By Rachel Friederich, ICSEW Communications Chair
LACEY—State employees are invited to attend a free kickoff event for the Washington State Black Community Business Resource Group.
The event takes place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lacey Community Center, 6729 Pacific Ave. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. for food and fellowship. All state employees are invited. The event will be catered with food representative of black culture, so event organizers are requesting people to register to get an accurate attendance count.
Statewide business resource groups, BRGs, bring together groups of employees and their allies who have a common interest or characteristic, according to the Office of Financial Management, OFM, which runs the state website listings for BRGS. BRG members bring their unique knowledge and perspectives, making them an asset to state business needs such as recruitment and retention, according to OFM.
The event will give attendees an opportunity to network and learn more about the Black Community BRG’s goals. The event will also feature guest speakers T’wina Nobles and Washington State Rep. Kristine Reeves. Nobles is the president and CEO of the Tacoma Urban League, an organization whose mission is to assist African-Americans and other underserved urban residents in the achievement of social equality and economic independence. Nobles is also the director for the University Place School District. Reeves, (D-Federal Way), is a representative for Washington’s 30th legislative district, which includes the cities of Federal Washy, Des Moines, Auburn, Algona, Pacific, Milton and parts of unincorporated King County.
The Black Community BRG is the newest of the state’s six BRGS. The state’s other BRGS include the Veteran’s Employee Resource Group (VERG), Rainbow Alliance and Inclusion Network (RAIN), which supports LGBTQ+ employees, the Latino Leadership Network, Disability Inclusion Network and the Washington Immigrant Network (WIN).
The Black Community BRG goals include:
- Promote state government as an employer of choice supporting efforts that increase representation of individuals of the Black Community at all levels of employment.
- Better the lives of state employees through advocacy, outreach, opportunity, and advisement to the Governor and agencies on policies that affect state-employed black people, and ultimately, communities in which they live and serve.
- Contribute to a more diverse understanding of the unique, multi-faceted aspects of the Black Community in Washington State.
- Integrate the history, cultural experiences, values, and knowledge of both black people and their allies into the workforce of Washington State government.
- Provide advice and assistance to state agencies regarding strategies to hire, retain, and develop black people in Washington State government.
- Apply diverse perspectives and experiences to the examination of the issues facing Washington State. Diverse perspectives enhance the fullness of our understanding of these issues and open opportunities for the consideration of new ideas and better solutions.
Questions? Contact Megan Matthews, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Curriculum & Policy Consultant, Department of Social & Health Services (360) 725-4780 or firstname.lastname@example.org.