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Mayor Jenny Durkan: Addressing Race and Social Justice Disparities Must Be Focus of Seattle City Government

On November 28, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan signed an Executive Order affirming the City of Seattle’s commitment to the Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) at an event in Chinatown-International District.

“Issues of racial and social inequity have become sewn into the fabric of society and government. The way to counter that imbalance is to keep race and social justice at the forefront when taking action and embedding them in conversations around equity. It’s imperative for creating healthy and vibrant communities throughout our city,” said Mayor Durkan. “Our city can and must do better to address institutional and structural racism in our government. We must also address true equity across education, affordability, and the criminal justice system. As a community, our path forward is put at the center of our conversation the voices on the people who face these significant disparities.”

The Executive Order requires an extensive review of the City’s current implementation of the Race and Social Justice Initiative as well as recommendations for areas needing additional work. In addition, the action requires Department directors, personnel within the Office of the Mayor, and Mayor Durkan, to participate in implicit bias training. You can read the full Executive Order here.

The City of Seattle launched the Race and Social Justice Initiative in 2004, led by the Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR), with the vision of achieving racial equity in the community and the mission of ending institutionalized racism in City government, promoting inclusion and full participation of all residents, and partnering with the community to achieve racial equity across Seattle.