RAIN Seeks Outstanding Agency Nominations

Deadline for submissions is close of business Friday, May 22

RAIN

Does your state agency do outstanding inclusion and diversity work? The Rainbow Alliance and Inclusion Network, (RAIN) business group is seeking nominations for its RAIN Outstanding Agency Award.

Formed in 2016 under Gov. Jay Inslee’s Directive 16-11, this state LGBTQ+ business resource group helps establish best practices for state agencies to “create a safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ employees, allies, and customers in Washington State,” wrote Best Practices Co-Chairs Marisa Sanchez-Reed and Jasper Marino.

“We look forward to receiving nominations from all state employees and strongly encourage those who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community to tell us about the great work and many ways their agency encourages a safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace,” the co-chairs wrote.

 Please submit any nominations by the close of business Friday, May 22.

If you have questions please reach out to RAIN’s Marisa (she/her/they/them) or Jasper (they/them/he/him).

About RAIN: The Rainbow Alliance & Inclusion Network (RAIN), Washington State Employees’ LGBTQ+ Business Resource Group (BRG), is an equal opportunity resource group. RAIN welcomes all Washington state employees who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or other diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression groups, and their allies. RAIN encourages all members to bring their authentic selves to the BRG.

April is Diversity Month: A Message from Your State Business Resource Groups

“There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” -Audre Lorde 

diversity

Washington State’s six Business Resource Groups (BRGs) are excited to present the following message in celebration of Diversity Month.

During Diversity Month, the business resource groups wish to generate awareness about the intersectionality of characteristics that make us unique and the need to demonstrate appreciation for each human being we encounter.  This month, we encourage you to create space for courageous conversations about identity and to learn more about someone who appears to have a different cultural background or experience from your own. Some ways to learn include: engaging in open dialogue, reading a book, watching a movie or video clip and more, all with an open and empathetic heart.

Statewide BRGs unite employees who identify with common backgrounds with allies under shared values and goals. All BRGs have a mission and goals outlined in their charters and bylaws. BRGs contribute to an overall statewide business strategy in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in a respectful workplace.  Each BRG member brings unique knowledge and perspective, making them an asset to our state business needs, helping Washington move closer to being the employer of choice.

Visit the Office of Financial Management’s website or select the links below to learn more about each BRG.

Thank you for choosing to be a public servant for the people of Washington State!

 

Commentary: Black Community Business Resource Group on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Editor’s Note: Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The Washington State Black Community Business Resource Group has submitted an article about Dr. King’s Legacy and the work the group is doing to apply diverse perspectives and experiences to the examination of the issues facing the state of Washington.

Martin Luther King, Jr
Martin Luther King, Jr. Photo from Wikemedia Commons

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day Message 2020

Submitted by the Washington State Black Community Business Resource Group

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968), was a man of great integrity, values and principles. If alive today, Reverend Dr. King would be 91 years old. Leading the effort toward social justice and equality, Reverend Dr. King’s impact went beyond his local community to inspire change in America and the world. In 1964, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed into law, an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This day is officially observed the third Monday of January each year (sometimes referred to as MLK Day) which annually coincides with Reverend King’s birthday, January 15.

Reverend Dr. King taught us that there are far more commonalities that unite us than divide us. He often remarked in speeches delivered across the nation, that if we all took time to talk and get to know our neighbors, we would find that our values, ethics, morals and sense of justice are strikingly aligned. He was the first to acknowledge that while people may disagree on policies and procedures, we are generally in agreement on humanitarian causes centered on love, peace, and compassion. In recognition of his nonviolent works towards hope, peace, and prosperity of all Americans, this year let us refocus our attention on the elements of life that draw us together and less on the conversations the divides us.

Each year the month of February is dedicated to honoring and remembering the numerous achievements of Black Americans. The year’s Black History Month Theme, African Americans and the Vote, set by the Association for the Study of African American Life and Heritage (ASALH), would have been preaching to the choir for Reverend Dr. King. He intensely understood the importance of the right to vote in the right for equality. In 1957, he delivered a speech entitled Give Us the Ballot, where he argued that if we (Black Americans) had the right to vote, we would by voting, receive our basic rights.

As the newest Washington State Business Resource Group, we (the Black Community Business Resource Group) seek opportunities to engage communities around Washington. Our commitment is to share our perspectives on the varying aspects of the social, historical, and current trends in equity, diversity, and inclusion from the Black Community viewpoint. As part of this effort and journey, we welcome and value allies from all communities to join us in this transformative venture.

In the words of musical genius Stevie Wonder (circa 1979):

“If we cannot celebrate a man who died for love, then how can we say we believe in it? It is up to me and you!”  

Happy Birthday, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr!

group picture of members of the Washington State Black Community Business Resource Group
Members of the Black Community Business Resource Group

About the Black Community Business Resource Group:

 Statewide business resource groups, BRGs, bring together groups of employees and their allies who have a common interest or characteristic. . BRG members bring their unique knowledge and perspectives, making them an asset to state business needs such as recruitment and retention.

