Thurston County seeks members for new Racial Equity and Inclusion Council

: In an episode of “Coffee with a Commissioner,” Nicole Miller, the county’s first-ever racial equity program manager, with Commissioner Tye Menser, launched the opening of applications for founding members of the new Racial Equity and Inclusion Council.
Courtesy of Thurston County Youtube Channel

Thurston County recently opened an application process for the new Racial Equity and Inclusion Council.

Nicole Miller, the county’s first-ever racial equity program manager, launched the opening of applications in an April 26 episode of “Coffee with a Commissioner” with District 3 Commissioner Tye Menser.

Miller said Thurston is seeking the council’s seven founding members who should be 16 years old and above and are members of the county’s Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community.

At least 50 percent of the founding members (four of seven)  will reside outside the city limits of Olympia, Lacey, and Tumwater. Miller said this is to ensure that there is enough representation of the county at large, particularly the south county.

“I’m just hoping that there will be a rich, diverse group of folks who will apply,” said Miller. “I’m hoping that we can get this council up and running by July.”

Over the next three years, the racial equity council is expected to grow to a total of 15 members with a goal of a vibrant membership representative of the many intersecting identities community members hold. “We’ve got work to do,” Miller added.

Menser said some of the data that the Board of Health has looked into was about the race-based health disparities and he is hoping that the new council will weave its work into these data.

“It’s always good to look for those numbers because you can really see the differences and changes,” Menser said.

On March 9, 2021, the Thurston Board of County Commissioners declared racism a crisis in Thurston County, approving the establishment of the council on December 14, 2021.


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  • JulesJames

    16 year olds?!?!?!? I was under the assumption those who have not reached the age of majority have been legally determined not mature enough to participate in representative government, or even in their own life's choices. Yet Thurston County wants to include these pre-legal opinions on an advisory council. Kids are great. Many have a purity of thought unclouded by the rigors and responsibilities of adulthood. But they aren't qualified to serve in government in any capacity at age 16 or 17. Additionally, Thurston County is doing a great disservice to every school by grooming those who should be student leaders for all into this special interest group for a few.

    Friday, April 29 Report this

  • Joltnews4me

    I 2nd that Jules! I know someone who turned 16 this week who meets the qualifications and I might just have them throw their name in the hat! That should be fun for everyone. Their life experience is SO very limited... and they believe BLM is right in their backyard because it's right on their phones.

    Friday, April 29 Report this