RSJ Roundtable

The Race and Social Justice Community Roundtable is a partnership of twenty-five community organizations and public institutions working together to achieve racial equity in Seattle.

Roundtable members are committed to achieving racial equity throughout Seattle via coordinated actions. Members also are working to address institutional racism within their own organizations.

Education is the primary focus
The Roundtable has made education its primary focus as a step to achieve its overall goal. Graduation rates, rates of discipline, test scores and other measures illustrate a clear racial divide in education. Typical explanations usually focus on the capacity of individual teachers, students, the curriculum, etc. Yet systemic race-based inequities sort and shape students in ways that are obvious to families of color, but often invisible to white families. Without referencing race, we can "explain" everything that happens in our schools. Yet those explanations fail to account for the undeniable racial fault line that runs through our education system. Unless we begin to address institutional racism, our educational outcomes will remain the same.

Besides focusing on education, the City and other Roundtable members are analyzing the connections between education and criminal justice, economics, environmental justice and health.

Member list: RSJ Community Roundtable

Arab American Community Coalition Damon Shadid
Center for East African Community Affairs Habtamu Abdi, Director
Childcare Resources Deeann Puffert, Director
Office for Civil Rights, City of Seattle Patricia Lally, Director
El Centro De La Raza Estela Ortega, Director
King County Matias Valenzuela
Minority Executive Directors' Coalition Dorry Elias-Garcia, Director
Seattle King County NAACP Gerald Hankerson, Director
Nonprofit Assistance Center Barbara Fane, Director
One America Rich Stolz, Director
People's Institute NW Sarah Freeman
Pride Foundation Kris Hermanns, Director
Puget Sound Educational Service District John Welch, Director
Seattle City Council Bruce Harrell, Councilmember
Seattle Education Association Jonathan Knapp, President
Seattle Housing Authority Andrew Lofton, Director
Seattle Indian Health Board Ralph Forquera, Director
Seattle Public Schools Jose Banda, Superintendent
Seattle University, Center for the Study of Justice in Society Pamela A. Taylor, Director
Senior Services Denise Klein, Director
Social Justice Fund Zeke Spier, Director
Solid Ground Gordon McHenry, Director
United Indians of All Tribes Kelvin Frank, Director
United Way of King County Sara Levin, Community Services VP
Washington Community Action Network Will Pittz, Director
YMCA Robert Gilbertson Jr., Director
Youth Undoing Institutional Racism Dustin Washington
YWCA Patricia Hayden, Senior Program Director