Equity and Engagement Advisors

Equity and Engagement Advisors ensure that equity is prioritized in City policies, programs, projects, and services. This involves collaborating closely with City Departments to identify and address barriers to participation within programs and shaping policies and procedures. They offer guidance, coordination, and support for inclusive community outreach efforts, with a particular focus on enhancing equitable engagement in communities most affected by the City’s growth, infrastructure needs, and historical injustices.

Examples of services we provide our City departments include:

  • Center Equity - Advise and create policies on equity.
  • Provide Leadership -  Design, lead, and implement strategic and inclusive community outreach and engagement efforts.
  • Make Connections - Identify key stakeholders and make connections across city projects​.
  • Foster Relationships - Partner with community for solutions.
  • Guide Colleagues - Provide guidance and best practices for communicating with diverse audiences.

Case Studies

Seattle Department of Transportation

Group cyclists on a ferry dock smiling

Project: ​SDOT’s Flip Your Trip program aims to decrease reliance on single-occupancy vehicles to align with the City’s equity, safety, mobility, and sustainability goals.​​ ​
Issue:​ ​How to raise awareness of the Flip Your Trip program within BIPOC Communities and the broader community.
Solution:​ Create inclusive, accessible outreach materials. At the same time, collaborate with Community Based Organizations and involve a trusted community member representing the Black community and biking spaces as a messenger to foster trust and connection. 
Impact: Impacts were significant according to a post-program survey conducted among residents in West Seattle and Southeast Seattle. 65% percent of respondents stated that the support and tools provided improved the functionality of their travel options because of the initiative.

"DON role in these efforts underscores its critical contribution to City staff, like myself, who may lack deep-rooted community connections. By bridging this gap, DON ensures we can uphold the 'One Seattle' principle, enabling us to navigate the complexities of community engagement with a more thoughtful, inclusive, and practical approach."
- SDOT  Interim Mobility Solutions Manager

Seattle Public Utilities  

In partnership with the Community Liaisons Program.Seattle Public Utilities Business Plan document cover page

Project: Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) updates their Strategic Business Plan regularly to focus their work and better meet the needs of customers & community. ​​
Issue: ​How to meaningfully engage and include all communities on the topic of a business plan update.​
Solution: Co-design materials with Community Liaisons to meet community, in every Council District, at their understanding of SPU​ with a focus on BIPOC, immigrant, refugee, and low-income communities who have historically been excluded.
Impact: SPU cultivated trusting relationships with Community Liaisons, resulting in engagement with 1,555 customers and 85% of events being held in Equity Areas.

Two community liaisons smiling at an event. One person is dressed in a fancy pink dress

"The expertise and innovative solutions provided by DON are assisting SPU in strengthening its dedication to community-centered, equitable engagement strategies."
- SPU Division Director


Jenifer Chao, Director
Address: 600 4th Avenue, 4th Floor, Seattle, WA , 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94649, Seattle, WA, 98124-4649
Phone: (206) 684-0464
Fax: (206) 233-5142

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