White folks being anti-racist: How do we become useful?

Written by Richard Gelb, Environmental Public Health Planner, Department of Public Health, ProTech17 The systems of whiteness and racism in society have been more greatly revealed through the COVID-19 emergency. We see the historic and ongoing racial differences in the quality, affordability, and access to housing, health care, jobs, education, transportation, and technology resulting in disproportionately higher risk of infections for people of color. King County’s Antiracist White Action Group (ARWAG), one of several official Employee Resource Groups, helps white employees train themselves away from harmful behaviors and become more poised to… Read More

Standing together against racism

Dear fellow King County employee, Earlier this week we witnessed the tragic last moments of a man’s life – a black man in Minneapolis, who died with a white police officer’s knee pressed to his neck. This follows the February shooting by three white men of an unarmed black man jogging in Brunswick, Georgia. These killings, and the deaths of countless black and brown Americans in much the same way over the past few years, are stark reminders that racism and hate continue to thrive in our nation – in communities large and… Read More

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

Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, May 2020 

This year the King County Asian Pacific Islander Affinity Group (API) has developed several events and resources to share API culture, support the API community, and learn more about Asian American and Pacific Islander history. Volunteering at Danny Woo Garden, Wednesday, May 27, 2020 from 1-4 p.m.  Contact Sung Cho to volunteer. Asian Americans PBS Series discussion, Thursday, May 28, 2020 from noon to 1 p.m. Join on Zoom. The API group has also put together resources to help employees learn how they can better support the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Consider supporting a local… 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

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

2020 Engagement Survey changes  

Every year, the employee engagement team recommends improvements to the data and survey process that enhance the employee experience, increase the effectiveness of the data, and provide more useful analysis. That said, the team always retains the two most important elements of the survey: trending data, and the confidentiality and anonymity of participants. Changes to this year’s Employee Engagement Survey are: Everyone will take the survey electronically Data will be available four weeks sooner, creating more time for action planning Demographic questions are optional, will be more specific, and the option for “prefer not… Read More

A warm thank you to our employee audience

Our top stories, videos, and social media posts for 2019 Throughout 2019, the Department of Human Resources Employee Communications Team highlighted the professional accomplishments, challenges and successes of our employees, as well as King County opportunities and important events. These were shared in our weekly Employee News newsletter, the KC Employee News blog, our KCEmployees Twitter account, the King County, WA LinkedIn account, and our King County Employees YouTube channel. Thank you to all our readers for engaging with our content, sharing it with others, and helping us to be successful in providing you… Read More

Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, 2019 King County celebrates Hispanic & Latinx Heritage Month 

National Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month officially starts on Sept. 15 and ends Oct. 15. This month is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the long and important presence and contributions of Hispanic and Latino and Latina (Latinx) Americans.    In the spirit of shared learning, increased understanding, building community, and advancing pro-equity values at Metro, all King County employees are invited to participate in these events, below. For more information about each event, view this flyer.  Cross Agency Hispanic-Latinx Heritage Month Celebration: Thursday, Sept. 19, noon to 1 p.m., Union Station, Ruth Fisher Board… Read More

Employee Resource/Affinity Group Policy

Dear King County employee, As we continue to build a supportive, respectful, and equitable workplace culture at King County, we are committed to providing opportunities and spaces for employees to come together, share their experiences, and work to advance our Equity and Social Justice Strategic Plan. Executive Constantine recently signed the Employee Resource/Affinity Group Policy, which formalizes the work of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), also known as affinity groups. These groups are employee-led and focus exclusively on state- and federal-protected categories – such as race, gender, and sexual orientation – and their common… Read More