Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives in Washington State – 2021 Update – MRSC – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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January 11, 2022  by  Nick Fisher
Category:  Inclusive Communities Guest Author

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives in Washington State – 2021 Update

In response to inquiries on race and social justice policies and the rise of social justice activism across the country, MRSC previously wrote on how local governments can integrate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) into new and existing policies. This post will provide updates on new and innovative DEI efforts in Washington State.

There are multiple pathways available to local governments looking to build DEI initiatives in their communities, including both internal and external initiatives designed to promote DEI values. This blog highlights local government initiatives that are primarily focused on racial equity and includes methods for community outreach and DEI analysis.

Starting a DEI Program

The intiatives outlined in this section offer starting points for local governments to consider when developing their own DEI initiatives. Each example includes a basic description and highlights important aspects.

Bainbridge Island

Developing a community DEI commission or task force is important to developing effective local government solutions. The City of Bainbridge Island began its DEI work by establishing an internal task force on race and equity, which eventually became separate advisory committee (per Ordinance No. 2020-23) in late 2020. Codified as the Race Equity Advisory Committee in chapter 2.72 of the city’s municipal code, the nine-member committee is tasked with a variety of responsibilities, including assisting the city in implementing racial equity-related goals and policies, recommending a racial equity action plan and implementation strategy, providing education and outreach to the public, and supporting equity-related audits of city policies and procedures. 

Olympia

In fall 2020, the City of Olympia recruited four community members from historically marginalized and underrepresented communities to form a workgroup that would research the development of a commiss


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