Asian-Pacific Islander Affinity Group creating meaningful connections with communities during COVID-19 

At King County, having a community to connect with is crucial, even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. With May being Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s important for employees to stay connected, and the County’s Employee Resource Groups, or Affinity Groups, provide a unique opportunity for employees to support one another. The Asian Pacific Islander (API) Affinity Group’s vision is to be “committed to our community to thrive and celebrate our diverse cultures.” With one of their mission statements being “educate non-API communities by promoting and… Read More

Translating video guidance helps keep people safe

Public Health – Seattle & King County has launched a Public Service Announcement (PSA) video entitled, COVID-19 Community Guidance, in different languages to support the diverse communities that make up King County and connect them to life-saving information. Employees from all over King County contributed to the videos, working to overcome language barriers by providing extensive language translations. Two of the employees who participated in this video project and translated information are Dr. Eyob Manzengia, Assistant Division Director for Environmental Health in Public Health, who translated in Amharic, and Silvia Rus, Health and… Read More

Making meaning of the COVID-19 race and ethnicity data: A conversation with our health officer and our equity officer 

Crossposted from Public Health Insider  A recent analysis of updated data by Public Health shows that in King County, COVID-19 is disproportionally impacting communities of color.  Our recent blog post dives into the data. We found rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases that are significantly higher for Hispanic/Latinx, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders and Blacks and higher for American Indian/Alaskan Natives (though not statistically significant due to the low population numbers) as compared to Whites.  To gain a better understanding of disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 by race, we sat down with Matías Valenzuela, Equity Director for Public – Seattle… Read More

OESJ is confronting hate and bias by strengthening communities 

In response to community concerns over the rise in hate and bias incidents in our region, the Civil Rights Program at the Office of Equity and Social Justice (OESJ) recently launched a new community-based reporting system for communities experiencing acts of hate and bias. This system is unique to the region and focuses upstream on empowering communities, rather than heightening enforcement through the criminal justice system. Currently, data collected by law enforcement agencies does not accurately portray the realities of hate, bias, and discrimination that many communities face. Underreporting due to tenuous community-law enforcement relationships, lack of… Read More

New Equity Tool brings community considerations to decision making  

King County’s Office of Equity and Social Justice has created a new Equity Impact Awareness Tool in partnership with Headwater People to ensure that impacts on low income communities of color are fully considered by the County in its COVID-19 mitigation strategies and decision making.   The tool was initially created to address the concerns of community members who were worried that the County would make decisions about quarantine and isolation facilities without considering the burden that will fall on communities who are vulnerable to the health and economic crisis.   Janine Anzalota, Equity and Civil Rights Manager for… Read More

Black/African Affinity Group finds strength  

At King County, having a community to connect with is crucial, even more so in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the County’s Employee Resource Groups, or Affinity Groups, are helping employees support one another. The Black/African Affinity Group centers on providing employees with a community platform. Historically, the focal point of African American life has centered around community such as family, churches, neighborhoods, and organizations, providing a way to connect, share resources, and share knowledge. “Our goal in our Black/African Affinity Group is to bring collective souls together for one purpose…… Read More

Remembering the contributions of trailblazing women during Women’s History Month 

During this difficult period, let us pause and remember the contributions by intelligent, passionate women toward helping and healing our world. From NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson and world renowned geneticist Barbara McClintock to computer programmer Grace Hopper and marine biologist Idelisa Bonnelly de Calventi, women have been responsible for leaps and bounds in science, math, medicine, the arts, and many other fields.  We take this month to honor their contributions and appreciate the impact women have in our lives. Join us in thanking and showing gratitude to women who have made a difference in your life. … Read More

Join us at the King County School-to-Work Transition Fair 2020 

Crossposted from Cultivating Connections  These two great events are coming up soon and we need your help to promote them. Our goal is to reach more parents, students and teachers to join us at the fair. Even if you are not involved in this community per se, check out the fair–it truly is special! The first fair will be held at the Microsoft Commons on Thursday, February 27, and the second at Highline College on Saturday, March 14.  Help us by sharing this blog post  Share our YouTube video–it’s less than a minute long! Watch… Read More

Census awareness campaign underway 

Crossposted from DES Express  Every ten years, the federal government counts every person living in the U.S. through a national census.  The results help determine how funding is distributed for the next decade — for things like our schools, affordable housing, hospitals, and public transportation. The count also determines how many representatives our state will have in Congress, and how district lines are drawn for legislative bodies like the King County Council.  Read more from DES Express

King County Affinity Groups provide an opportunity for connection and impact 

In July 2019, King County’s Executive Branch adopted a policy for employees to participate in Employee Resource Groups during their work time. These Employee Resource Groups, also called Affinity Groups, are led by employee volunteers, and are formed around protected categories set by local and federal anti-discrimination law. Some of the categories included are race, gender, and sexual orientation, among others. “The groups promote equity and social justice, foster employee engagement, strengthen workplace effectiveness, improve leadership abilities, and enhance personal and professional growth within King County,” said Janine Anzalota, Equity and Civil Rights… Read More