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? Email BlackCommunityBRG@OFM.WA.Gov

 Black Community Business Resource Group Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Community-Organization/WA-State-Black-Community-Business-Resource-Group-111351510275919/

 

Immigrant Network Business Resource Group Meeting Discusses Diversity Jan. 6

Washington Immigrant Network Logo

OLYMPIA–Are you interested in learning about or joining the Washington Immigrant Network (WIN), a business resource group designed to support current and former Washington state employees?

WIN will be hosting its next meeting from noon to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 6, in the Liquor and Cannabis Board’s Columbia River Room 108 and 109 (1025 Union Avenue SE, Olympia, WA 98504).

Diversity Consultant Jarrod Irvin with the Department of Corrections will be the keynote speaker. You can find the meeting’s agenda here.

WIN’s mission “is to expand opportunities for immigrants who are current and future employees within Washington state government. The group serves as a resource for all immigrants who are state employees to connect, share and educate each other and Washington state agencies on the skills, expertise and cultural value of a diverse workforce.”

WIN defines “immigrant” as someone who was or has a parent who was born in a foreign country.

According to the Office of Financial Management, “Statewide business resource groups (BRGs) bring together groups of employees and their allies who have a common interest or characteristic. All BRGs have a charter, mission, goals and bylaws and contribute to an overall statewide business strategy.  BRG members bring their unique knowledge and perspectives, making them an asset to state business needs, such as recruitment and retention.”

You can learn more about all the BRGs here.

First Native American Woman Appointed to Washington State Supreme Court

portrait for Raquel Montoya-Lewis
Raquel-Montoya Lewis, the first Native American woman to be appointed to the Washington State Supreme Court

OLYMPIA–Gov. Jay Inslee helped usher in a historic day for the Washington State Supreme Court when he appointed Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis as the first Native American justice Dec. 4 in Olympia.

Montoya-Lewis has more than 20 years of judicial experience, including five on the Whatcom County Superior Court. She spent years working with tribal communities in Washington and elsewhere, and is uniquely familiar with the challenges that tribal and rural communities face. She also worked on issues to protect children from exploitation, and received the Children’s Advocacy Center Community Leadership Award in 2018.

“Because Judge Montoya-Lewis is Native American, many will focus on the historic nature of this appointment,” Inslee said. “And it’s entirely appropriate to do so. But I want the record to show that Judge Montoya-Lewis is the kind of exceptional judge I want serving on the highest court in our state because she is the best person for the job.”

Read the rest of the story on the Governor’s Medium Page.

Chief Administrative Law Judge to Share Her Path as Immigrant in America

Judge Lorraine Lee

TUMWATER–The Latino Leadership Network is honored to welcome Lorraine Lee, Chief Administrative Law Judge and Director of the Washington State Office of Administrative Hearings, as guest speaker of our next Lunch & Learn. The event takes place from noon to 1 p.m. December 10 at the Labor & Industries Building, 7373 Linderson Way SE in Tumwater

Judge Lee will share thoughts and lessons learned about becoming American as an immigrant who has lived and worked in diverse places and work environments.

Please pre-register for the Lunch and Learn and plan to bring a friend. If you are unable to attend in person, we will stream via Facebook live.

Judge Lee came to America from Hong Kong as a young child. She attended public school in New York City and Moses Lake, Washington. She graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and obtained her law degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She would go on to serve as a military lawyer in the U.S. Army.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit is January 21-22

diversity

From the Office of Financial Management:

TACOMA–Mark your calendars and hop on to Eventbrite so you can attend the 2020 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Summit on Jan, 21-22 at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center, 1500 Commerce St.

The conference includes presenters from multiple disciplines, including Washington State leadership. Topics discussed at the event will assist attendees in creating action steps for moving towards a more inclusive and equitable culture. The intended audience includes: Washington State executive leadership, business resource group members, human resource partners, DEI practitioners and state employees wanting to begin/advance their learning journey in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Cost is $60 and registration closes Nov. 22. 

Our goal:

The 2020 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Summit aims to advance DEI in public service by building community and competency among all state employees and will cover some of the following:

    • Implicit Bias
    • Micro-aggressions
    • Understanding Privilege
    • Bias Blockers
    • DEI and Data
    • Gender Identity
    • Developing Teams of Inclusion Practitioners
    • Micro-aggression and Mental Health
    • Emerging Through Bias: Creating a More Inclusive Work Environment
    • Facilitated Discussions, and much, much more.

Participants will be inspired, motivated, and will receive support and resources to implement DEI initiatives and practices related to the work they do every day as public servants and global citizens.

“One of the hardest things in any organization is to institutionalize a culture. That’s what we’re engaged in here: Embracing a culture of inclusion and diversity and equity that becomes embedded in our organizational DNA.” –Governor Jay Inslee

Click here to visit our Eventbrite page to get your tickets to the Summit.

