Highlighting employee resource groups across the state –Employment Security Department Black Employee Inclusion Networking Group (BEING)
Provided by BEING Chair, Tennille Johnson
Learning and growing as a leader, a black woman leader, feeling a sense of belonging and getting to support and be supported by staff across the Agency..... It is my why,” said BEING Chair, Tennille Johnson. “The ERG BEING has given me that place.”
Did you know that several agencies are increasing the culture of belonging and expanding equity amongst their agency with employee resource groups? Employment Security Department (ESD) is an agency leading the way in equity and creating ERGs for state employees to connect with. Along with five other ERGs, ESD has an ERG that is focused on supporting their black employees.
Facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis.
"There is very little data available"
When we hear the word “data” one of the first things that comes to mind are numbers. For the state employee, more often than not these numbers are part and parcel of a process of performance measurement and an assessment of some kind. However, when we look the word data up in the dictionary, we find that the word data is used to refer to facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis. I.e., data is nothing more than information that is collected for understanding what it relates to.
Data can be used in a variety of ways. Today data is leveraged to inform and support critical decision making, as well as identifying opportunities, and evaluating the effectiveness of methodologies currently in practice, but data isn’t just about numbers and statistics.
In a speech celebrating the life of Eduardo Mondlane, leader of the Mozambican Liberation Front (FRELIMO), who was assassinated by Portuguese agents in February of 1969, Amilcar Cabral notes how, “The principal characteristic, common to every kind of imperialist domination, is the negation of the historical process of the dominated people by means of violently usurping the free operation of the process of development of the productive forces.”
Recap Washington State’s second annual Black Lives Matter Day virtual event sponsored by BUILD! This event focuses on Embracing Black Joy and Blacknificience!
Also check out the following Links and Resources:
The City of Olympia are currently seeking community members to join a collaborative design process involving the Social Justice and Equity Commission and select members of the Olympia Police Department. The goal is to establish a framework of transparency and accountability in Olympia's Law Enforcement that fosters collaboration, builds relationships and enhances accountability.
Currently looking for 8-12 community members, with an emphasis on those most impacted by policing and historically underrepresented individuals. To provide more information and address any questions people may have, we have organized drop-in information sessions to learn about the project, how to participate, and the timeline.
Olympians envision a community with equitable access to opportunity and believe that there are likely instances where people in our community are experiencing discrimination.
The City of Olympia’s new Social Justice and Equity Commission’s and City staff are working with Truclusion, a third-party research consultant, to complete a human-centered, inclusive assessment of discrimination in Olympia. Truclusion is engaging with the community to craft a report detailing where there are opportunities to better meet the desires, needs and challenges of community members; particularly those who may be excluded from the Olympia experience currently.
To help inform that work, Truclusion is conducting a survey of the Olympia community. Residents and those who spend time in Olympia can take the anonymous survey online: http://s.alchemer.com/s3/539f1d5d6c8a.
Truclusion is attending community events and working with local stakeholders to help drive community participation. The digital survey is available to all community members in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and Tagalog through July 16.
“Ours is not the struggle of one day, one week or one year. Ours is not the struggle of one judicial appointment or presidential term. Ours is the struggle of a lifetime, or maybe even many lifetimes, and each one of us in every generation must do our part.” -- John Lewis
Additional Juneteenth Coverage
BUILD Family and Allies,
Well, the time has come for me to move into the BUILD Past Chair role. It is hard to believe that it has been two years serving in the BUILD Executive Leadership, and the experience has been an honor representing the BUILD Business Resource Group. I look forward to continuing to serve and represent BUILD in the Past Chair role and am excited for the new executive leaders to make their mark. When I was nominated for the Co-Chair position in 2021, I realized the responsibility required a three-year commitment. In accepting the role, I wanted to ensure that I honored that responsibility and followed thru as BUILD’s Co-Chair, Chair, and soon-to-be Past Chair, especially being part of the first elected executive leaders to lead the business resource group following the inaugural Chair. It has been a privilege to represent the BUILD Business Resource Group. This is an amazing space and platform to elevate the Black voice in Washington State Government and the communities we serve.
"Gary Lott’s upbeat leadership skills help to boost agency morale, according to former WDVA Director,
Alfie Alvarado. “There is no task, big or small, that he will not accept if it is to help others,” former WDVA
Director Alvarado wrote in nominating Lott for a South Sound Business Journal 40 Under 40 Award in 2019.
If you've been to one of our public events, chances are you've seen Gary running around with a
camera, networking with media and assisting with sharing our BUILD message across numerous platforms. Gary is a highly motivated, passionate, and skilled communications expert who has experience working in many aspects of media. Gary has worked briefly in the Governor's Office, recently was with the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs, is currently working for Employment Security Department, and even works during gamedays as a photographer for the Seattle Seahawks...GO HAWKS!!!
“Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory or an acceptance of the way things are. It’s a celebration of progress. It’s an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible—and there is still so much work to do.”
— Barack Obama
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, serves as a day to reflect on the journey to freedom for Black people in America. As Washington State, along with the rest of the United States of America, seeks to celebrate Juneteenth, the black community reflects on our history and the significance of Juneteenth in this country. Many Americans are unaware that enslavement of our people did not end once the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It ended two years later in 1865, when more than 2,000 troops arrived in Galveston Bay Texas to enforce the freedom that belonged to black people. The impact of delayed action from a promise that was given and not fulfilled for 2 years is an all too familiar feeling.
