PRESS RELEASE: Washington State’s Office of Equity and the Centre for Public Impact launch program to embed anti-racist and equity-centered engagement strategies across 190 state agencies.
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Washington State’s Office of Equity and the Centre for Public Impact launch program to embed anti-racist and equity-centered engagement strategies across 190 state agencies.
The Washington Equity Program connects historically marginalized communities and state leadership to create a culture of collaboration between communities and state leadership.
14 September 2023 – Today, the Centre for Public Impact and the Washington State Office of Equity announce the launch of a three-year-long program focused on embedding equitable practices across the Washington State government.
The Washington Equity Program underscores the state’s commitment to disrupting inequitable government systems that impact marginalized community members. The program focuses on creating community engagement and equity strategies that push Washington State towards becoming a government that values all human beings and empowers them to succeed.
The Centre for Public Impact is partnering with the Office of Equity and will work with them to embed equitable and anti-racist practices that consider the needs of residents impacted by historic harms and inequities across 190 state agencies.
Washington State Office of Equity’s Shared Power Consultants, Jean Paul, Sabrina D. Njoroge, and Rauneisha Larkins, MS, MSW, LSWAIC said:
“The Shared Power team is eager to co-create and collaborate with the Centre for Public Impact. We are no longer just talking about the idea of involving community, we are venturing out and actually co-creating with those who call Washington home. We seek to center those who have been historically excluded and marginalized. This work is groundbreaking because it is more than a framework; it is a holistic approach on how to embed equity in our daily work and endeavors. Our plan is to model the way while holding ourselves accountable. In doing so, we plan to develop resources and offer guidance to leaders across the state to support Pro-Equity Anti-Racist values and outcomes. We hope that you join us in this journey to move all Washingtonians towards a belonging state.”
This work will intentionally bring community members and government officials together, which will strengthen the relationship between communities and government. The collaboration between these groups will influence policies and bureaucratic processes—empowering residents to voice their ideas for needed institutional change.
Sam Watson, Program Manager at the Centre for Public Impact said:
“Many government systems don’t solicit input from the community it is there to serve. This has sustained a system that largely does not work for the true needs of Black and Brown residents, nor the needs of those with other marginalized identities and experiences. Many voices are often left out, and trust between state and community has been broken. The Washington Equity Program serves as an intentional step in repairing harms to build towards a collaborative and community-centered Washington State government.”
The program is comprised of three unique, yet interrelated phases:
Phase one will bring the state’s executive staff together to discuss how to center equity, learn how to create deep partnerships with residents, and set a vision for a state government that values and empowers all human beings.
Phase two will support government staff to develop an equity and community engagement strategy with residents.
Phase three will train state employees in key community engagement skills to spread engagement strategies across their agencies.
For more information visit: https://www.centreforpublicimpact.org/north-america/washington-equity-program
About the Centre for Public Impact
At the Centre for Public Impact, we believe in the potential of government to bring about better outcomes for people. Yet, we have found that the systems, structures, and processes of government today are often not set up to respond to the complex challenges we face as a society. That’s why we have an emerging vision to reimagine government so that it works for everyone.
A global not-for-profit organisation founded by the Boston Consulting Group, we act as a learning partner for governments, public servants, and the diverse network of changemakers who are leading the charge to reimagine government. We work with them to hold space to collectively make sense of the complex challenges we face and drive meaningful change through learning and experimentation.
About the Office of Equity
The Office of Equity is committed to leading the way in establishing Washington State as a Belonging State for all. This approach begins with change from inside state government by establishing accountability between its ~60,000 state employees, building a community-based Advisory Board, and implementing a Pro-Equity Anti-Racism (PEAR) foundation between state agencies.
The Office of Equity focuses on uplifting the voice of the communities it serves and paving a way for community involvement in state government. Established in 2021, the Office of Equity is the first office of its kind in the nation.
Elysa Neumann, Centre for Public Impact
TraeAnna Holiday, Washington State Office of Equity