4a. Proclamation

Black History Month

WHEREAS, Blacks In Government (BIG), established in 1993 at the Port of Seattle, is an 
Employee Resource Group  (ERG)  dedicated to equal opportunities and
professional development, and mandated per their charter to promote excellence
through employee advocacy, education and community service; and 
WHEREAS, during Black history month and every month of the year, the goals and objectives
of BIG are: 
To be an advocate of equal opportunity for blacks in government;
To eliminate practices of racism and racial discrimination against blacks in
To promote professionalism among blacks in government;
To develop and promote programs which will enhance ethnic pride and
educational opportunities for blacks in government;
To establish a mechanism for the gathering and dissemination of information to
blacks in government; and 
To provide a non-partisan platform on major issues of local, regional, and national
significance that affect blacks in government; and 
WHEREAS, access to quality education translates to opportunities and open doors. It can be 
the weight that tips the scales and moves a person or family out of poverty.
Quality education usually means more economic security and better quality of
life; and 
WHEREAS, just last week, the Seattle Times published a story about how for the first time 
ever, youth of color make up the majority of students in Washington public
schools. Our public schools are changing, and we, as a state, need to change too;

          WHEREAS, another complex part of this change is that statewide, the percentage of Black
students in our public schools is actually declining. While we may be able to
account for some of this decline due to how demographic data is collected, we
can’t ignore the data about how Black students are treated in public schools – 
punished at higher rates and experiencing worse academic outcomes than other
races. How we treat Black students affects how we treat all students; and 
WHEREAS, we know that representation has the power to raise up the visibility and the voices
of those who have historically been underrepresented, unseen and silenced; and 
WHEREAS, representation on the Commission was reset with the historic election of
Commissioner Hamdi Mohamed as the first Black woman to serve on the
Commission and the first Somali woman elected to public office in Washington 
State; and 
WHEREAS, the Office of Equity Diversity and Inclusion was established in 2019 to create a
cultural shift at the Port of Seattle by identifying and addressing the root causes
of inequities, and to deepen the Port’s efforts toward equity and anti-racism and
does so in partnership with ERGs like BIG; and 
WHEREAS, the Port of Seattle Chapter of BIG aims to lift up the next generation through 
providing support and empowering students to pursue higher education through 
their BIG scholarship fund and initiatives like “Stuff the Bus,” “Project Prom,”
and their portwide Fall Food, Coat and Toy Drives which collect school supplies 
and clothing for local families; and 
WHEREAS, BIG and their allies continue to positively impact the community we all call
NOW, THEREFORE, the Port of Seattle Commission hereby honors and recognizes the 
contributions of the Port’s Chapter of Blacks In Government; commits to amplifying the BIG 
Scholarship Fund to increase the impact of its education grants for college-bound Black students;
and celebrates their many contributions to the Port of Seattle and the broader community. 
Proclaimed by the Port of Seattle Commission this 14th day of February, 2023.

              Port of Seattle Commission 

Port of Seattle Commission


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