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City of Seattle

February 23, 5:39 PM click here to comment > 1

Race and Social Justice Initiative

Imagine a city where race does not predict the quality of education you receive, or whether you will graduate from high school. Imagine a city where race does not shape your career opportunities or predict how much you earn.

Imagine a city where race does not predict your likelihood of going to prison, your likelihood of being homeless and the survival of your baby.

Imagine Seattle is that city. The Race and Social Justice Initiative is a citywide effort to realize this vision – a city where racial disparities have been eliminated and racial equity achieved.

This past week the Mayor’s Office spent eight hours reviewing the history and purpose of the Race and Social Justice Initiative. We discussed the impacts of race and social justice on community engagement, policy development and city programs and services. The training, provided by the Seattle Office for Civil Rights, focused on how to find and eliminate institutional bias. The Office for Civil Rights and their work on the Race and Social Justice Initiative has played a key role in our outreach efforts for the Youth and Families Initiative.

Race is still a leading indicator of our health, income, education, and every other indicator of success. If we want to end racial inequities, then we need to be specific about the problem so we can develop meaningful strategies for change.

The Race and Social Justice Initiative is not a single project, but an ongoing commitment to a new way of doing business, of working to overcome institutional racism and create the kind of community where equity in opportunity exists for everyone.

As goodhearted people, none of us want to see the racial inequities that exist in our communities. But, if despite our good intentions, we continue to have disparities, then we need to rethink our approach. There is a difference between our intent and our impact. As mayor, I see the work of the Office of Civil Rights and the Race and Social Justice Initiative as vitally important to the success of the city, and I am committed to incorporating it into all aspects of my administration.

For more information please visit the Race and Social Justice web site.

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Posted by: Mayor Mike McGinn

Comments

Comment from Heather
Time May 9, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Imagine police officers who don’t racially profile, let alone kick and hit innocent people, while yelling racial slurs. Imagine that. Imagine other police officers stepping in and stopping racism instead of standing by giving it their stamp of approval. Imagine…