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Strategic Partnerships Team Leads with Equity in Advising and Supporting City Programs

Through the Race and Social Justice Initiative, the City of Seattle is consistently working to address and eliminate institutional racism. Part of the City’s focus on social justice includes ensuring outreach and engagement efforts are equitable and reach all communities.

Through our Strategic Partnerships program, the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods collaborates with other City departments to provide strategic advisement, coordination, and support with a specific focus on increasing equitable engagement for City programs and projects. Our staff serve as connectors, building trusting relationships between government and community. Currently, the Strategic Partnerships team is working with the Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Public Utilities to help center and grow community-centered engagement for Black, Indigenous, people of color, immigrant, refugee, and other underserved communities. 

“I’m working on numerous projects representing the Seattle Department of Transportation,” said Phyllis Porter, Advisor on Strategic Partnerships team. “Asking questions, listening, reporting this information back to the City. Making sure that people who are impacted…that their voices are heard; they are part of the decision-making process.”

The work of the Strategic Partnerships team centers on a commitment to address historic injustices and inequities by implementing engagement strategies that are grounded in racial equity practices and best serve the communities most impacted by City projects. Their partnerships are rooted in relationship development and trust building and work to help give a voice to those who may be fearful to share their opinions with government because of past harm and discrimination.

“The messenger is important,” says New Mobility Program Manager with the Department of Transportation. “It is received differently coming from someone, let’s say, you feel closer to and you trust than from the City.”

To learn more about the work of our Strategic Partnerships program watch the video above or visit: