Cornerstones of Collaborative Governance for a Just & Equitable Future

Long before COVID-19, frontline communities (Black, Indigenous, people of color, and low-income communities) lacked equitable access to basic needs, such as healthcare, housing, jobs, healthy food, safe environments, and quality education. The pandemic showed us how deep these inequities go.

In 2022, the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services contracted Front and Centered, Statewide Poverty Action Network, and People’s Economy Lab (the Just Futures project partners) to lead a leadership committee made up of frontline community members (the Just Futures Community Leadership Committee) in envisioning and recommending how the State could advance equity in the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Frontline communities are the foremost experts on their lives, and they want and deserve to participate in creating a just and equitable economy, from setting measures of success to implementing policy.

Together, after a series of community listening sessions, the Just Futures project partners and Community Leadership Committee designed the Cornerstones of Collaborative Governance for a Just and Equitable Futurea framework rooted in democracy, self-determination, sustainability, and equity towards shared economic well-being for all Washingtonians.

Just Futures cornerstones with tree

What is Collaborative Governance?

Collaborative Governance, or Co-Governance, is...

“A collection of participatory models and practices, formal and informal, through which government and communities work together to make collective policy decisions, co-create programs to meet community needs, and ensure those policies and programs are implemented effectively.” – Partners for Dignity & Rights and Race Forward’s Co-Governing Toward Multiracial Democracy


Download the Just Futures project partners’ full report about the Just Futures project and the Cornerstones of Co-Governance for a Just & Equitable Future.

Email [email protected] for a screen-reader accessible Word document version of the report.

Additional Resources

Recordings of Just Futures Presentations