4a. Document


WHEREAS, Black history is American history and throughout every stage of the U.S., Black
Americans have led the fight for equity and justice, re-shaping culture and laws
towards a multi-racial democracy that was promised at th e  founding of this
country; and 
WHEREAS, centering racial equity and specifically our commitment to confronting anti-black
racism at the Port of Seattle sets an intentional, strategic focus that will allow us
to develop structural approaches to address all forms of oppression and to advance
our inclusion and belonging values as a public agency; and 
WHEREAS, our vision is to develop a Port that mirrors — throughout its breadth of operations
and services and within its leadership structure — the diversity of our community,
instills principles of equity in its culture, and ensures a fair and intentional
distribution of opportunities with the goal of expanding economic development
and quality of life for all; and 
WHEREAS,  the Port of Seattle acknowledges the profound impact of Black leaders on the
legacy, history, art, and economic fabric of King County, recognizing their
invaluable contributions remains paramount, with a special focus during this
Black History Month on prioritizing the elevation of these local heroes; and 
WHEREAS, established in 1993 at the Port of Seattle, Blacks In Government (BIG) is an
Employee Resource Group (ERG) dedicated to advocating for equal opportunity,
eliminating racism and discrimination, and promoting professional development 
for Blacks in Government during Black History Month and throughout the year;
WHEREAS, in 2005, the Washington State Legislature House of Representatives renamed the
county to Martin Luther King County, and in 2007, Councilmember Gossett led
the campaign to adopt the King County logo featuring Martin Luther King County
making  it  the  sole  governmental  entity  in  the  nation  to  showcase 
Dr. King's likeness in its logo; and 
WHEREAS, the Port of Seattle Commission took action in November 2020 to establish Juneteenth
as a Port paid holiday, cementing the importance of Juneteenth, otherwise known as
Black Independence Day, and celebrated by the Port under the leadership of BIG since
2003; and

          WHEREAS, the theme for Black History Month 2024 is "African Americans and the Arts."
This theme highlights the influence and innovation of African Americans in all
fields of art, including music, dance, theater, visual arts, and literature; and 
WHEREAS, the arts have, and continue to, provide an avenue for expression and visibility for 
Black   voices  of  those  who  have  historically,   and  currently,   been
underrepresented, unseen, diminished, and silenced; and 
WHEREAS, our region boasts world renowned artists like musicians Jimi Hendrix and 
The Black Tones, jazz and blues singer Ernestine Anderson, musician and 
producer  Quincy  Jones,  painters  James  W.  Washington,  Jr.     and 
Jacob Lawrence, artists Barbara Earl Thomas and Marita Dingus, photographer
Al Smith, writer Ijeoma Oluo, culinary artists  chefs  Kristi Brown  and 
Ariel Bangs, and home to the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute and the
Black and Tan Hall; and
WHEREAS, in 2024, Hamdi Mohamed's election as Commission President marks the first
time in the Port’s 112-year history that a woman of color, specifically a Black
woman and immigrant, holds this position; and 
WHEREAS,  the Port Commission and BIG are proud to present Eddie Rye with a Lifetime
Achievement Award to recognize Mr. Rye's inspiring decades-long track record
of activism and community organizing on behalf of Black people in Washington
State and beyond; and 
WHEREAS, the Port Commission and BIG are proud to present Kristi Brown with a Business
Excellence Award for her business’ outstanding community impact and inclusive
business practices; and 
WHEREAS, the Office of Equity Diversity and Inclusion was established in 2019 to recognize
the cultural shift at the Port of Seattle by identifying and addressing the root
causes of inequities, and to promote fairness toward equity and anti-racism and
does so in partnership BIG and other ERGs; and

          NOW, THEREFORE, the Port of Seattle Commission hereby proclaims February as Black
History Month and honors and commends the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement and Business
Excellence awards for their commitment to advancing equity for all.
Proclaimed by the Port of Seattle Commission this 27th day of February, 2024. 

Port of Seattle Commission


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