By Daisha Gomillion, MBA
During the course of its history, higher education in the U.S. has served as both an institutional oppressor of Black Americans and as a stronghold for resistance against racism and discrimination in society. In honor of this year’s Black History Month theme, “Black Resistance”, we will look at the role that HBCUs have played in Black activism. HBCUs exist because, historically, black students were not allowed to take classes at predominantly white institutions (PWIs). HBCUs have never discriminated against any race. White students have always been welcome — as have those of other races and ethnicities. Although Black History Month was federally established in 1986, weekly and monthly celebrations had already existed for more than 50 years. In the 1960s, many historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) began recognizing Black History Month with campus observances. These celebrations served as a way for Black educators to celebrate people and narratives that advanced ideals of equality and social justice.
In that capacity, he created a new strategic roadmap for the organization, established a first-of-its-kind retail space, and implemented a voluntary self-exclusion program and other responsible gambling verification policies. He is a respected and proven leader with 20 years of experience in state government.
By Bill Kysor, Communications Liaison of the ESD Veterans Employee Resource Group
February is Black History Month and the members of the ESD VERG Team wish to celebrate this time with a view back in history to the African-American heroes, many who are unsung and unnamed, but who contributed greatly to the cultural transformation of American diversity and inclusion.
Black History Month and Heroes in the American Military
The following story by Professor Gary Gallagher, Ph.D., University of Virginia, provides that look through America’s early military history of the contributions and struggles of black Americans as soldiers. Professor Gallagher describes that history from the Revolutionary War through the Civil War of the gradual acceptance and recognition for the abilities, courage, and contributions of the tens of thousands of black Americans who fought for liberty and freedom that was denied them elsewhere in society.
Article: Black Soldiers in the American Civil War (wondriumdaily.com)
Please attend our next Lunch and Learn session:
The topic of discussion: What is Courage? Perspectives from Business Resource Group & ICSEW
Audience: HR Practitioners, Recruiters, Hiring Managers
Location: Online (to register see below)
Date: March 1st, 2023
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Facilitator: Lenora Sneva
What is courage? Courage is something that everybody wants. It is an attribute of good character that makes us worthy of respect. Our culture is rich with exemplary tales of bravery and self-sacrifice for the greater good. Yet courage is not just physical bravery. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, who chose to speak out against injustice at great personal risk.
Lenora Sneva will lead a panel of Business Resource Group & ICSEW leaders to discuss what courage looks like in state employment.
BUILD Black History Month Lunch and Learn: Black Identity & Black Radical Tradition (Video)
Terrence McCall led a Fireside Chat as state agencies BUILD an understanding of black identity using what we know about history, as well as the location of black identity in the historical system(s) of reality, in order to grasp the connections that help us better understand the present realities affecting the black community.
Dr. Shamyka Sutton shares insights about Black culinary roots and how the slave trade shaped today’s soul food. Those that attended learned about the difference between soul food and southern food and patterns of misattribution in our food culture that dismisses our ancestors' role in culinary arts.
With a saddened heart while holding anger and outrage, I write this message to you after once again, the world, our nation, and the Black community witness another occurrence of police brutality against a Black male. On January 7, 2023, 29-year-old Tyre Nichols was fatally beaten by five police officers from the Memphis Police Department during a traffic stop in Memphis, Tennessee. Officers initially stated the Tyre was pulled over for alleged reckless driving, but police investigation has found no such evidence to substantiate the claim. Tyre Nichols was hospitalized in critical condition from his injuries and died three days later. The preliminary autopsy results found that Tyre suffered “extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating.”
Over this past weekend, the City of Memphis and the nation awaited and braced for the release of the police video footage. Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis prepared us before the video's release that we would see were “acts that defy humanity,” “incomprehensible,” and “unconscionable.” Unfortunately, chief Davis’ depiction was accurate. I watched a horrendous “prison yard” style beat down of a young man who looked like me, who was just trying to get home. A young Black man that was met with immediate aggression. A young Black man not “fleeing from police" but running for his life. A young Black man being bullied by officers much larger and stronger than himself. I witnessed a complete disregard for another human being.
Historical photographs of Dorothy Hollingsworth (left), Seattle education leader, and William Owen Bush (right), noted Thurston County farmer and legislator.
