Equity and Social Justice Change Team summit celebrates success

Cross-posted from Executive Services Express About 60 Equity and Social Justice Change Team members from all eight Department of Executive Services divisions and the director’s office recently met virtually to celebrate successes under very trying times. Special guest Derrick Wheeler-Smith, former Director of Zero Youth Detention for King County Public Health and current Director of the Seattle Office for Civil Rights, gave an inspirational message at the second annual Change Team Summit. Read more.

A Brightwater mystery: Where is Grandfather’s Wisdom?

Cross-posted from Clean Water Stories If you’ve visited the Brightwater Trails area or driven by on Highway 9 past Woodinville recently, you may have noticed that something is missing. A bare metal framework stands where once an iconic longhouse art installation was nestled among flowering trees. Grandfather’s Wisdom brings the history, perspectives, and culture of the First Peoples of Puget Sound to Brightwater. So where did it go? To find out, read more.

July is BIPOC Mental Health Month

Established in 2008 in honor of Bebe Moore Campbell, the formally recognized National Minority Mental Health Awareness month was created to bring awareness to the unique mental health struggles that underrepresented groups in the U.S. experience. Anyone can experience mental health challenges; they do not discriminate based on race, age, gender, or identity. At the same time, one’s background and identities can present unique experiences, specific barriers, and opportunities to get support. Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and underrepresented communities face additional barriers including structural racism, access to quality care, and cultural stigmas. This year… Read More

Paving the way to disability justice: Remembering the Section 504 Sit-ins

By Dorian Esper–Taylor, ADA Disability Specialist, Office of Equity and Social Justice When we think of the life-changing civil rights movements in the U.S., the road to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is often a forgotten struggle. Historically, civil rights movements in the U.S. have begun as radical struggles. Equal rights have been earned and fought for rather than given; disability rights and the pathway to the ADA were no different. One of the early victories was the passage of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the first disability rights law… Read More

Celebrating Disability Pride and people with disabilities

Dear fellow King County employee, July is Disability Pride Month, a time to celebrate the pride people with disabilities have in themselves and their many successes and contributions to our workforce and community. Disability Pride Month coincides with the anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, better known as the ADA. The ADA has created civil rights protections and better access for people with disabilities. Disability Pride builds upon the legacy of the ADA with the demand for visibility, acknowledgement, and acceptance from society. Disability spans all… Read More

Inaugural Muckleshoot Pride event

Originally posted in King County Sheriff’s Office News The King County Sheriff’s Office and Muckleshoot Tribal Police partnered and participated in a recent Pride event at the Muckleshoot Pow Wow grounds. This event was monumental as it marked the first Pride event for the community. In attendance were Chief Val Kelly, MRO Sergeant Corbett Ford, and Communications Liaison Zoe Birkbeck. Muckleshoot Tribal Police Detective Jason Rich and Deputy Damian Walburn were also there to hand out pride beads and bracelets and meet with community members.

Fresh, affordable, and culturally relevant: A spotlight on farmers markets serving our immigrant and refugee communities

Cross-posted from Public Health Insider After a winter that stayed too long, a cooler than average spring, and as summer moves in with the promise of endless sunshine, so do the annual summer farmers markets that emerge across the county each year. For many residents, buying fresh local food at one of the 30-plus farmers markets is a highly-anticipated seasonal ritual. These market programs provide communities with access to local, fresh, affordable, and culturally relevant produce. Read more.

King County Council and King County Executive proclaim Juneteenth

The King County Council and King County Executive Constantine have formally proclaimed June 19, 2022, as JUNETEENTH. “Juneteenth is an important opportunity to honor the principles of the Declaration of Independence and to celebrate the achievements and contributions African Americans have made, and continue to make, in King County and across the nation”  the Council and Executive proclaimed. View the official proclamation below.  

Local Food Initiative supports farmers, protects land, and increases access to healthy foods

King County strives to be a healthy community, where residents can access opportunities and receive the support needed to succeed. One way it does this is through the Local Food Initiative. This program was started in 2014 and aims to make the local food economy more equitable and resilient to climate impacts. The initiative is overseen by Mike Lufkin, Food Economy Manager in the Department of Natural Resources and Parks. Mike has been with King County since 2015. His work includes growing the food and farm sectors, increasing access to healthy nutritious… Read More

Celebrating Pride and the fight for equality

Dear fellow King County employee, Happy Pride Month! Every June we celebrate Pride and honor the fight for equality and equal rights for LGBTQ+ people that began in June of 1969 with the Stonewall Riots led by trans women of color. Pride is a time to recognize the accomplishments and many contributions of LGBTQ+ people to our communities here in King County and around the world, to our shared history and our shared future. It is a time to reflect on the adversities that LGBTQ+ people have faced throughout history and their… Read More