$30,000 grant advances civil rights education in rural Washington

The Inatai Foundation granted $30,000 to the Terry Buffington Foundation to advance its work.
The Inatai Foundation granted $30,000 to the Terry Buffington Foundation to advance its work.



A racial justice organization in Seattle is expanding its reach with a $30 thousand grant to a civil rights education organization on the Palouse.

Ever since Terry Buffington followed her son, Kwasi, to the rural Northwest, they say they have recognized the need for civil rights education in the region. So, the Terry Buffington Foundation was created. It uses Professor Buffington’s work as a cultural anthropologist to hold community events and speak to college classes and showing them films, interviews and first-hand accounts of how the Civil Rights Movement evolved.

The Inatai Foundation’s President’s Award is putting wind in the Buffington Foundation’s sails. They were staggered when they got the news.

“So, it’s a lot to take in,” said Kwasi. “It was very emotional.”

“When Kwasi called me from Moscow at the grocery store to tell me that we received this grant I was in disbelief,” said Professor Buffington. “It’s real big, we’re thrilled!”

“This will definitely help us reach those communities outside of Pullman,” said Kwasi. “It’ll help to expand into the Pacific Northwest. It’s a great vehicle for us to help continue to spread our message of education, inspiration and equality throughout the region.”

According to Kwasi, funds don’t always reach all the way out to the Palouse.

“Up until this point, everything that we’ve done, we have self funded,” he said. “I’ve come to find out that a lot of money does not trickle over into Eastern Washington. A lot of the money, it trickles out from Seattle and kind of makes its way east, but it kind of stops in Central Washington and so to pick up a little bit of the slack, the money in Spokane, it kind of trickles in this way, but not much of it, right. By the time it gets here, it’s slim pickings and so, the Inatai, they realized that there’s a lack of funding in this area for organizations and they’re here to help change that.”

Kwasi and Professor Buffington want to keep the ball rolling. They are aiming to raise $100-thousand this year for the Terry Buffington Foundation. They are holding their 2nd annual Black History & Southern Dinner Saturday, February 10th at 7pm at the Gladish Center in Pullman.