The following address to Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) employees was reproduced with permission from HCA.
Dear HCA team,
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court has overruled Roe v. Wade, ending constitutional protection for abortion access. This is via a case called Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
We will likely have customers who are fearful or confused about what this ruling means for them and their families. We also may very well see individuals coming to Washington from other states to seek abortion services.
It is very important that each of us as HCA employees understands and communicates the facts about coverage for abortion services in Apple Health (Medicaid), Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB), and School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB) programs.
Abortion remains legal and covered by health care insurance in Washington State. That includes coverage purchased by HCA.
If you don't qualify for Apple Health (because you are a resident of another state) you may qualify for the Northwest Abortion Access fund https://doh.wa.gov/you-and-your-family/sexual-and-reproductive-health/abortion
Finally, I want to acknowledge that this court decision will bring up strong emotions for many of us. For me, as a nurse, I believe access to comprehensive health care services, including abortion care, is a health equity issue and I am grateful abortion remains legal in our state. Some may have personal experiences that bring up emotions today. And for others, there may be religious or other beliefs that guide their reaction. If you need any support navigating this issue, the Employee Assistance Program is available with free and confidential services. As always, I expect we are all kind, compassionate, and professional in any conversations we have on this topic with our coworkers.
I hope you have a restful and healthy weekend.
“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 our 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 as an official holiday, our community reflects on our history and the significance of Juneteenth in this country. Many Americans are unaware that enslavement of our people did not 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.
Post-emancipation, known as Reconstruction was an era consistently references as a period great hope yet struggle, and uncertainty for Black people in America. As the reality of black people being free started to settle in, we saw racism and oppression show up in a new form. Even though black people were no longer enslaved, they were faced with issues of Black Codes and Jim Crow, known as strict laws on how to treat black people. They were put in place to deprive and strip the fundamental rights and economic growth for the Black community. In addition to the corrupt laws in place, Black people were victims of horrendous acts by white supremacy believers, whose sole purpose was to terrorize the newly freed Black people anybody or entity that supported them.
America has made progress, where the Black people are concerned but we as whole still suffer from the evil that America was built upon. It is systemic and must be purged.
Juneteenth is not just a moment in American history, where we only celebrate the freedom for black people. It serves as a reminder of resilience and the determination that black people continuously show. We’ve overcome, we’ve endured, we do not break. However, we deserve rest, comfort, and peace. This is a moment in history, that highlights the long journey we have traveled. A moment in history, where our community can revive their hope and strength to build a better future for not only ourselves, but those that come after. So, let us not just a celebrate on Juneteenth, let us be inspired to act and commit to the effort of establishing a world where equality and inclusion does exist.
Check out photos, live streams, and news links from Washington State Juneteenth event held on June 16th, 2022.
Washington State Juneteenth Celebration Photos - BUILD, Washington State Juneteenth Celebration Livestream- TVW BUILD Facebook Livestream KING 5 News
Photos taken by Gary Lott
Compiled by Shauna James, Washington State Health Care Authority.
What is Juneteenth?
“Juneteenth” (June Nineteenth) commemorates freedom for African Americans, and reminds us of the promises of freedom, equity, and equitable opportunity which are at the core of the American Dream.
The historical legacy of Juneteenth is a good mirror of how freedom and justice in our nation has always been “delayed” for Black people.
For decades waves of lynching, imprisonment, and Jim Crow laws took root. This resulted in a disproportionate impact of discriminatory policies, disparities, and a lack of economic opportunity and investment.
While some progress has been made, considerable barriers still exist towards fuller equity. Thus, the importance of the recognition and observance of Juneteenth to demonstrate our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging
The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth (June Nineteenth)
1502: The first known Transatlantic Slave Trade voyage - At least 10 million Black people were forcibly transported from Africa and sold into slavery.
January 1, 1863: President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, but some Confederate states refused to enforce this law.
June 19, 1865: General Gordon Granger arrives in Galveston, Texas and announces that more than 250,000 enslaved black people were free through the Emancipation Proclamation).
December 1865: The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is passed, freeing all enslaved people & abolishing slavery in the U.S.
June 7, 1979: Representative Al Edwards introduces a bill declaring “Juneteenth” a state holiday - Texas was the first state to recognize the observance.
June 17, 2021: President Joe Biden establishes Juneteenth, the date commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S, as a federal holiday.
Key points of Governor Inslee’s Juneteenth Proclamation
In his all-state communication, Governor Jay Inslee said recent events caused him to examine how persistent racism continues to impact people of color in the State of Washington, but worldwide.
The proclamation is aimed at recognizing contributions of African Americans to our state and country and as a chance to reflect on progress till to be made to endure equal access and opportunity and for self-improvement and planning for a more equitable future.
Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom, acknowledges the resilience and determination that African Americans have shown.
Since its origin in 1865 in Galveston, Texas the observance of June 19 (Juneteenth) as the African-American Emancipation Day has spread across the US and worldwide.