OLYMPIA — The Governor’s Mansion Foundation is presenting Black History Month tours at the Mansion on Wednesday, Feb. 1 and Wednesday, Feb. 8. The 45-minute tours are free and open to the public. The tours will include information about the Mansion. They will also feature biographical information about notable Black Washingtonians, presented throughout the house by members of the Black community in Thurston County. The tours will end with a short live performance.
Exiting tour-goers will receive a special bookmark/flier with information about additional resources on Black history in Washington. Learn more about the Black Washingtonians featured on the tour and Black history in Washington.
Attached [below] is the Martin Luther King Day of Service Proclamation declaration for all to see.
For more information on Martin Luther King JR, read the article "BUILD Celebrates Martin Luther King" on BUILD's website.
Martin Luther King Day of Service Proclamation PDF
Important Update for Social Equity Cannabis Retail License Applicants: New Instructional Courses and Upcoming Webinar Series Jan. 24 and Jan. 28, 2023
The Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) will soon be opening the application window for a limited number of retail cannabis licenses that have been reserved for social equity purposes.
The LCB has partnered with MakeGreenGo! to provide technical assistance and business education for potential social equity applicants. MakeGreenGo! is a company with experience providing technical assistance to cannabis businesses in several state and local jurisdictions.
On Monday, January 16, 2023, we celebrate, commemorate, and honor the life and legacy of an American Hero and icon, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The observance of the King Holiday is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the powerful teachings and relevant messages of Dr. King. The work and sacrifice of Dr. King have been instrumental in the effort to achieve equality for African Americans and also significant to the progress of humanity.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy has inspired numerous other civil rights movements within the United States and worldwide. Dr. King’s support for Latino activists such as Cesar Chavez during the United Farm Workers union acknowledged and highlighted the similarities in the struggle for African American rights and the rights of Latinos. Elements and strategies of the early Pride and Gay Rights activism borrowed and relied on much of the foundation laid by the Black Civil Rights Movement. The recent George Floyd protest movement in 2020 gave us images strikingly similar to the civil rights marches in the 1960s. Multiethnic groups of men and women, children and elders, and gay and straight people came together in solidarity to protest racial injustice in our county. Dr. King bonded people together, allowing them to see themselves as part of the same-shared struggle and inspiring them to be a part of the solution.
DSHS recently provided employees with an outstanding opportunity to hear from famed American philosopher Dr. Cornel West! His talk was entitled “Justice is what love looks like in public” and he further discusses how we must serve others, particularly those who have been oppressed and isolated in cycles of poverty. The Princeton professor, prolific author, and champion for racial justice, spoke for about an hour to the delight of hundreds of employees through Zoom.
The video below is the recording of the talk so that you too can experience Dr. West’s discourse and wisdom.
Learn more about Dr. West and his work here
Show Up - Speak Up!: REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS – Environmental Justice Community Participation Fund Grant
Sharing this message on behalf of the Department of Health:
REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS – Environmental Justice Community Participation Fund Grant
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is excited to announce the formation of an Environmental Justice Community Participation Fund Grant program. The aim of this program is to award a $400,000 pass-through grant to a statewide community-based environmental justice organization for the creation of an Environmental Justice Community Participation Fund. This Fund will be used to allocate smaller sub-grants to other community-based organizations around Washington State to support meaningful participation and engagement with the Environmental Justice Council and state agencies around the Healthy Environment for All (HEAL) Act.
Serve Washington is pleased to announce a funding opportunity for the BIPOC-Led and Small Nonprofit Equity Fund
Serve Washington has partnered with the Schultz Family Foundation for an exciting opportunity to support the engagement and participation of BIPOC-led and small community-based nonprofit organizations in marginalized communities. If you are not partnered with an AmeriCorps program and are interested in finding out how to remedy that, here is your chance! The BIPOC-led and Small Nonprofit Equity fund is addressing financial and capacity barriers to participating in National Service by providing host fee subsidies and more.
Applicants are required to submit requests for funding in accordance with the Notice of Funding Opportunity for BIPOC and Small Nonprofit Equity Fund, released October 28, 2022.
The grant period will begin December 1, 2022, and end June 30, 2024. Requests will be accepted on a rolling basis as funds are available.
The Washington State 2022 Governor's Equity Summit:
Working Together for Results
The below message can be shared broadly on behalf of the Office of Equity
Greetings Summit Partners!
It’s time to sign up! Register to confirm your participation and communicate any accommodations you need to fully participate in Governor Inslee’s Equity Summit.
