The Black Brilliance Research Project beginning to end, part 4

This is the final part of a four-part series looking at the Black Brilliance Project from beginning to end and attempting to shine a light on what was going on behind the scenes, where things went wrong, and how the money was ultimately spent. Part 1: the money and the contract Part 2: the research and the break-up Part 3: following the money Part 4: accountability and other parting thoughts Also, here is a page with a compilation of the key documents and records from the Black Brilliance Project.

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The Black Brilliance Research Project beginning to end, part 3

This is part three of a four-part series looking at the Black Brilliance Project from beginning to end and attempting to shine a light on what was going on behind the scenes, where things went wrong, and how the money was ultimately spent. Part 1: the money and the contract Part 2: the research and the break-up Part 3: following the money Part 4: accountability and other parting thoughts Also, here is a page with a compilation of the key documents and records from the Black Brilliance Project.

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The Black Brilliance Research Project beginning to end, part 2

This is part two of a four-part series looking at the Black Brilliance Project from beginning to end and attempting to shine a light on what was going on behind the scenes, where things went wrong, and how the money was ultimately spent. Part 1: the money and the contract Part 2: the research and the break-up Part 3: following the money Part 4: accountability and other parting thoughts Also, here is a page with a compilation of the key documents and records from the Black Brilliance Project.

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Black Brilliance Research Project documents

Here is a collection of documents related to the Black Brilliance Research Project. Original “blueprint” submitted to City Council with pitch and proposed budget for $3 million community research project, July 2020 2020 budget amendment adding $3 million for community-based research project, 8/5/2020 Draft budget, September 2020 Contracts: Draft fiscal sponsor agreement between city and Marguerite Casey Foundation (never executed), October 2020 Consultant agreement between city and Freedom Project for Black Brilliance Research Project, 11/18/20 city contract questionnaire completed by Freedom Project Fiscal sponsor MOU and agreement between Freedom Project and King County Equity Now, 11/13/20 Consultant contract request form, …

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The Black Brilliance Research Project beginning to end, part 1

On June 15th, the final financial statement on the $3 million Black Brilliance Research Project was filed with the city, closing out the books on a tumultuous, nearly-year-long effort to gain insights into community safety in Seattleā€™s BIPOC communities. SCC Insight has gathered those financial records, along with other source documents, an ocean of public records, and interviews with key figures to create this four-part series looking at the Black Brilliance Project from beginning to end and attempting to shine a light on what was going on behind the scenes, where things went both right and wrong, and how the …

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City finance department asks State Auditor to widen investigation of Black Brilliance research contract

PubliCola reported today that the city’s Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) department has sent a letter to the Office of the Washington State Auditor asking it to widen the set of issues it is investigating stemming from the $3 million contract that the City Council signed last fall for the Black Brilliance Research Project.

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Black Brilliance Research Project wraps up with allegations, recriminations, but no city investigation

In the final days of the $3 million Black Brilliance Research Project, the wheels came off the wagon. King County Equity Now, the organization that fought for and spearheaded the project, found itself on the outside looking in, and despite making allegations that its fiscal sponsor had committed financial improprieties and contract violations, it was unable to convince the City Council to intervene before the clock ran out.  

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Black Brilliance Research final report delivered; attention turns to rolling out Participatory Budgeting

Last Friday the final report of the Black Brilliance Research Project was delivered to the Seattle City Council. As with the preliminary report delivered a few weeks ago (from which there are only a few substantive changes), it contains some interesting insights and has several shortcomings. It does, however, fill out more details in the project organizers’ recommendations for launching the next phase: a $30 million “participatory budgeting” program for the city.

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Black Brilliance Research Project effort fractures

Back in December SCC Insight reported on the dubious contractual structure underlying the Black Brilliance Research Project: how the Seattle City Council bent over backwards to avoid bidding out a $3 million contract and instead awarded it to King County Equity Now, using the nonprofit Freedom Project as a “fiscal agent”; the lack of detail in the contract as to how the money should be spent or what the deliverables would be; the challenges King County Equity Now would face in maintaining a rigorous standard for the research as it enrolled and trained hundreds of contributing researchers; and questions as …

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