In his communication about the proclamation, he made a commitment to making Washington a more inclusive state and our workplace an environment where every employee is encouraged to bring their true and authentic selves to work.
The proclamation makes Juneteenth a legal holiday. He urged ALL citizens to learn about the celebration and its significance in American History and the heritage of our nation.
The Juneteenth Flag
On June 19th you might start seeing another red, white, and blue flag flying over our state.
That banner with a star bursting in the middle is the Juneteenth Flag, a symbol of the end of slavery in the United States.
The flag was created in 1997 by Ben Haith, founder of the National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation (NJCF).
According to Haith the design was a deliberate process. Here’s what each element of the flag represents:
CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS
The 2022 Statewide DEI Summit Planning Committee needs your help to host a successful event. We know that many employees across the state are passionate about the summit and would like to contribute. We specifically need your help in moderating DEI Summit sessions. As a moderator, you will play an important role in ensuring that the conference is a success by attending various sessions, and helping the presenters and participants have a great experience.
“On May 25, Minneapolis police officers arrested George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, after a convenience store employee called 911 and told the police that Mr. Floyd had bought cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. Seventeen minutes after the first squad car arrived at the scene, Mr. Floyd was unconscious and pinned beneath three police officers, showing no signs of life.” – New York Times.
Today we reflect on the criminal actions conducted by law enforcement that caused the passing of George Floyd. The excerpt taken from the report highlights the sad, brutal, and all too familiar feeling of black lives being taken in this country. Let us remember that the George Floyd tragedy is not a singular moment in American history, but his death does represent the continuous brazen actions that have led to so many Black lives being taken. Unjust actions that were taken based on the color of their skin.
The Washington State DEI Summit is June 7, 14, 21, and 28. This event is virtual.
This year's theme this:
Acknowledging Our Past, Transforming Our Future
Washington State 2022 DEI Summit: Tuesdays in June: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Registration for the upcoming, annual Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Summit is currently available. This year’s virtual DEI Summit registration is free and open to all state agency employees. We encourage you to join us in this meaningful development opportunity, which was carefully planned to enrich our collective understanding and awareness through a wealth of DEI- related discussions and activities.
Registration and summit details:
Interviews about the Summit moderated by BUILD's very own, Sharon Armstrong!
Check out more interviews!
Juneteenth is a state holiday!
Watch this space for more info as it becomes available.
This event also serves as BUILD's June General Membership Meeting.
May 5: National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two Spirit People
May 5 is the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two Spirit People. To learn more on how you can take action, you are invited to visit:
Tai Simpson’s essay in Cosmopolitan on the MMIW Crisis
Morning Star Gali’s podcast interview with Alicia Garza on Indigenous resistance.
Women, Interagency Committee of State Employed (ICSEW) has teamed up with Amy Leneker to sponsor a few events throughout the year and wants to share these opportunities for learning and development with BUILD!
These events are open to all but registration for each event will be capped at 950 participants so register as soon as possible to reserve a seat.
Attached is the flyer. Find more information on Amy's website.
The 2022 National Women’s History Theme:
“Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope”
Since 1995, presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.” These proclamations celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields.
The 2022 Women’s History theme, “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope”, is both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history.
This year, in particular, we are reminded of the importance of healers and caregivers who are helping to promote and sustain hope for the future. The NWHA encourages communities throughout the country to honor local women who bring and have historically brought these priceless gifts to their families, workplaces, and neighborhoods, sometimes at great sacrifice. These are the women who, as counselors and clerics, artists and teachers, doctors, nurses, mothers, and grandmothers listen, ease suffering, restore dignity, and make decisions for our general as well as our personal welfare.
2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, a landmark piece of legislation for gender equity.
The law ensures that all education programs and activities receiving federal funding must protect students and employees from sex-based discrimination and bans many aspects of gender inequality that had previously been tolerated or overlooked in education. Despite consistent attempts through legislation, executive actions, and lawsuits to diminish its effectiveness, Title IX continues to provide these protections today.
The 2022 National Women’s History Theme
Women's History Month.gov
Women’s History Month 2022: Celebrating 50 Years of Title IX
International Women's Day.com
Compiled by BUILD for Women's History Month, 2022.
There is a new platform created for everyone to engage in honest dialogue to foster understanding about racial equity, justice, and belonging so we can co-create a state government system that works for everyone.
The Office of Equity is holding monthly conversations called “Real Talk”. This was created for state agency employees to lean in, be curious, and become open to exploring experiences different from their own. You can register HERE for the first conversation in this series.
Content compiled by The Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA).
Despite their constant presence in even the earliest iterations of the nation’s armed forces, the service of a Black individual has only recently been measured equally against that of a white servicemember. Though more visceral and violent acts of discrimination may have greatly diminished in our modern era, there’s still advancement to be made.
