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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