Note: We have limited capacity for in-person attendance. Register as soon as possible to secure your place if you desire to participate in person.
Deadline to register: Tuesday, November 15th at 5:00pm (PST)
If you are unable to access the form in the above link, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-790-2190 (Washington Relay 7-1-1) to register.
Accessibility: The Washington State Office of Equity is committed to hosting accessible events that promote belonging, justice, and dignity. To request communication services (interpreters, written information in other languages, or other services) or accommodations, please enter your request in the linked registration form or email email@example.com. The Office of Equity strongly encourages participants to make requests by 5:00pm (PST) on Friday, November 4th to allow time to make the proper arrangements.
About this event:
Theme: Working Together for Results
Date: Wednesday, November 30th
Time: 8:00am - 4:00pm (PST)
Location: Greater Tacoma Convention Center (1500 Commerce St, Tacoma WA 98402)
Why: The Governor's Executive Order 22-02, Achieving Equity in Washington State Government, directs agencies to advance equity and anti-racism in the following areas: Public Contracting, Public Employment, Public Education, and Public Services. The purpose of this summit is to bring community and state government together to lay a strong foundation for achieving equity across Washington state government, now and for generations to come.
We look forward to connecting with you in November!
Domestic Violence Awareness Month with build
During BUILD's General Membership Meeting, Sherina James shared a video of a thoughtful conversation with Reverend Traci Jackson and Oliver Williams, Ph.D. about domestic violence in the Black community and the need for interventions that consider culture and ethnicity. They talk about COVID and domestic violence and ponder some of the larger questions like can an abusive person change. #Every1KnowsSome1
Aminta Spencer from Deptartment of Revenue will be hosting an on-line workshop on how develop a successful resume to help you land your ideal job.
Resume Writing Workshop will be held October 18, 2022 from 10am-11am.
BUILD will present on this topic at the next General Membership meeting, 10/20. Sign up to get updates!
Wear Purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month on 10/20/22
Campaign Branding Resources
These resources can be used to customize your local content and incorporate it into the #Every1KnowsSome1 DVAM Campaign:
2023 Child Support Schedule Workgroup
Our Sundaes Outside is not just for Sundays! Our 3-day event with our series celebrating creativity, the outdoors, and Black Folks!
About this event We're going camping!!! It's going to be a weekend of games, activities, food, and more. Celebrating Black Folks.
With support from Washington State Parks Folk & Traditional Arts Program we will host the first Sundaes Outside Campout at Ramblewood Retreat Center at Sequim Bay. Join us and enjoy a weekend outdoors connecting!
Celebrating 50 Years of Equity
Facing the camera from left to right: Lt. Governor, Denny Heck; Former Representative, Jesse Wineberry; and Former Governor, Dan Evans.
On August 27 the Washington Equity Now Alliance (WENA), a pro-affirmative action non-profit, organized a reenactment of the signing of Executive Order (EO) 72-07 in the Washington Legislative Building. Former Governor Dan Evans, soon to celebrate his 97th birthday, was on hand to reenact his historic signing of the EO that brought affirmative action to Washington State.
Black Lives Matter day event video
National Disability Independence Day
BUILD stands in solidarity in recognizing July 26, 2022 as the 32nd Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
National Disability Independence Day commemorates the signing of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA.) on July 26, 1990. The ADA prohibits disability discrimination by State and local governments; provides standards for access to places of public accommodation; protects people with disabilities from discrimination in the workplace; and ensures equal access to health care, social services, transportation, and telecommunications. Designed to model the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the purpose of the ADA is to guarantee that individuals with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else and serves as a reminder that we all deserve equal dignity, respect, and opportunity.
Below is the reminder of the Office of Equity’s invitation to attend our next Real Talk! and Post Talk! sessions on Wednesday, July 27th. Real Talk! is for all Washington State employees. You and your staff are invited to attend.
The Office of Equity invites you to join us on July 27th from 11:00 -12:00 pm for our Real Talk session, “Who Belongs? Independence for Whom?”, and from 12:00-12:30 pm for our Post Talk, where we will have an interactive discussion on the Real Talk Topic.
We invite you to lean in, be curious, and engage in honest dialogue about racial equity, justice, and belonging to co-create a state government system that works for everyone.
Our blog includes but is not limited to events, insights, and highlights to augment basic education.