Around 9,000 Black soldiers served during the Revolutionary War, many of whom were slaves enticed to enlist with the promise of freedom, only to find themselves forced back into bondage after the close of the conflict. During the Civil War, the Black servicemen of the Union were treated in different wards than the white soldiers. These wards were poorly staffed and undersupplied, leading to many Black soldiers dying from wounds that white soldiers would survive. The Confederate Army used both free and enslaved Black people for labor and menial tasks but refused to enlist them as combat infantry.
BUILD recommends the following resource as we celebrate Black History Month, 2022.
From the video description:
"It's February, so many teachers and schools are taking time to celebrate Black History Month. According to Stanford historian Michael Hines, there are still misunderstandings and misconceptions about the past, present, and future of the celebration. In this installment of Tiny Lectures, Hines talks about the beginnings and evolution of Black History Month. Michael Hines is an assistant professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. He teaches courses on the history of education, and specifically the history of African American education, in the United States."
Washington State Historical Society’s activities for all ages to participate in Black History Month, online and in-person
Tacoma, WA – Black History Month is an opportunity to explore the achievements and contributions of Black Americans in our past and honor those in our present. You can explore stories and make connections through online and in-person activities with the Washington State Historical Society (WSHS), including:
By Sherina James.
Ms. James contributed to this article in her personal capacity. The views expressed do not
represent the views of the Washington State Department of Corrections, the Pierce County Commission Against Domestic Violence, or the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy. This article was originally published in the Fall 2014 issue of Ending Our Silence, a newsletter of the African American Domestic Peace Project (AADPP).
A message from LaNesha DeBardelaben, President & CEO of the Northwest African American Museum:
I am writing to personally invite you to upcoming programs at NAAM that center and celebrate African American history, art, and culture. Starting tonight and going through mid-November, NAAM has organized a plethora of empowering and educational programs that inspire and inform. All programs are free and open to the public. We look forward to seeing you soon.
Hardships from the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be felt across the economy. The federal eviction moratorium expires this week, on July 31st.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) partnered on a housing assistance website to help homeowners and renters during the coronavirus pandemic.
The topic of discussion: How HR can help create a more inclusive workplace for people of color
Location: Online (to register see below)
Date: July 7th, 2021
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Facilitators: Michaela Doelman and Connie Terry
Research shows that diverse and inclusive workplaces have higher levels of performance and engagement but that workplaces that only focus on diversity without inclusion create workplaces where diverse staff are either highly unengaged or outright leave. SHRM describes the inclusion piece of D&I as “making sure those different voices are heard and valued and that they contribute to the performance” of your organization. In this Lunch and Learn, the members of the BUILD Business Resource Group will share with you tips on how workforce data can be used to measure inclusion, tips on how HR professionals can help influence a more inclusive workplace, and share with you some voices of BRG members on what an inclusive workplace would look like for them.
The Washington Immigrant Network (WIN) invites Washington State workers to celebrate Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month.
In 1977, U.S. Representatives Norman Mineta and Frank Horton introduced legislation to designate 10 days in May as Pacific/Asian American Heritage Week. U.S. Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga proposed supporting legislation in the Senate. The lawmakers chose May to mark two historical events. On May 7, 1843, the first Japanese immigrant arrived in the United States. More than two decades later, on May 10, 1869, the golden spike was driven into the First Transcontinental Railroad, which was completed using Chinese labor.
President Jimmy Carter signed a joint resolution for the celebration on October 5, 1978. In 1990, George H.W. Bush signed a bill passed by Congress to extend Asian-American Heritage Week to a month, and May was officially designated as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month two years later.
Many schools are preparing to support students’ social and emotional needs in new ways when they return to school next fall. Read on about an exciting opportunity to partner with the National Native Children’s Trauma Center and participate in training and implementation of a tier one curriculum for trauma and resiliency in schools. Trainings will take place this summer and early fall for implementation in the 2021-22 school year. The curriculum is best connected to the work of classroom educators, school counselors, school social workers, and other similarly placed staff who would implement the curriculum as part of their tier one supports for students. There is no clinical or mental health training required to be able to implement the curriculum.
Join us this Friday, May 7 at 1pm PT / 4pm ET for a live discussion marking the centenary of:
The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre
The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, which occurred in an area known as “Black Wall Street,” is not mentioned in most American history books, but it is widely regarded as one of the most terrifying events of racial violence to occur in the US. Armed, white mobs murdered hundreds of Blacks and set fire to a prosperous Black area, the Greenwood District, both displacing and economically devastating thousands of residents. This centenary event will feature a lively discussion from a diverse group of panelists who will explore this history, its enduring impacts, and reparations.
The City of Olympia wants to hear from Black, Indigenous, People of Color to discuss race and equity in Olympia.
In the military it is instilled in you that the person to your left and right may one day be responsible for saving your life. The worst-case scenario is you could be on the battlefield and must depend on someone you don’t know to help you survive. That’s powerful and it stays with you long after you leave service. I believe this is an unspoken bond, unique to Veterans. And in my opinion, that this is why the effects of sexual violence in the military are even harder to overcome; Veterans often struggle long after they leave the service.
Our blog includes but is not limited to events, insights, and highlights to augment basic education.