 

 

 

 

 

State’s First Latinx Museum Opens

latinx museum

Information from Gov. Jay Inslee’s Press updates, E-news edition 54, Oct. 25, 2019:

Gov. Jay Inslee honored the contributions of the Latinx community Thursday in Seattle when he spoke at the grand opening of the only Latinx history museum in the state.

The first-of-its-kind Sea Mar Museum of Chicano/a/Latino/a Culture chronicles the history and voice of the Latino/a and Chicano/a culture, starting in Washington with a post-World War II timeline.

“Today, we hear the often silenced voices of the past sound out in a place dedicated to who they are and what they contributed,” Inslee said. “As we hear these voices rise up in these hallowed halls, we know we will never be the same.”

He shared stories about farm workers in the Yakima Valley and the five judges he has appointed to the Superior Court, illustrating that the Latinx experience is not a single story and that each story is unique.

The governor recently signed bills that honor and celebrate contributions from labor and civil rights leaders Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta.

Read:

New Black Community State Business Resource Group Kickoff is Oct 24 in Lacey

BlackCommunityBRGKickoff

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 matthmr@dshs.wa.gov.

Agents of Change: Washington State History Museum Celebrates Jewish Women

The year 2020 marks the centennial of women’s suffrage in America. Several organizations have holding celebratory and historical events as the anniversary draws near. The Washington State History Museum has a new exhibit celebrating Jewish women who have influenced Washington state’s history and culture. It opens April 28, 2019.

black and white photo of two women
Image from Washington State Jewish Historical Society digital archives

Agents of Change: 20 Remarkable Jewish Women of Washington State opens April 28 at Washington State History Museum

Tacoma, WA – What do Carrie Brownstein, Nancy Pearl, and Marcie Sillman have in common? They are all from Washington. They’re all in the public eye – Brownstein co-created both the Washington-based band Sleater-Kinney and the sketch comedy television show Portlandia. Librarian Nancy Pearl is a best-selling author (the Book Lust series, George & Lizzy, and others), literary critic and the former Executive Director of the Washington Center for the Book at Seattle Public Library. Marcie Sillman is a broadcast journalist and NPR radio show host working with Seattle’s KUOW. One more thing they have in common is their inclusion in Agents of Change: 20 Remarkable Jewish Women of Washington State, an exhibition opening on April 28 at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma. The exhibition is on view through June 2, 2019.

Featuring women who have made their mark in a wide array of fields including arts, activism, athletics, education, business, diplomacy, law, politics, religion, and philanthropy, Agents of Change shows the breadth and depth of the contributions Jewish women are making every day in our state and our world.

The Washington State Jewish Historical Society (WSJHS) developed this landmark exhibition in honor of the society’s 50th anniversary in 2018. They also developed award-winning supporting media for their digital museum, including videos and a podcast series.

“2018 was the Year of the Woman,” said WSJHS Executive Director Lisa Kranseler, “and as we were debating possible subjects for our 50th anniversary exhibit, it became obvious that this was the perfect choice. From our mothers and grandmothers to our teachers and community leaders, we have all been powerfully influenced by strong women who have guided and changed our lives. This exhibit is a way to honor all those women by focusing on twenty exceptional representatives from our state.”

Opening Day: Visitors can learn about the inspiration behind Agents of Change in the gallery at 1:45 on April 28 at the Washington State History Museum. Hear from Washington State Historical Society (WSHS) Director Jennifer Kilmer and WSJHS Director Lisa Kranseler, as well as special guests. WSHS and WSHJS members are invited to mingle on the museum’s mezzanine for an opening-day reception from 1:30-3:00.

“We are honored to feature Agents of Change at the Washington State History Museum. It is a terrific example of our mission in action – that is, partnering with our communities to explore how history connects us all,” said WSHS Director Jennifer Kilmer. “These leaders have made significant contributions in Washington and beyond. We’re proud to tell their stories. We’re excited to kick-off the upcoming 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in our nation with this celebration of Jewish women making history in Washington.”

More information at WashingtonHistory.org/events.

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Washington State Historical Society partners with our communities to explore how history connects us all. The Society’s most visible activity, the Washington State History Museum (WSHM) is located in Tacoma’s downtown core along Pacific Avenue among a thriving cultural scene. The museum features interactive permanent exhibitions about Washington’s past in the Great Hall, unique rotating exhibitions highlighting the Society’s collections, and dynamic feature exhibitions.

Address: 1911 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98402
Hours: 10:00AM–5:00PM Tuesday through Sunday. Third Thursday of each month, 10:00AM–8:00PM.
Admission: Free for members; Adults $14; seniors (age 65+), students (age 6-17) and military (with ID) $11; free for children 5 and under; family rate $40 (up to two adults and four children under age 18). Patrons with a Washington Quest card and licensed Washington Foster Parents can attend for $1 per person or $2 per family.

Washington State Jewish Historical Society is dedicated to discovering, preserving, and disseminating the history of the Jews of Washington state and promotes interest in and knowledge of the life, history, and culture of the Jewish people and communities through publications, exhibits, displays, speakers, tours, and performance. For more information, please visit www.wsjhs.org.