Recap the listening session that featured BUILD's Leadership nominees! BUILD membership had the opportunity to listen and interact with BUILD's future leadership.
Join us next week, Wednesday, May 31 at Noon for a listening session that will allow BUILD membership to hear from the nominees. Membership will have an opportunity to ask questions in order to select their next Co-Chair.
My name is Sherina James (she/her) and I am a dedicated public servant with 18 years of experience in state service. Currently, I am a grant manager for the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy at the Department of Commerce, where I have been for the past seven years. Prior to that, I worked in the Victim Services Department at the Department of Corrections.
In addition to my work in state government, I am also an active member of BUILD, a community organization dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. I have been involved with BUILD since its kick-off event in 2019 and am currently serving as the Interim Co-Chair of the Membership Support and Engagement subcommittee. I am passionate about supporting the goals of BUILD. Let's keep building together!
L. Denice Randle is the Workforce Recruitment Strategic Advisor for CSD, HQ in the office of the Director. She comes to DSHS having spent her career serving as a champion for educational equity for youth and young adults from diverse and underserved communities.
She earned a BA in English Language Arts from Whitworth University via a full-ride scholarship through the Act Six Leadership and Scholarship Initiative. Desiring to impact her community by empowering youth, Denice went on to earn a Master's in Education with teaching certification from Pacific Lutheran University. Throughout her career, she has led with excellence in a variety of leadership roles including being a classroom teacher in Tacoma; a non-profit director of education and employment; an assistant principal of a public high school in Seattle; a regional director of college readiness for a district and most recently the executive director of an educational non-profit serving scholars in grades 2-12 in the Hilltop neighborhood of Tacoma. Early in her career, Pierce College named her a Distinguished Alumni for her community impact and achievements.
Denice is a servant at heart and gives of her time and resources to a variety of organizations and institutions. Since 2015, she has served on the Board of Trustees for her alma mater, Whitworth University. She volunteers to assist young adults with developing their interview skills and has served as the 2021 keynote speaker for the City of Lakewood’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. In her free time, she enjoys singing in her church’s choir, indulging in diverse cuisine and spending quality time in community.
Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) has been set aside for the full first week of May for over 30 years to honor those who serve our nation as federal, state, county, and local government employees. OFM State Human Resources coordinates the Washington state annual celebration and employee awards, to ensure state employees are recognized and honored for their great work and service to the public.
In 2023, PSRW will be held May 7–13. There will be in-person outdoor events planned in Olympia, Spokane and the Tri-Cities this year. For more information on the event visit: https://ofm.wa.gov/state-human-resources/public-service-recognition-week
For additional information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
You're invited to a screening of Shared Legacies. The Northwest African American Museum Choir will perform, followed by the film, refreshments, and a panel discussion with filmmaker Shari Rogers, PhD, Mark R. Jones, PhD, and Rabbi Jay Rosenbaum. The discussion will be moderated by Michele Storms of the ACLU of Washington.
**Seating is limited. Get your tickets today.**
(Trailer) Shared Legacies: The African-American Jewish Civil Rights Alliance - YouTube
Denim Day is a campaign on Wednesday April 26, 2023 in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The campaign began after a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped the person who raped her remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Patti Giggans and Peace Over Violence developed the Denim Day campaign in response to this case and the activism surrounding it. The first Denim Day was held in 1999. Since then, what started as a local campaign to bring awareness to victim blaming and destructive myths that surround sexual violence has grown into a movement. As the longest running sexual violence prevention and education campaign in history, Denim Day asks community members, elected officials, businesses, students, and all individuals to make a social statement with their fashion statement by wearing jeans on this day as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual violence. Resources — Denim Day
Child Abuse Prevention Month is an opportunity to learn about the signs of child abuse and how to prevent it. Awareness color or symbol: Blue, Blue Ribbon, Blue Pinwheels.
The 2023/2024 Prevention Resource Guide recognizes that there are actions we can take as a society and within communities, organizations, and families to address the root causes of child abuse and neglect. The prevention resource guide seeks to highlight the innovative ways that communities around the country are doing purposeful prevention work to help children and families thrive. The protective factors have always been central to the Resource Guide. A protective factors approach focuses on positive ways to engage families by emphasizing their strengths, in addition to identifying areas where they have room to grow with support. Focusing on protective factors helps children, youth, and families build resilience and contributes to positive outcomes.www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/guide_2023.pdf
As long as there have been people who care about making the world a better place, there have been individuals advocating for sexual assault prevention. In the United States, movements for social change and equality began to gain traction in the 1940s and 50s with the civil rights era. Although open discussion of the realities of sexual assault and domestic violence were limited at these times, activists for equal rights began to challenge the status quo.
A movement to end sexual violence: about both awareness and prevention of sexual assault, harassment, and abuse. The theme of Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2023 is “Drawing Connections: Prevention Demands Equity.” This April's campaign calls on all individuals, communities, organizations, and institutions to change ourselves and the systems surrounding us to build racial equity and respect.
Awareness color or symbol: Teal, Teal Ribbon Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) (nsvrc.org)
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.
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.
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