to learn more about the evaluation criteria for this funding opportunity.  


Eligible applicants will submit a grant application online no later than 3:00 pm on Monday May 16, 2022. DEEL will notify successful applicants by Friday June 17, 2022.  

Event:  Date and Time: 
Request for Investment (RFI) application issued   Monday, April 25, 2022 
RFI Information Session (prerecorded webinar)   Will be posted by 4:00 pm on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 
Technical Assistance Session I:  
This meeting will be hosted virtually via Microsoft Teams.   
Wednesday, May 4, 2022, 2:30 - 4:00 pm 
Click link to join meeting.  
Technical Assistance Session II:  
This meeting will be hosted virtually via Microsoft Teams. 
Tuesday, May 10, 2022, 2:30 - 4:00 pm 
Click link to join meeting. 
Last day to submit questions    Wednesday, May 11, by 4:00 pm  
RFI Applications Due  Monday, May 16, 2022 by 3:00pm   
Applications Reviewed and Rated   May 20 – June 3, 2022  
Review Panel Deliberations     June 6 – June 8, 2022    
Notifications issued to applicants    Friday, June 17, 2022 

How to Apply:

For your reference, please find the full RFI Overview document linked below. 

RFI Overview Document Click to access in PDF format 

Each of the following forms are required as part of your application for funding. Please be sure to complete each of the following:  

Application Submission Template Click to Access in Word or PDF format
Registration Form  Click to access form
Budget Submission Template  Click to download the Excel sheet  

Please click the links below to view additional information and resources to support you with your application.  

Pre-Recorded Information Session  Click link to view video on Youtube
Information Session Slides  Click to access slides in PDF format
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):  Updated May 12, 2022 

How to submit your application: 

Email your application to Please use the following naming convention in the subject line of your email and for the electronic files attached: “[Organization Name] - Cultural Education RFI”.  

How to ask questions:  

For questions regarding the application process or language interpretation requests, please contact: with "Question _ Cultural Education RFI" in the subject line.  

Education and Early Learning

Dwane Chappelle, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 1700, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94665, Seattle, WA, 98124-6965
Phone: (206) 233-5118
Phone Alt: Childcare and Preschool: (206) 386-1050
Fax: (206) 386-1900

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