Seattle.gov Home Page
Seattle.gov This Department
Link to Office for Civil Rights Home Page Link to Office for Civil Rights Home Page Link to Office for Civil Rights About Us Page Link to Office for Civil Rights Contact Us Page
Office for Civil Rights Patricia Lally, Director
About Us
What is Illegal Discrimination?
How to File a Complaint
Seattle Paid Sick/Safe Time Ordinance
Rules, Ordinances, Publications
Job Assistance /Criminal Records
Gender Equity in Pay Task Force
Notice of Nondiscrimination
Commissions
Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative
Disability Access and Services
Contact Us
Newsletter

Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative

"It is time for all of us to have an honest conversation about race, and to take steps to eliminate institutional racism." - Mayor Greg Nickels

RSJI Overview

RSJI 2008 Report: Looking Back, Moving Forward

Disparities 08: Impacts of Institutional Racism.

What is the City of Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative?

The Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) envisions a city where racial disparities have been eliminated and racial equity achieved. The mission of the Race and Social Justice Initiative is to end institutionalized racism in City government and promote multiculturalism and full participation by all residents.

The RSJ Initiative builds on the work of the civil rights movement and the ongoing efforts of individuals and groups in Seattle to confront racism. The Initiative's long-term goal is to change the underlying system that creates race-based disparities in our community and to achieve racial equity. RSJI is committed to meaningful change. We all need to work to end racism in Seattle.

Accomplishments so far:

Since 2005, the Mayor has required City departments to implement RSJI work plans. Key elements of the plans also are part of department directors' annual Accountability Agreements with the Mayor. City departments work together on common areas, including:

  • Workforce equity (fair hiring and promotion).
  • Contracting equity.
  • Improved immigrant and refugee access to services.
  • Inclusive outreach and public engagement.
  • Capacity building (training and education for City employees).

Looking to the future

The next phase of the RSJ Initiative will focus on three goals. First, the Initiative will continue to address racial disparities internally within City government as an organization. Second, we will strengthen the way City government engages the community and provides services. Finally, we will begin to address race-based disparities in our community by working in partnership with community members, organizations, businesses, and public and private institutions.

Want to learn more about RSJI?

The City's Race and Social Justice Initiative is coordinated by the Office for Civil Rights (SOCR). For more information, please contact Initiative Manager Glenn Harris at 233-5199 or send e-mail to Glenn Harris. You can learn more about the RSJ Initiative by reading the RSJI Overview or RSJI 2008 Report: Looking Back, Moving Forward . For a summary of race-based disparities in the Seattle area, please see Disparities 08: Impacts of Institutional Racism.

If you have questions, comments or requests about our services please contact our office at (206) 684-4500 voice, (206) 684-4503 TTY or send e-mail to Elliott Bronstein.